Notable College Makes Video Gaming a Sports Scholarship
(PCM) – As perplexing as it is amusing, Robert Morris University in Illinois has created a new sports scholarship – for League of Legends – the video game with nearly 8 million subscribers. Many questions are immediate from: 1. “Are video games a sport?” to, 2. “What video gamer has the discipline for college?” or, 3. “What video gamer has the desire?” After all, prize pools such as Dota 2 International are upwards to 10 million dollars. Who needs college with that kinda loot waiting to be won without a degree? For those who do have the desire to earn a degree along side binging on video gaming, the daring university is making up to half their tuition fees, room and board available through scholarship. According to IGN, that amounts to roughly $19,000.00. Many know that video gaming is a lucrative business in many areas from game creation and programming, to tournament cash awards for exceptionally gifted players. In a statement RMU says it, “recognizes the value and legitimacy of esports.” Esports? League of Legends is an Esport? Wii Sports may be an esport, but how does League of Legends a MMO RPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) qualify as a sport? The answer lies in the money. Yes, money. Recruited students (approximately 27) who earn a scholarship will participate in the Collegiate Star League competing in the North American Collegiate Championship with a $100,000.00 scholarship prize. Winning that competition alone can pay for an entire college career. It’s clear RMU has taken a leadership role in this expanding enterprise. Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher states, “Robert Morris University has always been at the forefront of providing opportunities for a diverse student population with different interests and skills. League of Legends is a competitive, challenging game which requires significant amount of teamwork to be successful.” RMU makes a solid case for their position stating, “Currently there are over 750 schools in 46 states and eight Canadian provinces that participate in League of Legends High School Starleague (HSL).” All the money is good and fine, but one question remains to answered. Is video gaming a sport?