Is it time to add esports to the syllabus? Gaming goes from strength to strength
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Is it time to add esports to the syllabus? Gaming goes from strength to strength

Most of us have a few school memories burnt into our minds. But kids growing up today might find theirs’ significantly different – at least, some kids in South Korea might: the country has seen thousands of “cram schools” appear, solely dedicated to competitive video game playing! If that’s not a sign that esports is more than just a fad, nothing is!

Last week was a great week for the Fund’s gaming stocks!

graph 2808 gaming

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

If it was going to be anywhere, it was always going to be South Korea. The country has been a hub for esports pretty much since the day they were invented. Professional gaming took off in South Korea more than a decade ago, and Koreans have stayed ahead of the curve. The country contributes an outsized number of world champions, and frequently packs stadiums to watch its leagues go head-to-head.

Now that the rest of the planet has cottoned on to the esports phenomenon, South Korea is eager not to lose its head start: after all, this is already a $13 billion industry!

One of the “cram schools” that specializes in 3 of the most popular esports titles on the market (Overwatch, League of Legends, and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground) is GameCoach Academy. Here, young men and women like 16-year old Choi Min-ji pay $440 a month to master the game of their choice. And, while video games might not always have been an aspirational pastime for someone’s youngsters, that’s changing. Choi explains that even his parents are down with it:

“Times change, and I think dreams change too. I’ve always liked games, and I might as well be successful in my life by playing games. It’s something my parents now agree on.”

His mother, Park Hyun-jung adds: “Min-ji wanted this more than anything he’d ever wished for, and we thought we might as well support him all the way if we were going to let him play. It’s definitely better than seeing our kid seclude himself in a cybercafe and harbor a grudge against us.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds a number of companies that are involved in the esports phenomenon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund, such as Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, Tencent, and Amazon.


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