Life is expensive. Once you are independent and an adult, you would have realized that you will need to pay for virtually everything. Your rent, your monthly cable bill, your smartphone, Uber rides, and of course, perhaps even your education if you were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Tertiary educational institutions like Indiana Tech is taking a slightly different approach however, by offering students who have a penchant for paying their way through university by playing video games. Yes, there are scholarships being made available for those who would love nothing better than to indulge in video games all day long. If they happen to be the best at what they do, then they would definitely be in the running to obtain one of these coveted scholarships that will certainly provide some level of financial assistance to the needy. At last, geeks would have drawn level with the jocks as well in sporting terms, or rather, eSports in this case.
Indiana Tech University has managed to move with the times, ensuring that video gaming is now a varsity sport from this fall onward. In fact, the university has begun to recruit players of two hugely popular titles, League of Legends and Hearthstone. No doubt those who will qualify for the scholarship will have to be the best there is on campus, and will need to play the games actively. I suppose there is no need for any incentive to ask someone to do something that they love, and if one’s penchant is to play video games, why not? Parents who think that their younger ones do have potential in the world of video games might want to check out this scholarship offer from Indiana Tech University.
What seemed to be impossible in the past is now possible, with eSports among academic circles being relatively new. Pro-gaming has been around for a long enough time now to be able to make a career out of it, but as a collegiate sport? It is starting to take hold at a small but growing number of other universities around the US, with its humble beginnings being traced all the way back to Indiana Tech in 2015. It kicked off as a club team in a basement (basements do have a very special place in new beginnings, don’t you think so?) that is full of tangled up extension cords. Right now, that is no longer the case. eSports on campus has seen a transformation to an actual gaming arena, complete with custom-made gaming rigs in addition to the newest gaming chairs to offer maximum comfort to the gamer for optimal performance, and a coach’s office.
Kyle Klinker, Indiana Tech recreational community coordinator and eSports director, “We’re looking to build an eSports family here. We will have varsity, junior varsity and club. The club will remain for kids who want to be engaged but just want to have fun.” Indiana Tech happens to be one of the half dozen founding institutions of the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), which can be considered to be the equivalent of the NCAA where video gaming is concerned. The remaining founding members are Columbia College (Mo.), Maryville University (Mo.), Midland University (Neb.), Robert Morris University (Ill.) and University of Pikeville (Ky.).
Money is the main factor in seeing new eSports programs crop up, as well as a growing number of audience. In fact, the 2016 League of Legends championship managed to draw a whopping 43 million unique visitors, with the prize pool maxing out at $6.7 million. There will be a dozen scholarships offered by Indiana Tech University this fall to students who would like to play video games full time; $5,000 for varsity games and $2,500 for junior varsity gamers. All of that money will offset the expected 2017-18 tuition of $25,940, but if you do well, your prize money ought to more than make up for any lack.