If you're young and play video games, your mother has likely told you to stop gaming and do your homework. But now you can tell her you’re developing a valuable skill: eSports — that is, professional video game playing — can earn you scholarship money for college.
According to the Associated Press, 50 colleges across America offer partial scholarships to competitive gamers. Although most universities and colleges across America leave eSports to on-campus clubs, some are embracing it as a new wave in athleticism.
These varsity gaming teams have coaches and even game analysts and expect that their gamers practice in their off hours. Gamers say competitive sports teaches them time management and teamwork — much as other athletes say about more traditional sports.
And as with traditional sports, eSports can be played in stadiums and concert halls, with upwards of 40,000 fans in attendance. There's even drug testing for players, who have been known to imbibe performance-enhancing drugs. The field of eSports has generated revenue of $463 million worldwide in 2016.
According to Scholarships.com, students can earn up to $19,000 a year in eSports scholarships. Although most universities did not specify which games e-athletes would be playing, several stated that League of Legends is their main playing field.
As with most sports scholarships, eSports requires its recipients to maintain a specific grade point average, typically 3.0.
In other words, your mother will continue to tell you to do your homework.