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Jan 16, 2015 03:47 PM EST

'League of Legends’: University of Pikeville to Offer Athletic Scholarship to Gamers

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A private liberal arts college in Kentucky will begin offering athletic scholarships to gamers in the fall.

The University of Pikeville has declared video games a sport and will offer athletic scholarships to students who play "League of Legends," a free multiplayer online game. Beginning in the fall of 2015, the university will offer 20 scholarships which could cover up to half of a student's tuition cost.

"The game requires a lot of strategic thinking, study, and competitive play," Bruce Parsons, who is spearheading the new scholarship program, told Campus Reform. "Players not only need to know how to execute their own moves, but also evaluate opponents' strong suites and moves."

Parsons said the game, which is becoming "a worldwide trend," takes skill, practice and a lot of teamwork.

Parsons said the University of Pikeville is dedicated providing different types of technology to its students.

"I think there are going to be a lot of students, both nationwide and international, who are going to look at our university who wouldn't have before," Parsons said.

The school will offer the scholarships next fall when it begins the "League of Legends" competition play in the fall.

Students applying for the internship will be considered based on a number of criteria, including GPA, work ethic, and gaming ability.

"It will be a regime a lot like athletics," Parsons 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 in Chicago has also made "League of Legends" an official sport and offers scholarships.

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