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NZMA partners with LetsPlay.Live to usher in the next generation of esports professionals

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Official course approved by NZQA prepares young people for careers in the booming esports industry.

NZMA has partnered with leading Oceanic esports provider LetsPlay.Live (LPL) to bring to life New Zealand’s first NZQA-approved esports tertiary qualification.

NZMA’s Foundation Skills in Esports (Level 2) and Introduction to Esports (Level 3) will allow young people from Auckland, Wellington, Porirua and Christchurch a deep dive into the new and exciting industry.

Students enrolled in the free and subsidised courses will develop a variety of skills that can be used in the emerging gaming and esports industries along with careers in animation, game development, creative media, marketing and digital innovation.

The programme, launching in Auckland this month, will be led by one of New Zealand’s top NBA 2K esports players in NBA2k19 Manaaki “FreshCr0wn” Vercoe-Kameta, who competed in the APAC division of the international NBA 2k league.

Vercoe-Kameta says: “The global gaming industry is bigger than the film and music industries combined, proving that esports isn’t just a pastime, it’s a lucrative business and career.”

“The NZMA esports gaming studio is a space for budding esports enthusiasts to learn how to play, organise and evaluate an esports tournament to take on a variety of career options in the gaming industry. Students can even go on to be personal trainers to gamers – the career options are endless.”

“By lending my skills and experience as a professional esports player to lead the new NZMA esports programme, we can scaffold the next generation of gaming stars in New Zealand while helping more students get excited about learning.”

LPL’s Managing Director Duane Mutu is excited to see the interest from young people in the ever-growing digital industry, stating: “This is a hugely exciting and monumental opportunity for the next generation of rangatahi who have grown up in a digital landscape. There are so many opportunities in the tech and gaming world and these courses can help turn a passion into a full-time career.”

LetsPlay.Live have kitted out the custom-built gaming suite at NZMA’s Ōtāhuhu campus.

The Auckland-based esports business is also offering mentorship programmes and tours of their esports broadcasting studio to Level 3 students each semester. Students will get a behind-the-scenes look of their day-to-day operations in order to prepare them for practical work in the industry. Located in the iconic Sky Tower in Auckland CBD, LPL Studios operates 24/7 and can broadcast live esports and gaming content to any channel in the world.

Kylie Wilson, NZMA Group CEO, shares: “We know that many learners slip through the cracks of the traditional education system because their passions are often not reflected in the course material.”

“We launched the esports qualification in response to the growing interest of young New Zealanders in the gaming industry. By tapping into their passion for gaming, learners will develop their confidence, leadership, and problem-solving skills that can take them into a career in esports and beyond.”

Student enrolments are now open for the esports programme at NZMA Ōtāhuhu, Wellington, Porirua and Christchurch.

More information on the NZMA Esports qualifications.

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