Esports industry professional to lead teaching team on new BTEC at HSDC

April 26, 2022

Teacher Rhys Williams sat in the Gaming and Creative Digital Studios at HSDC Alton

Students will gain an insight into one of the fastest growing industries in the world from September, as HSDC is set to launch its brand new Esports course.

Estimated to be worth £100billion globally, the games industry has skyrocketed in recent years, opening up countless career opportunities for people from all backgrounds.

In December 2021, the Global Esports Games in Singapore captured more than 500 million views from around the world, and Esports competitions are even set to be featured in the Commonwealth Games this summer.

The new two-year BTEC course created by the British Esports Association and Pearson is the first Esports qualification of its kind in the world, and HSDC will be offering this to students from September 2022. Computers in the Gaming and Creative Digital Studios at HSDC Alton

Hosted in HSDC’s dedicated Gaming & Esports facilities on both the Alton and South Downs campuses, the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Esports will give students the skills needed for success within the industry.

Paul Carter, Assistant Principal Vocational & Technical Curriculum, said: 

“HSDC is really excited to be offering this new BTEC Esports course that has been developed in partnership with the British Esports Association. The course offers students an opportunity to study all areas of one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. 

“The course has been designed to give students the chance to learn skills in all areas and careers within the Esports industry as well as core skills in business, media, sports science, health and fitness.”

Students will gain knowledge in a variety of areas, including enterprise and entrepreneurship, strategy and analysis, live-streamed broadcasting, video production, shoutcasting, coaching, health and wellbeing, ethical issues and more. 

There will also be the opportunity to compete in the British Esports Association colleges competitions. The HSDC Storm team will compete in Rocket League, Overwatch, League of Legends and Valorant against other colleges. 

Heading up the teaching team will be Esports coach Rhys Williams, who will use his industry knowledge and contacts to breathe life into the course and help students prepare for their future careers.

Paul added:

“One of the most important factors when deciding to offer the new course was making sure we had industry expertise leading the way. With the appointment of Rhys Williams as our Esports lead lecturer we have secured someone who is a current player, coach and industry professional. Rhys has designed the delivery of the course to meet the current sector needs, and we are really pleased about what he can bring to Esports at HSDC.”

Rhys has been working in Esports for almost five years, starting as a player and League of Legends coach before taking his coaching career full time three years ago.

On the experience he will be bringing to the course, Rhys said: Rhys Williams

“I’ve lived and breathed the industry for years now, for two to three years this has been my every day. I did everything that I could to make it work and obviously there were a lot of lows to that but even more highs. I found what works, what doesn’t, and what industry professionals like. 

“The fact that I’ve been out there and done it, I can tell the students what I’ve learned from my own experience. I’d like to help the next generation to make the Esports community a better place by helping to influence students to become critical thinkers who want to make positive change in the industry.”

The qualification will enable some learners to enter careers in the Esports industry and for others it will offer an opportunity to upskill and progress other interests, as well as HSDC’s partnerships with the universities of Chichester and Portsmouth offering skill development and progression paths.

There will be plenty of career opportunities for students after completing this course, with the skills and knowledge setting them up for pathways into coaching, shoutcasting, video production and editing, media, social media management, marketing, player management, psychology, nutrition and more.

Rhys said:

“It’s not just about being a pro player, these are tools and modules to prepare you for anything in the Esports world. I think one of the good things about this course is it’s very broad and gives people a taste of all the avenues. 

“It will give transferable skills in business, marketing, nutrition. Even if they get to the end of the course and think Esports isn’t for them, they might have enjoyed nutrition or psychology and want to explore that further.”

On his passion for the Esports industry, Rhys added:

“There is something for everybody and if there’s something you really want to do and nobody’s doing it, you can go ahead and do it. 

“I was a kid who was a bit misunderstood, I had ADHD and gaming was a way I could escape the stuff I was struggling with in real life and get into a world with no barriers. It was this world where I could be really good at something, I started realising my brain could process these tiny things that people normally overlook. It wasn’t making me struggle, it was helping me get to the top. 

“The fact that the inclusivity was there was what made me realise I could make it and really made me fall in love with Esports because it was for everyone.”

Head to our Esports course pages to find out more about studying this exciting qualification with HSDC.