Company charges $ 400 for ‘esports certification exam’, has strong industry support
A company called the Esports Certification Institute appeared this week with an offer: Pay $ 299.95 (normally $ 399.95) to take an exam. If you are successful, you will earn a certification that tells employers in the esports industry that you understand the esports scene and master basic business terms, marketing concepts, and statistical issues. ECI says getting certified can help you get noticed and find your “dream job” in esports.
The certification has the backing of a number of CEOs and professionals at esports organizations, although many other observers are not convinced that a $ 400 certification exam is something that applicants for employment seek. beginner level needs on their resumes.
“It doesn’t make sense,” wrote Beastcoast co-CEO. Brian Anderson on Twitter. “What could be on this exam where me,[n] org CEO, would feel that someone who succeeds would be exceptionally more qualified than anyone else. “
Others felt that the ECI and its review were fundamentally unfair and damaging.
“Hoping it gets remembered for a minute and then rightfully fades into the dark,” Team Liquid digital producer said. Patrick coyne. “Glad to see many industry professionals speak out against this shameless and predatory cash grab.”
ECI co-founder Ryan Friedman, who previously worked for esports organizations Dignitas, Clutch and Immortals, says his goal is not to create a barrier to working in esports, but to remove barriers, including financial barriers. He entered the esports business by luck and through an unpaid internship, he says, which is not fair: “People should be paid to work.” In Friedman’s view, a certification exam will give qualified entry-level candidates the attention they deserve among a large number of other candidates, even if they have no work experience and cannot afford. to spend months or years on internship.
But the sector is still young and companies are still developing. Even today, many do not have the infrastructure or leadership willingness to support in-depth HR processes to screen thousands of candidates. As a result, the space tends to overstate the previous experience.April 27, 2021
“Even today, many [esports companies] do not have the infrastructure nor the willingness of management to support in-depth HR processes to review thousands of candidates, ”wrote Friedman on Twitter. “As a result, the space tends to overstate the previous experience.”
It all depends on who you know, in other words, while the ECI is a “more meritocratic method of assessing talent,” says Friedman. To the argument that having $ 400 to spend on a test is hardly an indication of merit, Friedman says scholarships will be offered. (The approximate number of people who will be offered the free exam has not been given. I asked.)
ICE also points out that its Exam Study Guide is available on a pay-for-what-you-want basis and the exam fee of $ 400 is low compared to other certification exams from the ICE. industry, such as the Certified Public Accountant exam. However, the CPA exam is part of the process of obtaining a license to practice public accountancy in a US jurisdiction, while no license is required to work in esports. The ECI certification is only a way to let potential employers know that you have basic knowledge about the company – a way to put your communications or marketing resume at the top of the list, perhaps, if the company appreciates certification.
The “low” price hasn’t convinced esports graphic designer Owen M Roe that “diversity and inclusion,” which are at the top of ECI’s mission statement, is truly there. objective of the company. “You claim to allow for a more meritocratic system while at the same time laying out your plan to create an unnecessary institutionalized system of control,” wrote Roe.
Moreover, espousing the values of “diversity and inclusion” while simultaneously limiting the esports industry to a specific socio-economic pool is simply fallacious. Is this your solution? To * instruct people * to work in esports? And do you expect people to be okay with that?April 27, 2021
The ICE is registered as a public utility (PBC), which should not be confused with a non-profit charity: it is a for-profit corporation. The PBC designation indicates that the success of the business is not fair on profit, but also on the positive social effects that he defines for himself, such as increasing “diversity and inclusion” in esport. It allows the company to pursue this goal even if it conflicts with the basic goal of any for-profit corporation, which is to make money for shareholders, even if it is not. held to an externally defined measure for “diversity and inclusion” success. , whatever.
The study guide, which you can get for free from the ECI website (if you pay for it, the money is reinvested in the ECI), covers basic concepts of business administration and marketing. as well as general knowledge of esports. As examples, it explains what the terms “return on investment”, “click-through rate” and “key performance indicator” mean, provides a brief history of esports, summarizes relevant game genres, explains formats. of tournaments and provides an overview. esports business concerns, such as merchandising and player contracts. There’s also a section on Understanding Data, which covers the basics like reading pie charts as well as a bit more complicated analysis.
An example question asks whether it is true or false that “non-franchised leagues are generally cheaper to operate than franchised leagues but do not have such a high underlying asset value”. Another offers this problem with multiple choice answers: “A team has three players with an average salary of $ 180,000. The team then signs a fourth player, and the average player salary is now $ 200,000. What is the salary of the fourth player? “(The answer is $ 260,000.)
The guide and review were produced with the assistance of industry advisors. Based on the number of esports organization executives on the advisory board, ECI’s claim that industry support appears to be true appears to be true. As an example, Nicole LaPointe Jameson, CEO of Evil Geniuses, Carlos Rodríguez, CEO of G2, Chris Park, CEO of Gen.G, and Michael Prindiville, CEO of Dignitas, are all on the board, along with the well-known casters Dan “Frodan” Chou and Sean “Day“Plott.
At least among the advisory group, there is a desire for an easy way to vet entry-level esports job applicants. Cloud9 VP Donald boyce, another advisor, wrote on Twitter that the ICE is “an objective way to cut what Plato would call ‘a mere opinion'” on what it takes to work in esports.
“Recruiting good talent is always difficult, and it is especially difficult in esports,” wrote the owner of Jiang Hu Esports Club. Anthony wong, also ECI advisor.
The other founder of ECI is Sebastian park, who was vice president and creator of Clutch Gaming when he was with the Houston Rockets (where Friedman also worked for a while). Responding to criticism today on social media, Park said he listens and believes those who need the fee waived will be able to get it.
We said we wanted to hear honest feedback from the community on the @EsportsCI launch and we meant it. We hear you loud and clear on the accessibility of testtl; dr, we are working so that people need help. as many scholarships to cover all the coverage as needed🧵👇April 27, 2021
“We don’t want to be seen as perpetuating the same issues that we are trying to tackle. When the community responds, we will always listen, ”Park wrote. “The price was set at the lower end of [the spectrum] considering certifications in other sectors and I am still confident that we will get enough waivers for everyone. “
On its website, ECI says it will “be offering independent sponsorships soon.” Park says unemployed people who want to get into the esports business should contact the company about scholarship opportunities.
Otherwise, ECI is currently accepting registrations at a reduced rate of $ 299.95, which will drop to $ 399.95 in one week. The first exams will take place on June 19 and 20. The company says those who succeed will become members of ICE, which will entitle them to “continuing education and networking opportunities” at no additional cost.