University of Utah Forms ‘League Of Legends’ Varsity Team This Fall [Video]By Khaleb Skye A. Cruz, UniversityHerald Reporter
The University of Utah hopes to organize a "varsity e-sports team". Like basketball coaches, the school will scout for players to compete in video game tournaments backed by Riot games. For one, Riot Games made the popular title "League of Legends".
Otherwise known as "LOL", the game features a multiplayer online battle arena. It was patterned from 'Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne", better known as "Defense of the Ancients" or DOTA. In "LOL", players assume the role of an unseen "summoner" that controls a "champion" with unique abilities. Usually, the goal is to destroy the opponent's "nexus", a structure lying at the heart of a base protected by defensive weapons.
According to Mental Floss, the University of Utah also plans to build teams for other games later on. With that in mind, the scholarship programs will offer up to $1000. This will be awarded to participants who make the cut in a series of tryouts this fall. Reportedly, about 35 students will be selected in the near future.
Apparently, this is not the first time for schools to recruit gamers. Utah's move is just notable because of its status as a "Power Five" athletic institution, a financially-sound school that puts so much effort on sports. Thus, its announcement to include gamers in its competitive population may spell a new era for collegiate tournaments.
For example, the University of Minnesota also has its "League of Legends" club. In fact, per Fairmont Sentinel, the members of the e-sports team urge their school to acknowledge LOL as an official event. Particularly, the e-varsities want the athletics department to give them a dedicated team lounge, which should be open for 24 hours every day. Moreover, they have requested for faster internet speeds.
The said team participated in the first-ever e-sports competition earlier this month. Each of the six members of the team - registered with the Big Ten Network - received $5,000 scholarship grants. They have started the tryouts for next season just days after the tournament, which was joined by 12 schools.