Thanks to technology, the college experience and admissions process are not what they used to be. You can now get admissions essay help from licenced consultants, apply to schools online, and even take some classes remotely. There are also several different subjects, majors, and niche curricula that are offered by even the largest universities. With the recent explosion of the competitive gaming industry, it is now one of colleges’ newest areas of investment in their students.
How gaming made its way to college campuses
Video games have been growing in prevalence among many people, not just students. Millions play these games just for fun. But, since there has been much more money and influence from competitive gaming in recent years, young kids have begun to develop a new appreciation for gaming as a competition.
Collegiate-level competitive gaming, or esports, has been around since the early 2000s, but on a much smaller scale. It was not until recently that teams and sponsors started to take notice of this activity and began pouring in money to support these students. Because there are so many talented prospective students in this lucrative industry, there are now scholarships being offered specifically for gamers who want to attend college.
Thanks to the NCSA, which is the esports partner of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), students can get help finding a college that has an esports program. The NSCA has over 150 schools nationally that are members and offer scholarships for gamers. So far, the organization has helped thousands of students receive scholarships totaling over $15 million.
Games you can get a scholarship for
Programs vary from school to school, but the most common esport games that scholarships are offered for are League of Legends, Overwatch, Smite, and Rocket League. There are also opportunities to compete in collegiate Hearthstone tournaments and other card games.
Universities giving scholarships for esports is a very recent occurrence, but there are many that grant them for several different games. The University of Utah is one example of a school that offers scholarships for many different competitive gaming titles. Their varsity esports program currently has teams playing in six different games.
How you can get involved in esports at your school
If you are a high school student looking to earn scholarships for college, there is still time to start developing as an esports player and gain recognition from colleges across the country. There may even be some smaller universities nearby that offer opportunities for gamers who want to study on campus but not necessarily compete in varsity-level matches. Keep in mind, however, that to even apply for most of these scholarships, you will have to be high-ranked to qualify.
If you are already in college and esports has been a talent that you’ve kept on the side, it is not too late to get involved in esports and try to earn a scholarship for next year. There are many club-level teams that students can join without committing as much time as they would need to commit if they joined a varsity team.
What to expect in an esports program
Esports programs can vary a lot between schools. Some universities have their own gaming arena on campus, while others may just offer a varsity team that competes against other colleges. There are also a few schools that have a minor in esports, which includes both competition and game design courses.
No matter what type of program your chosen school has, you can expect to learn about the business and marketing aspects of gaming. Since competitive gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry, there are many opportunities for those who want to work in it. In addition, you will also learn about the game development process and how to create games that are fun and competitive.
Altogether, collegiate esports is a new and exciting way to get into the gaming industry, whether you want to compete or develop games. With so many scholarship opportunities available, now is the time for students who love playing video games to take their talents seriously and consider higher education as an option.