With college right around the corner, students are filling out scholarships as soon as they become available. Some students are getting academic scholarships, others are receiving ones for sports. However, there is a new type of scholarship in the making, with a new school even giving out full rides. UC Irvine is the first school to pay for an entire students tuition, for e-sports. Yes, a college is giving scholarships for students to join their video game team, most significantly for a game called League of Legends.
League of Legends is a five person versus five person video game that allows its players to step inside a realm of different creatures and champions to ultimately claim victory for seizing the other team’s “nexus.”, or the primary objective for each team’s map. As crazy as that is, if one’s college team can win the collegiate tournament, the five players will take home $100,000.
Most people would deem this ridiculous, but those who engulf their time and energy into video games are ecstatic about this new opportunity. Video games require a significant amount of effort, practice, and skill, much like physical sports. Whether or not video games should be considered sports is another debate.
This is just the beginning. More and more colleges will soon jump on the e-sports scholarship train and start redefining how some students pay for their college tuition. Avid player of League, Steven Boynton, shares his thoughts about the new form of scholarship being offered, saying, “I think it is pretty cool that colleges are noticing League of Legends and seeing it as challenging, both as physically and mentally as other sports.” The scholarship is meant to be seen as similar to an academic or athletic scholarship, as gaming requires the same hard work that the other two categories require. Another avid League player, Ethan Hanna, knows just how much hard work gaming takes. He has worked very hard to achieve levels of academic and athletic success, as well as his video game hobby. He shares some thoughts about the new scholarship opportunities, saying, “The fact that more and more colleges are going to start giving out e-sports scholarships is very exciting. Many more students are going to be able to afford college because of skills that they have worked hard to master.”
Whether or not you consider yourself to be a gamer, there are now opportunities for a variety of different skills. So give gaming a chance; you may surprise yourself with a new hobby, while paying for college at the same time.