Oxford denies alleged new eSport offerings

Oxford University does not plan to introduce eSport courses, despite recent reports of an alleged collaboration between the University and Tencent to offer the classes

Despite a “widely reported” partnership between Chinese media giant Tencent and Oxford University, there are no plans to introduce esport courses at Oxford, a University spokesperson has told Cherwell.

Several gaming news sites, including Esports Insider and Dot eSports, have reported that Oxford intends to include new courses on eSports. Reuters has also mentioned the courses.

The courses were allegedly part of a “broad cultural deal” Tencent signed with the UK.

At an event announcing the deal in London in early May, Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, said: “The next few years offer a golden opportunity for the UK to work with companies such as Tencent to drive innovation and shape the future of global trade.

“We look forward to turning this ambition into a reality.”

Esports Insider subsequently reported that: “University of Oxford will host tournaments and offer courses with a view to increasing the profile of eSports, as well as bringing more talent into it.

“While it’s known that esports courses will be available through the University, [what]exact offerings and topics are yet to be revealed.”

However, an Oxford spokesperson told Cherwell that the University has not discussed creating any eSports courses with Tencent. 

They confirmed that while Tencent has expressed interest in holding an eSports tournament at the University, nothing more has been discussed.

Tencent, a Chinese social media giant worth more than Facebook, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK Department of International Trade.

Tencent runs most of China’s top social media, music, and gaming platforms. Among its products is WeChat, messaging program with over a billion users.