If you’re left to conjure up an image of an ‘esports tournament’, you’ll likely picture an event unfolding on a grand stage with a crowd of thousands calling out in support of their favourite players. You may think of the bright lights, the high-octane, fast-paced gameplay on a wall of screens, and streams being broadcast to every corner of the world. Is there any chance you’re going to imagine an academic event that challenges competitors to study and submit a paper in order to qualify?
That’s what WE Academic is – and it’s about to celebrate the commencement of its third edition. In South Korea, the ‘IESF World Esports Academia Competition’ is a battle of brains – there are no lanes, no hero characters, and no power-ups. It’s all about showcasing students with a talent for the written word rather than the innate ability to dominate a deathmatch. It might sound like a bizarre concept at first, but trust me, it’s actually very intriguing.
Step Up And Submit Your Paper
On October 9th, the International Esports Federation (IESF) announced early details for the third iteration of the World Esports Academia Competition. Ultimately, the WE Academia is a simple tournament by nature, but it’s innovative enough even that no other organiser in the business is replicating it.
How does it all work?
Basically, any undergraduate student (or any member of the ‘World Esports Family’ with a bachelor’s degree) can take part in the competition. Every time the tournament takes place, two topics are chosen by a board, and the competitors must carry out adequate research and write a paper to submit to the IESF – that’s all it takes. It’s an initiative that surfaces some remarkably valuable case studies and unearths data that is powerful enough to win some substantial prizes.
In a statement delivered as part of the press release, the IESF Secretary General, Boban Totovski, said:
‘We look forward to the return of the WE Academia Competition in 2023. The annual initiative helps to encourage new and relevant academic research within the esports ecosystem and contributes to the overall growth and development of the industry. Together, we can use esports as a catalyst for change and help create a welcoming environment for the entire World Esports Family.’
As of October 9th, the submission window is open – and it’ll close on December 3rd. Following that, a period of review takes place, and the winners are announced between the 18th and the 22nd of December. This time around, the topics that students can pick from are hard-hitting:
- Esports Toxicity: The Challenge, Evidence and Solutions
- Managing Harassment in Esports – The Role of Accountability and Standards to Address the Harassment
Related: Are Esports Degrees Worthwhile?
What’s The Prize?
Not only does winning the WE Academia ensure that three students have their names etched in an esports history book, but there are also cash prizes – and other rewards. For the first-place competitor, there will be a cash prize worth almost $3,000 up for grabs. There’s a $1,400 prize for second place and an $800 prize for a third-place finish – and every competitor will get a certificate from IESF’s Acting President, HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud.
If you fit the qualification criteria, then it may just be time to get your head down, hit the books, and drum up a well-researched, sourced, and fact-checked document for the IESF. This is a one-of-a-kind tournament, and winning it would be a fine accolade for any student with a keen interest in esports.