A community college in Northern Sweden is offering “elite” training in the Counter Strike computer game, with the aim of helping students compete at the professional level.
Counter Strike, a first-person-shooter, is the main game played as an e-sport in Sweden. At the highest levels players can make a living from winning tournaments, gaining sponsorship and even being paid to be members of a team.
“It’s a course for people who are already advanced players, and who want to take a year to make a charge to the top” says course leader Johan Ågren to Radio Sweden.
The college, Strömbäcks Folkhögskola, is near the city of Umeå. The 15 players who are admitted to the course will bring their own chairs and computers and are offered a well-ventilated room where they will hone their skills.
But Johan Ågren says becoming a top player is not just about what one does in front of a screen, but is also about becoming mentally and physically fit.
Strömbäcks Folkhögskola is looking for a teacher for the course, which will begin in August 2016. They want to find a Counter Strike player who has experience of working as a member of a successful team.
To study this course full time qualifies students in Sweden for a state subsidy of SEK 30,000 and possibility to borrow SEK 100,000, via the student support agency CSN.
Potential wages for elite Counter Strike players are hard to estimate, but a report in the Daily Dot of January 2015 quoted a source saying that the pay for Team SoloMid was “a vast amount in Counter-Strike”. This amounted to USD 3,000 per month, or just over SEK 25,000, which is roughly the same as the wage of a kindergarten teacher.
Johan Ågren says they may expand to other games if the course is sucessful, and that he hopes his graduates will end up competing at the top of the Swedish e-sport world.
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