How do you know a new industry is booming? Colleges start offering scholarships to get a piece of it.
And Ashland University is no different.
eSports Industry College Scholarships
With eSports on the rise with games like Overwatch, Call of Duty, and League of Legends, more people outside of the “gamer niche” are starting to notice that “why yes. Video Games are a good business to make money”.
And just like any team based industry, Leagues are formed to create rivals and competition. Which is super awesome. The industry and organization have a few years to go and some bumps in the road to figure out the correct algorithm of “how to make money with eSports Leagues”, but I think they are almost there.
In the last few years, many colleges have also jumped on this way of thinking. They are forming their own teams, and sort of NCAA style, they are taking part in this fun new sport. And with those teams, comes scholarships. The first college to start an esports venture was Robert Morris University in 2014. Now, in 2018 there are more than 60 schools participating in eSports competitions, and plenty more with gaming clubs and after-school activities to do with eSports and gaming.
That’s right my fellow nerds and student nerds, you don’t need a helmet and sports pads to get a decent scholarship for sports anymore. Just play video games! (But play them well. You still have to be good at it.)
Ashland University eSports Scholarships
Among the colleges offering eSports Scholarships is Ashland University (AU). AU just added an esports program to its varsity sports lineup, with matches to begin in fall 2018. Student-athletes can receive up to $4,000 in scholarships for competing in AU’s eSports program.
Ashland’s New eSports Coach
AU hired Joshua Buchanan, player-manager for Sloth eSports Club, to coach their eSports teams. Sloth is ranked in the top 3 in North America for Starcraft 2.
“When I am coaching team-based games, such as League of Legends and Overwatch, I will focus primarily on developing teamwork and communication, as those are the most important aspects of those games. Meanwhile, coaching in 1v1 games like Starcraft & Hearthstone, will be more focused on developing student-athletes ability to look at their play objectively and identify strengths and weaknesses.”
Esports managers and coaches are responsible for mentoring, scheduling and coordinating tournaments. Coaches also take on the role of recruiting the best talent, along with benefits administration.
“We have been speaking to many students playing various games who rank among the top 10 percent to .01 percent of players globally. We don’t have major expectations for the first year, but you can expect us to be a highly competitive esports program in the future.”
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