Gaming and esports enthusiasts around the world are invited to apply for the Mastercard Gamer Academy. The first-of-its-kind development program from Mastercard will provide 10 gamers the connections, mentorship and skill sets needed to pursue their passion for esports as a career — while fostering a more inclusive gaming ecosystem.
A remarkable three billion-plus people consider themselves gamers, attracting fans from all ages, genders and backgrounds. In fact, there are now more gamers over the age of 45 than under the age of 18. And women make up nearly 50% of the entire gaming population. Yet, despite these numbers, many individuals struggle to break through into professional roles.
“As a global sponsor of some of the biggest, fastest-growing esports, we’ve seen firsthand the incredible passion gaming evokes among players and fans alike,” said Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer. “With the Mastercard Gamer Academy, we celebrate the incredible growth of esports—and we are proud to invest in gaming’s dynamic and diverse future.”
The Mastercard Gamer Academy will kick off in early 2024, offering participants:
– All-expense paid trips to major esports events, including backstage access at the 2024 League of Legends World Championship and 2024 Valorant Champions, as well as the G2 Esports headquarters in Berlin.
– Access to seasoned esports professionals, including the G2 Hel, Gozen and the men’s League of Legends and Valorant teams.
– In-person and digital sessions with notable mentors, with select workshops focusing on mental health, resilience and allyship.
– Comprehensive educational curriculum covering brand engagement, marketing, content creation, event execution and more.
Curriculum highlights will be captured in a series of episodes for fans to enjoy and learn more about the various opportunities in gaming and esports. Mastercard cardholders will get early viewing access on Priceless.com.
The Academy is powered by premier global esports organization G2 Esports, which leads the charge in representation for women’s teams in esports, fielding four women’s rosters across VALORANT, League of Legends and other leading games.
“Our strength in esports is our community, and how we stand together for the love of the game. The Mastercard Gamer Academy is an extension of this community, bringing people together for a program unlike any other,” said Romain Bigeard, General Manager of League of Legends at G2 Esports. “The Academy is designed to cover all areas of esports to highlight different career paths in the industry. We want to give the participants, as well as people watching at home, the opportunity to gain experience and learn from some of the most talented and well-respected people in the industry. Our goal is to create a clearer pathway to a career in esports, to inspire and motivate people looking to launch their career.”
Mastercard is a pioneering brand in gaming and esports, becoming the first global partner of the world’s largest esport, League of Legends, in 2018. Earlier this year, the brand extended its esports sponsorship to include Valorant Champions Tour — the fastest-growing and most diverse esport in the world — and VCT Game Changers.
Interested applicants are required to submit their entry on the Mastercard Gamer Academy website and complete an online form and video that showcases their passion for gaming and esports. The deadline for submission is December 17, 2023. The program is open to anyone around the world ages 21+. Void where prohibited. Restrictions and limitations apply. See Official Contest Rules and how to apply at mastercard.com/gameracademy.