University offers scholarships for 'League of Legends' players

University offers scholarships for 'League of Legends' players

This is one case where playing video games isn't bad for school.

If you’re a devoted multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) player, and you happen to be staying in the USA, you could be in luck. Robert Morris University-Illinois has just announced on its website that if you qualify as “League of Legends” player, you can receive a college scholarship to play the game.

“Robert Morris University Illinois is pleased to announce the addition of an online sport to its athletic program,” says the website. “Commonly referred to as eSports, the activity consists of organized video game competitions.

“Specifically, RMU students will compete in League of Legends, one of the largest and most popular eSport games. Although eSports have long been a part of the culture of gaming, competitions have seen a large surge in popularity in recent years. Robert Morris University recognizes the value and legitimacy of eSports and is excited to add eSports to its already rich athletic program.”

First eSport scholarship

This makes Robert Morris University the first college to offer scholarships for eSports athletes. Scholarship recipients can have up to 50 percent of their tuition, as well as 50 percent of their room and board costs covered by the school.

In addition to establishing this scholarship program, the university is also responsible for the creation of a Varsity League of Legends team. The purpose of this team, of course, is to engage other colleges in competition in the Collegiate Starleague. The colleges they will be facing in battle include Harvard, George Washington, and Arizona State.

“Robert Morris University is in the process of recruiting students for the first year of competition, beginning with the fall quarter in September, 2014,” says the website.

“Robert Morris University has always been at the forefront of providing opportunities for a diverse student population with different interests and skills,” stated the school’s eSport Program director and Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher. “League of Legends is a competitive, challenging game which requires significant amount of teamwork to be successful.”

School and 'League of Legends'

A total of 103 institutions of higher learning make up the Collegiate Starleague, while there are “over 750 schools in 46 states and eight Canadian provinces that participate in League of Legends High School Starleague (HSL).”

“League of Legends” developer Riot Games holds a special tournament called the North American Collegiate Championship, in which American and Canadian teams vie for the prize of $100,000 in scholarship money.

According to Riot Games, over 27 million people play “League of Legends” daily.

With the game’s popularity, it is possible that other schools will follow Robert Morris University’s decision and establish their own “League of Legends” scholarship programs. — TJD, GMA News