A company is offering an esports designation to help aspiring professionals enter the scene. With the high cost of entry, the certification has stirred up much controversy, mostly surrounding whether it's actually needed - or just a cash grab.
With esports being on the global growth trajectory that it is, job seekers all over the world are trying to enter the industry. To address this, an organization called the Esports Certification Institute (ECI) created an "official" esports designation. Consisting of a set of three exams, once completed the successful candidate would earn this certification with the purpose of getting recognition within the industry.
The certification, designed with improving hiring practices within esports in mind, received the backing of many C-Suite execs of reputable esports organizations. Despite this, public outcry surrounding the $400 fee and the questionable need for the program itself has caused ECI to shut down the program altogether, potentially temporarily.
ECI's certification looks like it hopes to be the CPA (Chartered Public Accountant) designation of the esports world. But unlike in public accountancy, where you need a license to practice, the esports industry requires no such thing. Therefore, ECI's certification would only be an informal way to indicate to esports employers of your interest and knowledge - potentially why some critics have likened the exams to gatekeeping.
The notion of an institutionalized accreditation does highlight flaws in hiring for the industry. There are very few opportunities out there and the qualifications for those opportunities are unclear. Even if ECI had the noblest of intentions in bringing transparency to the hiring process in the esports industry, only time will tell if something like this will be the catalyst for positive change.
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