TWO WEEKS after the launch of the BS Esports course in the Lyceum of the Philippines, a healthy amount of discussion continues to be generated about the prospect of a specialized, four-year, bachelor of science degree devoted to a growing industry.
To summarize the back-and-forth between several points, SPIN.ph collected quotations from various Facebook posts, podcasts, vlogs, and audio livecasts about the topic. Many of the people quoted here have extensive experience within the industry, and all gave their very lengthy and very opinionated thoughts on the matter. We have also arranged the quotes in such a way as to present, as best as possible, a flow of arguments, both for and against.
Of course, we cannot publish the full transcripts of what they said. However, we do encourage you to click on the source links and listen to what they have to say in full.
Still, we hope that this selection of quotes represents the broad depth of debate on the topic. Now, the question remains: What do you think?
Tryke Gutierrez, CEO of Tier One and one of the people who conceptualized the BS Esports course, in a May 19 podcast hosted by Julius “Banoobs” Mariano:
Naniniwala ako na, kung usapang Southeast Asia lang, nauna talaga [ang Pilipinas] sa esports. Nandito si Mineski, nandito si TNC, nandito ginawa yung Manila Major before, nandito ginawa yung mga Manila Masters. Naniniwala ako na kaya ng Pilipino, di naman siguro globally for now, [pero] in Southeast Asia, maging hub para sa esports. Kasi in the first place, tayo ang pinupuntahan ng events before.
Ang nakikita ko ang magiging kulang natin is, kailangan natin ng mga tao na mas equipped na nakakaintindi ng industriya.
Hindi naman ‘to ihahand-over in a silver platter ang diploma e. Apat na taong paghihirap pa rin ito e.
Ren Vitug, commissioner of The Nationals and official at the Philippine Esports Organization, in a pair of Facebook posts from May 14 and May 20:
The vision of T1/Lyceum presumably is that this is a problem and a demand that we will have four years from now. It might very well be. I still don't think it is better than the alternative (which is taking a specific degree ideally based on some balance between your strengths and what you would like to do in the future) that we have right now.
It is not a dichotomy. Having this course is not the only thing that can prepare students for future jobs involving esports, nor is it necessary to get people of the same interest together. I don't think that was the original idea anyway, but I keep on hearing a lot of "E paano tayo makakasabay in the future kung wala ito" lately.
The critical question within the next four years is, "Will BS Esports be an edge in applying for an esports-industry-related position?"
Forget about staying in the industry; will this bachelor's degree even be significant in putting a graduate's foot in the door? So for esports employers hiring fresh graduates, will the inclination for a junior business development professional be towards an esports major with business units, or will a Business major with esports units be preferred? What about management? Marketing? Multimedia [a]rts?
Francis "Duckeyyy" Glindro, Mobile Legends coach of Bren Esports, in a tweet from May 13:
BS Esports is an awesome idea but the core competency will be its downfall.
Dan “Leo” Cubangay, technical coach for Work Auster Force, in a Calamansi audio livecast aired on May 17:
Nakaka-off na nag-end [ang esports course launch] saying we can't promise you jobs. Nakakatot yun. Four years to spend in your life in anything is such a gamble. [...] Bilang sa iilang kamay ang kumpanya for esports.
So kung hindi ka makapasok sa iilan dun, ano nang gagawin mo? May magha-hire ba ng isang esports graduate sa ibang industriya? How strong is your resume at that point?
I'm afraid for the people that might be burned, possibly, [with this] course as it is now. [...] The path [to get into esports right now] might not be as straight and as clear, but it's not as risky as spending hundreds of thousands of pesos [in tuition] and spending four years of your life, especially in a third world country.
I hope people listening on either side of the fence, liker pro or anti, I hope they don't turn deaf after we say the fact na it's so scary, it's so risky. Meron pa tayong pwedeng gawin.
Naisou, Wild Rift streamer, former League of Legends pro, and special education teacher, guesting on Leo’s Calamansi show:
For there to be a BS Esports course, there needs to be way more infrastructure for jobs available for those graduates.
It's a great idea. In time, it can be executed really really well. Especially in Asia. Just in Asia in general, esports, especially mobile gaming, is so big in Asia. So jobs [should] be there [...] before you start having these college courses and everything offered.
Setsuna “AkoSi Dogie” Ignacio, Nexplay coach, guesting on Banoobs’ podcast with Gutierrez:
Nakakatakot lang dito sa [BS Esports sa] Pilipinas is that what if napakaaga, tapos yung mga nakapagtapos is walang employment? Natatakot ako dun. Di lahat ng tao, kaya mong bigyan ng space sa kumpanya mo.
