In a world where the landscape of jobs is constantly changing, Citadel Academy led by gaming visionary and serial entrepreneur Preston Eckhardt stands out as a pioneering venture. Driven by Preston’s dedication to addressing the loneliness prevalent in the gaming community, this wide-ranging project seeks to transform how people connect with esports. Its ultimate aim is to introduce a fresh and revolutionary perspective on gaming, education, and career development.
Gaming as a Prominent Career Path in an AI-Dominated Future
We are already living in an era where Artificial Intelligence is taking over many regular jobs. Preston says,
“It is hard to believe at this point, but jobs as we know them may not even exist in the next 10 years. Considering the rapid pace at which AI is advancing, especially Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) being predicted in another 5 years by the best and the brightest in the field like OpenAI, companies are very likely to shift to AI-exclusive work. Younger generations will start finding traditional work uncool.”
Preston foresees a future where conventional jobs will fade and Universal Basic Income (UBI) will take over to sustain people’s daily needs, and alternative ways to make a living will be highly necessary in this new world. Creativity, talent and special skills, and attention (e.g., social proof, follower count) will become valuable currencies, all of which not only are necessary in abundance for esports and gaming but at the same time, can be developed in the process of practicing it. As this profession can be accessible to anyone with a moderately functioning computer and an internet connection, it will emerge as a legitimate way to make a lot of money. Preston believes gaming will in fact become a highly sought-after career choice, as it offers a unique combination of entertainment, skill development, and social recognition.
Preston’s Vision for the Citadel System: Transforming Esports Infrastructure
In 2023, Preston started the Citadel Esports Cafe where gaming enthusiasts can gather, play games of their choice on the cafe-provided gaming PCs, consoles, or arcades, and have a good time. Now he wants to build Citadel Esports into a complete system, including Citadel Cafes, Citadel Academies (also known as Citadel Prime), and the Citadel Pro League; with the dream of becoming the biggest esports network state worldwide. The goal is to fill the gaps in esports that stifle player growth, giving a complete setup and access to most of the world’s 3.22 billion gamers.
In particular, Citadel Academy will offer unique programs, teaching gamers various skills like mastering their game-craft, facilitating a path to becoming an Esports Pro, Content Creation, and Esports Business Acumen. The goal is to build a community of successful gaming entrepreneurs ready to take over the rapidly evolving gaming industry and bring about Esports 3.0.
Citadel Academy: Nurturing Esports Talent through Innovation
As Citadel Academy takes shape, specific initiatives are underway to provide aspiring esports athletes with an amazing experience. Different from Citadel Cafes or the Citadel Pro League, the academy aims to gather top talent in major esports and create the world’s best lessons in collaboration with esports experts, and develop a world-class curriculum and scalable processes.
The academy provides various programs to empower gaming enthusiasts, initially of the ages 12-17. It includes coaching from esports pros, mental performance training, and exercise for a well-rounded gaming education.
Citadel is using a mix of in-person coaching at the academy and online lessons to help participants learn about specific games. They plan to tackle challenges with careful planning and by creating the world’s first “Esports Consortium.” This group, made up of elite esports athletes, experts, and leaders, serves as an advisory council, guiding Citadel in shaping the future of esports education and career development.
Connections that go beyond screens – Esports Infrastructure Reimagined
Traditional ranked gaming systems are criticized for making gamers cruelly pit against each other, resulting in isolation and loneliness. Additionally, according to Preston, these ranked game modes provide no tangible way for a vast majority of competitive gamers to on-ramp into esports. Instead, companies employ “Engagement-Based Matchmaking” Systems as a way to keep gamers spinning their wheels in ranked modes to drive revenue for the company at the expense of their player’s time and effort. This has proven to be an incredibly frustrating system that desperately needs change.
Plus, with the rise in AI, loneliness is predicted to grow even higher than it is today, and gamers feel the brunt of it the most. Citadel aims to bring back the warmth and understanding in gaming, providing a space where people can bond, compete, and enjoy together. Preston envisions Citadel Esports to be not just a gaming community, but also a parallel system or network state that will bring about the future of Esports Infrastructure.
In conclusion, guided by Preston Eckhardt, Citadel strives to revolutionize the gaming world by addressing the flaws in the ranked gaming system and offering innovative solutions. They seek to build a strong community of gamers and lead the way in transforming how people engage with esports forever.