As Esports is one of the fastest growing sport of modern era, college campuses have started to organize varsity level teams and are giving out scholarships worth $4000 with future plans to add more.
Miami University is the first Division One school in the U.S to form an Esports varsity team and winning the national championship. Glenn Platt, who’s the co-director of the program said two of the team’s 20 players are on partial scholarship of $4000 each and they are looking to add more scholarships in the future.
He said, “We have tryouts. There are some players we try to recruit with scholarship money.”
Sean Mullee, who’s a player on Miami University’s varsity team and a business economics major said he has utilized his gaming skills to earn cash outside of the classroom.
Sean said, “I actually did make a little bit of money over the summer playing some Esports with a friend… Won a $1000 each in a tournament over the summer just having fun.”
Just like any other sports team, Esports teams also have, coaches, physical workouts, practice and a focus on teamwork.
Miami team’s assistant coach, Justine Bader said, “It’s all about everyone doing their part to support the whole team. You can never go at it alone.”
After Miami University’s success, other colleges have also started investing in competitive Esports teams and scholarships, with Ohio State University being the latest addition in launching E-sports varsity team. Overall, Esports academic program is at rank 16 in the nation.
Currently, there are estimated 100 varsity level Esports teams at colleges and universities around the country with the $9 million available for Esports scholarships which is expected to grow among more campuses, according to The National Association for Electronic Sports.
However, most Esports athletes might not make as professional players but it is likely that they will have a future in game development, team marketing or tournament management. As Phil Alexander, Miami University Esports Co-Director says, “It’s bigger than movies. It’s bigger than television. It’s bigger than print. It’s become our art and it’s also a pastime. I don’t think it’s going anywhere.” With Glenn Platt adding more to it, “The business ecosystem around this is gigantic… That’s what we want our students to plug into. Those are the jobs of the future.”
Are you willing to let your kid take part in tryouts for one of these varsity teams and a scholarship for Esports? What are your thoughts on this matter? Let us know in the comments below.