Jun 21, 2017 05:10 AM EDT
Be an e-Sport varsity. Why? Read on to find out.
According to NBC, e-sports is coming to more colleges and universities. As a matter of fact, a lot of schools are already treating these "digital leagues" as traditional competitions. With that in mind, administrators have been offering scholarships to entice students to enroll in their campus and play for the official e-Team.
To better illustrate, an e-Sports finals sold out the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden in an hour. That is how popular the league is right now. OF course, as the industry continues to grow, jobs are being created as well.
Ranging from marketers to game makers and league staffers, the demand for video gaming careers is booming. Certainly, e-Sports is everywhere now. As more and more people become "gamified", companies will continue to hire. That being said, schools would need to supply the professionals.
On the other hand, per Inside Higher Ed, e-sports often fall under the umbrella of traditional athletics. However, there are some major differences. Unlike traditional college athletics, there is no rule preventing a professional from joining a college team. Also, the NCAA does not regulate e-sports, but conversations are on the way.
While e-sports have been around for 20 years, college teams are relatively new. For the record, Robert Morris University in Illinois was the first school to recruit and financially entice students for a digital league. Kurt Melcher, the school's director of e-sports, admitted that when he approached the administration about creating a program, he was doubted by many.
In his own word, he got a little bit of "eye-rolling or shrugging" at first. Luckily, at the end of the day, the administration trusted Melcher and funded the project. That was in 2014.
For the 2017-2018 academic year, Robert Morris University anticipates around 90 students to play for five different titles. A varsity scholarship pays for 70 percent of tuition. Do note that students must maintain a 2.0-grade point average
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