JINAN - Lanxiang, one of China"s largest and best-known vocational schools, is offering courses on electronic sports (e-sports), riding the boom of video gaming in Asia.
The school, famed for education in traditional professions including cooking, auto repairs and hairdressing, recently opened an "e-sports college," providing three-month and three-year training courses.
Based in Jinan, capital of east China"s Shandong Province, the school spent more than 10 million yuan (1.5 million US dollars) to create the new major, said principal Rong Lanxiang.
The three-year program aims to help students with zero knowledge about the e-sports industry become professionals. Graduates may become gamers, judges or e-sports marketing specialists.
"We opened the major because there is a demand. Many people think e-sports is simply playing games. But it"s not, it"s a sport, and a new profession as well," Lan said.
According to a report issued by Chinese internet giant Tencent, the country"s e-sports industry engaged 170 million users last year and that number could reach 220 million in 2017.
In April, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that e-sports will be an official competitive event at the Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 51 percent of the world"s frequent e-sports viewers and enthusiasts are from the Asia Pacific region.
The global e-sports industry will accelerate from roughly 327 million US dollars in revenue in 2016 to 874 million US dollars by 2021, the PwC said.