No, China does NOT have a League of Legends “college”
Obviously, as a blog ourselves, Games in Asia has nothing against blogs as media, but especially when it comes to China, English blogging often becomes a game of telephone, with each story more distorted than the last. So it is with this story, in which a League of Legends training center in Shanghai has been somehow turned into a full-fledged college with “everything a typical college campus would have.”
(See: Learn to play LOL with Chinese pros: Rena and Allen talk LeBlanc)
Kotaku, which first broke the story in English, seems to have gotten things right, but subsequent outlets, perhaps confused by the fact that the training center is in a college district, have been reporting that it is itself a college.
It is not. In fact, the entire training center is only about 700 square meters—the size of a large office, not a college campus. The school’s training program lasts less than two months; the first session will begin on May 4th and conclude on June 30th. There are thousands of private training centers like it around China, and what makes this one special is only the subject—League of Legends—and the surprising quality of its facilities (the average training center certainly doesn’t feature Alienware computers).
So no, China does not have a League of Legends college. What it does have is something more akin to a League of Legends bootcamp—pretty cool, to be sure, but definitely not a replacement for a real higher education.
As a side note, it’s worth pointing out that the Gamer Headlines article is also inaccurate in other ways. This paragraph, for example, is pretty much total bullshit:
A professional gamer in China is comparable to a professional football player in America. Professional League of Legends leagues are monitored by state-run agencies, have their own TV stations, are subject to anti-gambling laws and make teenagers into rich celebrities in China.
Professional gamers in China are nothing like pro football players in the states. The vast majority of China’s population wouldn’t recognize Caomei, the country’s most famous LoL player, and if you told them he was Caomei, they still would have no idea what you’re talking about. There’s really only one big League of Legends league (the LPL) and it doesn’t have its own TV station (at least not one that the vast majority of TV viewers actually get). And the fact that League is monitored by the state and is subject to anti-gambling laws is meaningless, as that is true of all video games in China. Finally, most Chinese League players are not particularly rich.
In short, don’t believe everything you read, especially when it comes to China.
Chinese anti-game activist Tao Hongkai attacks League of Legends players
Tao Hongkai is at it again, and this time he has League of Legends squarely in his sights.