New Esports Certification Institute has those on the outside looking in divided

Rightly or wrongly, few things in this world say “I’m not only ready to do the job, but I’m qualified” like a certificate. And by that, we’re not talking about a piece of paper from some online place located deep in the bowels of Russia. Or Trump University. Instead we’re on about a diploma of some sort from a legitimate school or program. Enter the already divisive Esports Certification Institute.

The initiative is a new one from former Houston Rockets Esports VP Sebastian Park and ex Dignitas chief of staff Ryan Friedman. The goal of the ECI will be to promote such ideals as “meritocracy, fostering professionalism, and increasing diversity and inclusion” on the esports landscape.

Friedman and Park are setting up the Esports Certification Institute as a merit-based examination program where those who sign on receive a certificate upon completion. But the application process is raising eyebrows.

To successfully enroll applicants will have to write an essay and fill out 120 multiple choice questions. Overseeing the program will be a 42-member advisory board representing such organizations at Evil Geniuses and G2, as well as developers, broadcasters.

Nothing comes for free, and the cost for writing the exams for the Esports Certification Institute is US$400. Study guides will be made available on a pay-what-you-can basis, with money generated going towards those who can’t afford the full freight.

The goal of the ECI is to help those who sign in further their career advancement in the esports world. In announcing the rollout, the newly minted organization said “Take the ECI certification to show esports employers that you are qualified and help your application stand out from thousands of other applicants competing for the same spots.”

And “Each esports job get thousands of applications. Even with the necessary experience, getting noticed requires luck. Becoming an ECI certified professional helps you stand apart from other applicants.”

That of course jot the interweb users of the world instantly enraged, many suggesting that the initiative will punish those who don’t sign up for it.

Friedman took to Twitter to offer this: “We created the certification as a PBC because it’s important to both help get talented new people in, but also keep bad actors out. We’re trying to keep people like SolaFide out. When they enter through the cracks, the amount of damage they can do to people is huge.”

Which didn’t stop comments like the following.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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