Want a college scholarship? Excel in video games.
Getting ready for college can be exciting until it comes to figuring out how to pay for it. Scholarships are an option but competition for the limited funds can be fierce. Unless you have a special talent, amazing GPA/test scores, or athletic abilities to make you stand out, you might have to find other options to help pay your way.
Two universities have come up with a new twist on the traditional athletic scholarships that have been offered to students. The University of Pikeville (Kentucky) and the Robert Morris University in Illinois have decided to add a new sport for their students- Video Gaming! And starting this fall, they're using some of their athletic scholarship money to fund students that play "League of Legends," a multiplayer online battle arena game .
The University of Pikeville planned to offer 20 scholarships when it began"League of Legends" competition play in the fall. "It will be a regime a lot like athletics," Bruce Parsons, Pikeville's new media director, said. "They'll have to have a certain GPA. We'll look at them like student athletes. There will be practice time and video time when they have to study other teams for upcoming competitions."
Robert Morris University already has 35 students enrolled under the video game scholarship program.The scholarships, which cover up to half off tuition and half off room and board (worth a total of $19,000 in a typical three-quarter academic year) are for a single game, League of Legends, in which teams of five on five use keyboards and mouses to control mythical fighters battling it out in a science fiction-like setting.
The gamers will have "teams" with athletic team sounding names. The Robert Morris Eagles will play teams in two leagues that include Harvard and MIT with the goal of making it to the League of Legends North American Collegiate Championship, where the members of the first-place team take home $30,000 each in scholarships.
Video games aren't just for kids and can no longer be considered a time waste. The hand /eye coordination required,as well as the strategy skills needed to excel in video gaming, are similar to those found in football or other traditional sport athletes.
There is a whole new competition called esports. In professional leagues, they compete for millions of dollars in prizes and can earn a six-figure income for defeating their enemies.The contests have become huge spectator events with thousands of fans crowded into sports stadiums around the world to watch their heroes in action.
Brendan Spaar wonders what the other athletic coaches think of the newest addition to their department. Competition for funds is fierce so having another "sport" to share in the money might not be well received.
This might be a chance for the MVP to be the person with the fastest reflexes in a virtual world instead of on a traditional playing field. Stay tuned for more to come!