A Discipline for Online Athletes

EM Lyon recognizes esports as a discipline in its own right.

AFTER TWO YEARS of experimentation, EM Lyon Business School in France is officially recognizing the field of esports as a discipline in its own right. By playing video games such as League of Legends, Fortnite, and FIFA, students from the Global BBA and MsC in management programs can earn 2.5 credits that count toward their graduation requirement. The games are offered in the electives pack.

According to school officials, these games help students develop soft skills that can be translated into the business world, including strategic analysis, risk calculation, leadership, team spirit, stress management, decision making, and performance monitoring. Because video games rely on digital expertise and an understanding of data, and because players compete on a global level, officials believe esports athletes will develop a range of valuable skills that will appeal to recruiters. These athletes will also have an edge in the gaming world, where esports are expected to generate US$3 billion in 2022.

The school is collaborating on the initiative with the Gaming Campus, a European institution dedicated to offering training programs for the video game industry. The collaboration is designed to help EM Lyon achieve three main goals: providing all business students with access to esports and training tools, providing mental and physical training to EM Lyon esports students so they can participate in competitions, and guiding former esports athletes through career reorientations to business fields.