Competitive video gaming is no longer stigmatized. Esports athletes are in the focus of attention, but what they need is proper schooling. This is where esports scholarships come in.
Esports Schoolin’ and Scholarships in 2019
Much can be said about whether it’s right or wrong to encourage youths to participate in competitive video gaming, let alone sending them to school to hone their skill of spilling pixelated blood or practice virtual simulator sports.
But there’s something very human about it all. Just like as a species we strive towards excellence, so we can’t just leave video gaming at being only form of entertainment. Instead, we must master it and see how far we can go.
Today esports scholarships are gaining traction and if you think that the argument against is too strong, just take a look at the numbers first:
- Over 100 schools are part of the national Association of Collegiate Esports
- Each participating organization runs a varsity program
- More than 270 schools compete as part of Tespa, a network of gaming clubs
- Over 700 schools participate in the Collegiate Star League (CSL), a League of Legends (LoL) event.
The influx of colleges seeking to secure the best talent from the world of esports has been impressive.
Here’s our run down of the colleges and schools to introduces their latest varsity programs and scholarship opportunities for talented gamers, from Fortnite to League of Legends and well beyond.
#1 Esports Ohio – Grassroots Espots in High Schools
Esports Ohio is a fantastic program with over 40 participating high schools from across the state competing in three main games, including Overwatch, League of Legends, and Rocket League.
The initiative is inspiring as it seeks to attract local talent and give it a place to grow and develop, eventually leading to the coveted goal of obtaining a college esports scholarship.
Even though the organization itself doesn’t offer sponsoring to schools or individual players, it’s an important stepping-stone for the entire competitive video gaming ecosystem in Ohio.
#2 Holland Patent Central School District Joins Esports
The Holland Patent Central School District has become the latest members of the High School Esports League (HSEL), joining over 475 educational organization for the opportunity to take its own students to college on an esports scholarship.
Presently, over $9 million is allocated to such scholarships for colleges nationwide, and by helping students compete on a high school level, Holland School is giving them opportunities to pursue a college degree doing something they love.
#3 Northern Virginia Community College and Esports Future
The Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) made history when it became the first institution of higher learning in Virginia to welcome its own varsity program and explore competitive gaming opportunities as part of the National Association of College Esports (NACE).
On the occasion Director of College-wide Student Life Brian Anweiler had the following to say as cited by the official site:
Our students are already competing in esports and we know there is a vibrant gaming community on campus. Thanks to NACE our students can now compete in a more formal environment and represent the NOVA Nighthawks in this exciting new venture.
#4 Ottawa University Athletic Department Thinks Its Time for Collegiate Esports
Ottawa University is not one to shy away from a new challenge. The University is another NACE affiliated school which offers talented and aspiring gamers an opportunity to compete across multiple gaming titles, including League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Hearthstone.
#5 Full Sail University Is All Out on Esports
Full Sail University may not have announced esports scholarships just yet, but the college just got its 11,200-squre-foot esports arena for the impressive $6 million. The venue will open in May and it will serve as an esports hub where official events and competitions can be held.
As the popularity of esports continues to grow in terms of investor interest and player base, Full Sail is looking for new ways to be part of this exciting world, and it has largely succeeded so far.
#6 Colorado High School Activities Association and Esports Opportunities
In February, the Colorado High School Activities Association voted on a new pilot program designed to implement a three-year initiative dedicated to bringing more esports to high schools.
Though no plans about scholarships have been revealed just yet, CHSAA intends to model esports after the examples set by basketball and football, offering students opportunities to grow and develop.
#7 University of Alabama – A Place to Play and Stream
The University of Alabama’s esports athletes are eager competitors prepared to take on any challenge, be that in a direct combat with an opposing team or storming Twitch, an Amazon-owned platform that offers great benefits to those who manage to amass a steady following.
Presently, the University allows gamers to compete in League of Legends, Smite, and Rocket League.
#8 Hawaii Is Getting an Esports Vibe
The Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) announced great news a few weeks ago, with 23 schools now preparing to join PlayVS and play nation-wide against other high-schools with esports teams. Even a holiday-worthy destination as Hawaii is now getting serious about competitive video games, and that’s a treat.
Esports: A Lasting Power to Stay
Esports are tenacious and so are people trying to make a living. There’s a lot that can be said about the “rightness” or “wrongness” to take on such an endeavor and dedicate it so much time.
There’s a simple reason why we play games. To some, it’s a form of escapism – to others, it’s a momentary coping mechanism.
But there’s something very human about it all. Just as a species we strive towards excellence, so we can’t just leave video gaming as a form of entertainment. Instead, we must master it and see how far we can go.