Monumental Sports & Entertainment is looking to further esports and gaming education in North America and beyond. On Wednesday, the company, along with its esports teams, Wizards District Gaming and Caps Gaming, have partnered with the University of North America (UoNA) in order to give guidance in preparing students for work in the field of esports and “to create new career opportunities for current and future students.”
Together, the groups will work on developing an esports curriculum which provides UoNA students “a dedicated esports internship with Monumental Sports & Entertainment conducting seminars for students with executives across MSE and developing esports consulting projects for students to gain real-life professional experience in the field.” Additionally, UoNA’s competitive teams will be provided access to MSE’s health and wellness teams while teaching those professional players how to balance training in conjunction with healthy eating and social habits.
“Esports is a great equalizer for those of every background, race or gender who have the passion, dedication and mental acuity for athletic pursuits – but may not have the God-given ability to compete in the traditional form,” said Zach Leonsis, SVP strategic partnerships, Monumental Sports & Entertainment and GM, Monumental Sports Network, told The Esports Observer. “To be able to bring in a partner like the University of North America – whose central mission is around business and technology and developing a curriculum which is student-centered, career-oriented and globally focused – is such a perfect fit for where we think we can and must grow the esports ecosystem for the future.”
Another aspect of the partnership is that both organizations will commit to community programming across the D.C., Virginia, and Maryland (DMV) region to “give back to underserved neighbors.” They will partner on developing, and supplying scholarships to, gaming-focused youth camps so that more have access to the sport and gaming industry.
University of North America will also have a jersey sleeve entitlement with Caps Gaming and courtside signage during Wizards District Gaming’s home games to grow awareness for their university offerings within the industry.
The University of North America’s initiative intends to embolden “education through esports” and provide educational, career-centered experiences in the esports industry. For the past year, UoNA has been planning, engineering, and developing state-of-the-art esports facilities and exploring industry opportunities for students.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment has expanded its ownership of franchises within the NBA and NHL leagues to include esports verticals in recent years. The expansion into the growth market of esports was a natural evolution of MSE’s commitment to investing in innovative competition.
“Institutions of higher learning are, without a doubt, making such a smart and strategic move by bringing professionalism to esports. Creating class structures, formalizing practices, approaching each player as a whole athlete – physically, mentally and emotionally – is exactly the way Monumental Sports has viewed esports,” Leonsis said. “Our own NBA 2K League championship-winning team, Wizards District Gaming, is treated by the same set of doctors, mental wellness professionals and training team that services our NBA and WNBA players. This is a trend which will continue to explode and the University of North America is staying at the forefront and showcasing great leadership in this space and that’s why we know our partnership is destined to net huge benefits for both organizations.”
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