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Jun 20, 2014 02:45 AM EDT

RMU - First U.S. University to Offer “League of Legends” Gaming Scholarship

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The Robert Morris University has become the first higher educational institution in the United States to add an online sport to its athletic program and to provide scholarships to professional gamers.

The RMU "League of Legends" team will receive the same benefits as other RMU athletes like coaching, staff support, tutoring and scholarships of up to 50 percent tuition and 50 percent room and board -  a figure that comes up to $19,000.

"The Robert Morris University has always been at the forefront of providing opportunities for a diverse student population with different interests and skills.  League of Legends is a competitive, challenging game which requires significant amount of teamwork to be successful," said Kurt Melcher, Associate Athletic Director, in a statement.

The recognised athletic program will comprise of one varsity team and two practice teams. The school's League of Legends team will be a part of the Collegiate Star League where the school will compete with Arizona State, George Washington and Harvard among others.

The college has begun to recruit high-school players of Riot Games' League of Legends for the new program, set to debut this fall. The varsity team will participate in next year's North American Collegiate Championship, Game Zone reports.

The Riot Games' free-to-play "League of Legends" is one of the biggest games in the world. More than 67 million people play the game at least once a month, with 27 million playing on a daily basis, Eurogamer reports. Blurring the lines between traditional sports and e-sports, last year, the US government granted visas to top-tier gamers, giving them the recognition of that as professional athletes, The Verge reports.

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