Video games have come a long way since their inception in the 1950s. What started as simple pixelated games has now evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. With the rise of competitive gaming, also known as esports, video games have become more than just a form of entertainment. They have become a legitimate career option for many individuals. And with the increasing popularity and recognition of esports, the question arises – can you get a scholarship for playing video games?
In this article, we will explore the world of esports scholarships and delve into the opportunities available for gamers to fund their education through their passion for video games. We will also discuss the benefits of esports scholarships and the impact they have on the gaming industry as a whole.
- 1 What are Esports Scholarships?
- 2 How to Get an Esports Scholarship?
- 3 Examples of Colleges and Universities Offering Esports Scholarships
- 4 The Benefits of Esports Scholarships
- 5 The Impact of Esports Scholarships on the Gaming Industry
What are Esports Scholarships?
Esports scholarships are financial aid packages offered by colleges and universities to students who excel in competitive gaming. These scholarships are similar to traditional sports scholarships, where students receive financial support to fund their education while representing their school in tournaments and competitions.
Esports scholarships are relatively new, with the first one being offered in 2014 by Robert Morris University in Illinois. Since then, many colleges and universities have started offering esports scholarships, with some even creating dedicated esports programs and facilities.Read:Do scholarships expire?
How to Get an Esports Scholarship?
Getting an esports scholarship is not as simple as being good at playing video games. Just like traditional sports scholarships, there are certain criteria that students need to meet to be eligible for an esports scholarship.
While esports scholarships are primarily based on gaming skills, academic performance is also taken into consideration. Most colleges and universities require students to maintain a certain GPA to be eligible for an esports scholarship. This is to ensure that students are able to balance their academics with their gaming commitments.
Of course, the most crucial factor in getting an esports scholarship is having exceptional gaming skills. Colleges and universities look for students who have a proven track record of success in competitive gaming. This can include participating in tournaments, winning championships, and having a high rank in online leaderboards.
Teamwork and Communication
Esports is a team-based activity, and colleges and universities look for students who can work well in a team and communicate effectively. This is especially important in games that require coordination and strategy, such as League of Legends and Overwatch.Read:Do scholarships expire?
Passion for Gaming
Colleges and universities also look for students who are passionate about gaming and have a deep understanding of the industry. This can be demonstrated through involvement in gaming communities, creating content related to gaming, or having a strong knowledge of the latest trends and developments in the industry.
Examples of Colleges and Universities Offering Esports Scholarships
As mentioned earlier, the number of colleges and universities offering esports scholarships is on the rise. Here are some examples of institutions that offer esports scholarships:
1. University of California, Irvine
The University of California, Irvine (UCI) was one of the first universities to offer an esports scholarship program. The program, called the UCI Esports Scholarship, offers up to $6,000 per year to students who excel in competitive gaming. UCI also has a dedicated esports arena and a gaming community on campus.
2. Ohio State University
Ohio State University offers an esports program called the Buckeye Gaming Collective, which includes an esports team and a scholarship program. The scholarship covers up to 50% of tuition fees for students who are part of the esports team.
3. University of Utah
The University of Utah offers an esports scholarship program called the Entertainment Arts & Engineering (EAE) esports scholarship. This program provides financial aid to students who are part of the university’s varsity esports team and are enrolled in the EAE program.Read:Can you get a scholarship for horseback riding?
The Benefits of Esports Scholarships
Esports scholarships not only provide financial aid to students but also offer several other benefits:
1. Legitimizing Esports as a Career
Esports scholarships help legitimize competitive gaming as a viable career option. By offering financial support to students, colleges and universities are acknowledging the skill and dedication required to excel in esports.
2. Promoting Diversity in Gaming
Esports scholarships also help promote diversity in the gaming industry. As esports is a male-dominated field, many institutions offer scholarships specifically for female gamers to encourage more women to pursue a career in gaming.
3. Creating Opportunities for Non-Traditional Students
Esports scholarships also create opportunities for non-traditional students who may not excel in traditional sports but have a passion for gaming. This allows them to showcase their skills and receive recognition for their talents.
4. Building a Stronger Gaming Community
Esports scholarships also help build a stronger gaming community by bringing together students from different backgrounds and fostering teamwork and communication skills. This not only benefits the students but also the gaming industry as a whole.
The Impact of Esports Scholarships on the Gaming Industry
Esports scholarships have had a significant impact on the gaming industry. Here are some ways in which they have influenced the industry:
1. Increased Popularity of Esports
Esports scholarships have helped increase the popularity of competitive gaming. By providing recognition and financial support to students, more individuals are encouraged to pursue a career in esports, leading to a larger audience and more opportunities for the industry to grow.
2. Professionalization of Esports
Esports scholarships have also contributed to the professionalization of the industry. With the introduction of scholarships, esports is now seen as a legitimate career option, and players are treated as professionals, just like traditional athletes.
3. Attracting Sponsorship and Investment
Esports scholarships have also attracted sponsorship and investment from traditional sports organizations and companies. As the industry becomes more recognized and professional, more brands are willing to invest in esports, leading to its growth and development.
In conclusion, esports scholarships have opened up a world of opportunities for gamers to turn their passion into a career. They not only provide financial aid but also help legitimize esports as a viable career option and promote diversity in the gaming industry. With the increasing popularity and recognition of esports, we can expect to see more colleges and universities offering esports scholarships in the future, further contributing to the growth and development of the industry.
So, can you get a scholarship for playing video games? The answer is yes, but it takes more than just being good at gaming. Students need to have a balance of academic performance, gaming skills, teamwork, and passion for gaming to be eligible for an esports scholarship. And with the numerous benefits and impact of esports scholarships, it is safe to say that they are here to stay and will continue to shape the future of the gaming industry.