We’re not yet ready. Pwede iyan i-launch [in] four, five years.
Nakikita ko yung [argument for] practicality, [especially when] you’re taking a specialty course. Super safe talaga if you’re going to take engineering, architecture, nursing. Pero paano sa mga tao na hindi yun ang gusto and gusto nila yung esports, and they want that competitive advantage after they graduate?
Mas may chance sila [if they take this course], kasi hindi naman lahat may access sa network natin, may access sa capital natin. Ang nakikita ko kasi dito, this is one advantage. Pero not to the point na insurance ‘to. Walang insurance sa mundo.
Rob Luna, MPL-PH caster, on a vlog released on May 13:
Will I take [BS Esports], if I have the option? Dahil gusto ko, yes.
Sa lahat naman ng bagay, there is no certainty. Going into esports, it does not require you na magkaroon ng certain course, pero if you have the time, you may actually take it. Magiging mas madali para sa iyo ang mga pasikot-sikot.
Yun nga lang, the certainty, pagka natapos mo yung course na yun, magkakaroon ka ng trabaho? Sa lahat naman ng mga bagay, there is always a risk. Pero it’s really up to you kung paano mo mama-maximize kung anuman natutunan mo. [...] There’s a lot of things you can do with the knowledge na posibleng ibigay sa iyo.
In a quick survey returned by 62 people currently working in the local esports industry […] do the people in the survey prefer a BS Esports degree over their choices? 89.5% of them do not, while 8.8% would have preferred it if the choice was only between that and their prior education (some of them without). (In his Facebook post, Vitug also posted more results from his survey.)
BS Esports is a bold step. Whether it is visionary remains to be seen. Being first and different is not always a good thing. [...] I do not want to support this just because this is new; I want to support this because this could potentially be a significant thing for us.
David Sison, Playbook Esports, on a Facebook post:
Do I think that the BS Esports degree is unnecessary? Yes, but only because it seems too far ahead for its time. It is an honest fear of mine that people will take this course and will have trouble searching for jobs in the future.
Schools, if you're reading this, maybe it's also time for you guys to create electives centered around esports. There are A LOT of talented people in the industry who can teach their ways to a new generation of esports hopefuls. To the parents, if your children have a passion for esports, support it, but make sure to guide them to their best chance of success in their lives.
Masyado pa tayong early, sa tingin ko. Di pa tayo ready. Pero magno-nourish pa ito.
Sa akin, bakit maaga? Sabihin mo lang na, "Dogie, ba't gusto mo na [galing sa] ibang bansa [na] esports company, pumasok rito?" Kasi pag may mga esports companies na [...] makita nila [na] mataas ang value ng market ng esports sa Pilipinas. [...] Magtatayo sila ng headquarters, na andito na si Team Secret, si Onic, si Aura. Pag dumami pa yan, to be honest, magbu-boom yan. BS Esports, madaming kukuha niyan, and lahat na ng school, mag-i-implement. And yung esports na pinapalaki natin, malaki na.
Ralph Andrei "Coach Leathergoods" Llabres, Bren Esports Wild Rift coach, to cap off a series of Facebook posts on the topic:
Saw lots of people who are very excited to take the course and that is positive in some sense. Pero sige[,] here is my deal. Enroll for everybody who thinks this is a good idea[.]
After four years[,] give me the results, tell me, "I told you so, it would work." Tell me na bobo ako dahil [di] ako naniwala. [But] I would still hire a BSBA fresh grad who is a gamer over you, a BS Esports major, as team manager because what I need is not specialization in esports but a specialization in management.
Yung younger generation natin, paano sila magkakaroon ng opportunity [sa loob ng industriya], kung wala silang connection, kung wala silang panghahawakan? So sa nakikita ko, ang good side ng degree, at least mayroon kang panghahawakan. Meron kang weapon na specialty, [na], "Eto ang pinag-aralan ko sa part ng esports [at] makakapag-contribute ako."
Gusto ko yung vision ng BS Esports. I don’t want it to fail.
We are preparing ourselves — or rather, this generation na posibleng kumuha ng course na ‘to — [for] the future. And malay niyo, yung mga tao na ‘to… kaming mga nandito ngayon, makita sila na maging successful five years, ten years from now, [na] hindi na nila kailangan daanan yung mga pinagdaanan namin before we actually [achieved] kung nasaan man kami.
It's one thing to say this is amazing, we are pushing the boundaries. Pero ito isipin natin. Ano'ng mas maganda: Nagawa niyo nang una, nagawa niyo nang maaga, o nagawa niyo nang tama?
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.