It was announced yesterday that Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, will offer scholarships for students to participate in competitive gaming.
This shows that Esports are recognized as a sport and deserves the same amount of attention as others. Although they didn’t mention how much will be offered to the players who are admitted into the program, there will be students looking to get a good education based on their skills in video games. The games that will be played are also to be determined.
It was a week ago when the University of Utah announced they were introducing a varsity Esports program to their athletics department. Schools including Robert Morris University in Chicago is one of the dozens who have teams who compete for prizes.
Other than scholarships and programs, classes are also being offered in gaming. Emerson College is launching an intro to Esports course in the fall. This is a good thing because now students get to see how it ties in with other sports including how players train and injuries they can suffer from the sport.
Now, just because they are offering these programs doesn’t mean your classic days of Super Mario on the Nintendo will land you a free tuition. If you watched gaming competitions, these are players who’ve spent hours playing, streaming, and watching tutorials in their favorite games from Dota to Super Smash Bros.
And just like any other sports team if you under perform you can get cut and lose sponsorship. I would hope there will be guidelines for people to join such as they should be streaming either on YouTube or Twitch 20 hours a week, compete in local tournaments twice a month, and take yoga because losing can be stressful. But those are just some ideas schools should include.
The program at Illinois College is said to debut this fall.