Japan wants to level up Osaka by opening an e-sports school

Mum, Dad, I told you video games weren't mindless entertainment.

Adam Bolton
Adam Bolton is a contributor for CNET based in Japan. He is, among things, a volunteer, a gamer, a technophile and a beard grower. He can be found haunting many of Tokyo's hotspots and cafes.
Adam Bolton

League of Legends is a popular e-sport, with a $5 million prize pool.

Riot Games

While many people out there may deny that e-sports is even a real sport, you can't deny the money it pulls in and dishes out. And with the e-sports college course now providing training, when someone tells you to "git gud, scrub" over game chat, you can now tell them that you did... at college.

The Jikei Group, which runs professional training colleges throughout Japan, plans to deliver a three-year course in competitive gaming in Osaka. That's right, you can now receive professional training in e-sports.

The course will hone students' playing skills, sharpen reflexes and even teach students how to handle media interviews, according to school officials.

Students will attend 900 hours of classes each year at a hefty cost of 1.52 million yen (around $13,400) in tuition fees annually. This comes with a dedicated e-sports department in the Osaka Communication Arts College in the city's Nishi Ward.

This isn't Japan's first e-sports school, with the same group establishing another in Tokyo in April 2016.

"We train students with the same thinking as professional athletes," a spokesperson said.

Competitive video gaming has 292 million followers online and on TV, pulling in nearly $500 million in annual revenue, according to e-sports data tracker Newzoo.

E-sports is booming in Asia, with tournaments such as World Electronic Sports Games in China, which offered a prize pool of $5.5 million.

The money is real, that's for sure.