THE E-sports and wider gaming industry is notoriously hard to get into, and in response to that, computer manufacturer Lenovo has teamed up with several key figures in the local gaming industry to change that, announcing an “E-pprenticeship”.
As part of the opportunity, the winning applicant will be set up with the very latest in Lenovo Legion gaming equipment and will also receive AUD$5000.
Perhaps even more valuably, however, they will receive three one-on-one training sessions to learn about the key aspects of the gaming industry, from streaming and content creation, to game development and training for competitive e-sports, under the guidance of a number of industry mentors including Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen, University of Queensland (UQ) high school e-sports co-ordinator Tenielle Lynch, SMG Games founder Ashley Ringrose, and GOA’s very own Pete Curulli.
The E-pprenticeship comes off the back of Lenovo’s own research showing Australians, on average, game for 10.5 hours each week, with one in 12 respondents – equivalent to 807,000 Australians in the 16-45 age group – say their dream job would be in gaming.
That same research showed while 60 per cent of Australians would consider a career in gaming, only 19 per cent know what steps they need to take to break into the industry.
Tenielle said UQ confirmed one of the biggest challenges facing entrants to the gaming world was the lack of know-how and starting point knowledge, and said she was glad to be working with Lenovo Legion as part of the E-pprenticeship to change that.
“They don’t how to get into the industry, don’t know it’s a viable career path,” she said.
“There’s a big generational gap and and understanding gap between gamers and non-gamers and because it’s a niche industry, it’s hard to get a foot in the door.”
She said the E-pprenticeship would give people wanting to break into the industry something to strive for and help provide some inspiration too, with the equipment and mentoring making a big difference to the successful applicant too.
Tenielle said part of UQ E-sport’s work involved encouraging and educating teachers and parents and the wider community about the career opportunities gaming offered, and events like the Legion E-pprenticeship would help adults and younger gamers alike see the possibilities in the industry.
“We’ll see more talent coming through and with something like this, it gives them something to strive for outside their usual boundaries,” she said.
Game On Australia CEO and Pentanet.GG general manager Pete Curulli said he was thrilled to be one of the E-pprentice mentors and said it was an important project for the industry.
“I think all of us across the country, regardless of where we are in thje industry have strong vested interested in those that are coming after us, and that we build runways and a pathway for them,” he said.
“This is a perfect opportunity to do more of the work that GOA and Pentanet.GG are already doing in that space.”
Pete said he knew from direct experience that the Lenovo E-pprenticeship would make a big difference to the recipient.
“One of the things I had coming into this space (gaming) when I wanted to take it up as a profession, is there wasn’t a lot of help – there weren’t a lot of people who were willing to put their hand out and help unless you were willing to really grind to make those connections,” he said.
“For the E-pprentice to have direct access to long-time players in the game, including mentors like Steph (Bendixsen) who has been a long-time advocate for gaming, it puts them so far ahead of the game on so many levels.
“I reckon there’s a person out there who’s already got some great talent and we’ll give them the chance to sharpen that talent and skillset even further.”
Pete said his willingness to help and mentor went beyond helping the E-pprentice winner and extended to anyone trying to get into the industry, too.
“My advice to everyone: Feel free to reach out to me. I’ve never not got time to listen,” he said.
“I’m going to be a mentor to whoever wins (the E-pprenticeship), but also I’m happy to be a mentor to anyone else who wants to have a throw at this too.”
Applications for the E-pprenticeship close on June 28th, with Lenovo Legion saying they are “Looking for a passionate, knowledge-hungry gamer who is ready to bring their skills to the next level with tips from some of the biggest names out there. If you know your FPS from your MMORPG – or you just love to play – then submit your application via LegionEpprentice.com.au.
A gamer’s dream, this opportunity will team you up with established gaming icons to teach you the pillars of a successful career in gaming. To enter, hopeful applicants should head to LegionEpprentice.com.au to submit a short video detailing why you want to be the next Lenovo Legion Gaming Epprentice and demonstrating your passion for gaming.”