The competitive esports industry has grown rapidly in the last several years, drawing millions of players and fans from all over the world. Seeing the enormous skill and promise in the esports community, several colleges and universities have come up with esports scholarships. These educational establishments recognize the importance of helping students who succeed in competitive gaming and strive to offer chances for both academic and esports endeavours.
What Colleges Offer Scholarships For Esports
In 2017, the University of Utah became the first Power Five school to launch a varsity esports program. And starting in the fall of 2018, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology became the first school to offer 16 full-ride gaming scholarships for its entire varsity roster. Today, 96 colleges and universities are members of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), the only official governing body for varsity esports.
Many colleges and universities have recognized the growing popularity and competitive nature of esports and have begun offering scholarships to talented esports players. Here are a few examples of colleges that offer esports scholarships:
1. University of California, Irvine
This university is well-known for both its scholarship program and its eSports division. Is Hyperice Inc. familiar to you? This sports technology company is well-known for creating ice compression devices that are portable. “To create the first-ever health and wellness esports scholarship,” UCI and Hyperice teamed together. For Overwatch and League of Legends, they currently have two teams. Junior varsity teams get $1,000 while varsity teams get $6,000. Not to mention a large support staff.
2. Ohio State University
By offering classes in eSports-related subjects (production, programming, management, etc.) that a regular club or sports team would not, it aims to set itself apart from other academic institutions. Among the things that make Ohio State University able to provide scholarships are excellent technology and a deep understanding of the sector. Additionally, they offer chances for students interested in producing and managing esports.
3. Columbia College (Missouri)
Columbia College has a renowned esports program and offers scholarships for a variety of titles, including League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Fortnite. They have dedicated training facilities and a competitive esports team.
4. Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Harrisburg University offers scholarships for its varsity esports program, which competes in games like Overwatch, League of Legends, and Hearthstone. They have state-of-the-art esports facilities and coaching staff.
5. Maryville University
Maryville University has developed a strong esports program and provides scholarships for players competing in games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League. They have won multiple collegiate esports championships in recent years.
6. University of Texas at Dallas
Texas’s Richardson Player of League of Legends or Overwatch? Tryouts for UT Dallas could be of interest to you. Complete this form and sign up for their Discord server (link provided here). The Fall 2018 semester marked the beginning of UT Dallas’ eSports program. A Super Smash Brothers team from UT Dallas also took first place in the Collegiate Starleague Southern Division Conference in May of this year.
Best Ways to Win Esports Scholarship
The best way to win an esports scholarship is to be recruited onto a varsity esports team. Maintaining a high school GPA, honing your gaming techniques, and getting in touch with college esports coaches can all help you stand a better chance of getting recruited.
Here are a few additional tips for maximizing your chances of winning esports scholarships:
- Maintain a stellar high school GPA to meet the academic requirements for varsity esports teams.
- Excelling in academics will also ensure you are a more attractive, well-rounded candidate for coaches and recruiters.
- Stream on Twitch: Stream and record your gaming so that you have a record of your best plays to show to coaches and recruiters.
- Compete and play against other gamers to add highlights to your resume.
- Contact college esports coaches: Send an introductory email to the coaches who work with varsity gamers at your college of choice.
- This is a great way to network and get your name out there as a gamer. Be sure to send coaches an esports highlight video to give them a sense of your technique and thinking.
As the popularity and recognition of esports continue to soar, an increasing number of colleges and universities are embracing the vibrant esports community and offering scholarships to talented players.
These academic institutions are recognizing the special abilities and commitment needed to succeed in competitive gaming, in addition to funding the growth of esports programs.
So, if you dream of turning your love for gaming into a collegiate experience, explore the colleges mentioned in this article and take the first step towards a future where esports and education go hand in hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the NCAA recognize esports?
Esports is not a sport, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA voted unanimously in 2019 not to include Esports in its jurisdiction. Maybe as time goes on, that opinion will shift. In contrast, since 2013, the US has acknowledged esports as a legitimate sport.
2. Is Esports a college major?
As esports continues to gain popularity in the public, private, and educational domains, there is an increasing need for individuals with specialized expertise. Degrees in esports are innovative, challenging, and at the forefront of new developments in academic programming. This indicates a wide range of Esports-related majors, including management, video game design, and marketing.
3. What degree do you need for esports?
Traditional sports management degrees provide a foundation in the business principles of the sports industry as a whole. However, completing a degree specifically focusing on esports may open even more doors for aspiring esports professionals.