One of the several franchised Overwatch League teams, Washington Justice, is teaming up with an American university in order to set up their very own collegiate partnership. The Shenandoah University is a private university in Winchester, Virginia – the perfect partner for the Washington-based OWL team.
Although partnerships between esports providers and educational institutions aren’t anything new, this does mark the first partnership of its kind between an OWL team and a university. Launching at the beginning of 2021, the partnership will last until the end of Summer 2022 – so a full academic year and change.
Under the partnership, students enrolled at the university will get the chance to take part in internships with the Washington Justice org owned by Mark Ein – these internships will focus on things like event production, social media management, business development, and more.
“I’m incredibly excited to be partnering with Shenandoah University, an institution that has been a true leader in accepting and fostering esports, both academically and competitively, at the collegiate level,” said Grant Paranjape, the VP of Esports Business at Washington Justice.
“Through this partnership, we aim to provide Shenandoah students with real, tangible industry experience, so they can be well-equipped for their first career following graduation,” Paranjape said. “We have had the unique privilege of interacting with many of Shenandoah’s students already, and by combining the excellent education they are receiving with hands-on experience at a major esports franchise, we believe we can truly offer students a best in-class opportunity to equip themselves for a successful career in the esports industry.”
A future in esports
With the rapid explosion in growth that the esports industry has been seeing for years now, talented and qualified workers are in high demand – precisely for these behind the scenes jobs. While every video game fan wants to be an esports athlete, there is less demand for, for example, event management jobs.
Nevertheless, the opportunities are there and partnerships like this one provide a great start for people to pursue jobs in esports later, whether they decide to join Washington Justice, another team, or even start an esports business all by themselves.
Grassroots organisations like that play a big part in the esports world – giving people the tools to succeed is an invaluable asset.
Joey Gawrysiak, the director of esports at Shenandoah said, “This partnership will prepare our students to work in the esports industry with real-world experiences and networking opportunities.”
The available slots for the internships will be decided and available over the following months, with an actual job start date sometime early next year. Exact details have not yet been made public.