One man giving another man a jersey from Wylde outside a gray building with bollards visible in the background.
Michael Smyth being presented with a Wylde jersey by Peter 'PacBull' Bull, a Wylde e-sports player. Image: Wylde

On your marks: Industry-led Irish e-sports degree to begin in September

20 Jun 2023

Wylde, the Irish e-sports company that named Usain Bolt as a co-owner last year, is the industry lead on the course.

Dublin-headquartered e-sports company Wylde is teaming up with Northern Ireland-based further and higher education provider BelfastMet to establish a degree in the subject.

E-sports is an industry term that is short for electronic sports, or competing in sport through electronic means, such as video games. The two-year undergraduate degree will be offered at BelfastMet in partnership with Wylde and it will be supported by Northern Ireland Esports and Esports Ireland.

The partnership will see Wylde become the official e-sports partner for BelfastMet. This will involve the e-sports company assisting in delivering lectures and networking events, as well as overseeing course projects and career placement opportunities where appropriate.

The organisations have signed a multi-year partnership which will see the first batch of participants begin the two-year undergraduate course in September 2023. E-sports and sports tech – a different sector which involves the use of data analytics and similar technologies to enhance outcomes in competitive sports – are growing in Ireland. This degree is one of the first of its kind in Ireland.

“We believe our e-sports offering will represent unique opportunities for students to enhance their skills for future careers,” said BelfastMet’s e-sports course coordinator Michael Smyth.

“E-sports is considered one of the fastest growing industries in the world, leading the way in live events production, broadcasting and streaming, and content creation. The industry is made up of professional players, games publishers, event specialists, broadcast providers, coaches, managers, health and fitness experts, psychologists and more.”

More information on the course is available on BelfastMet’s website. Speaking about his company’s involvement in the new e-sports course, Wylde CEO Steve Daly said, “We are incredibly passionate about supporting new talent into e-sports and this partnership is our way of onboarding the next generation of gamers, whilst supporting the community.”

He added that BelfastMet shares Wylde’s vision in developing e-sports talent. “Wylde was established with a core focus to responsibly provide education, training and skills, enhancing opportunities for those who have a passion and drive for esports.”

Last year, Wylde got a new co-owner when Usain Bolt showed an interest. His acquiring a stake in the company was a major coup in terms of its profile – and Bolt has spoken of his love of gaming following his retirement from Olympic-level sport.

In sports tech, meanwhile, there has also been an effort to encourage a pipeline of people with skills in the sector, such as the Digital Athlete programme run by Skillnet Ireland. heard from one of the first 20 graduates of the course.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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