This Massachusetts college will become the first in the state to offer scholarships for competitive gamers
Competitive video gaming will become a new varsity sport for one Massachusetts college as it becomes the first in the state to offer scholarships to esports student-athletes.
Becker College announced students will be able to try out of for the new competitive video gaming varsity, also known as esports, this fall.
League of Legends, one of the most popular video games of all-time, will be the college’s inaugural title as the new varsity sport begins.
Becker College, an internationally ranked college in game design, became the first college in Massachusetts to offer scholarships to varsity esports student-athletes, the college said.
The reason behind the esports club is to establish the college as an esports powerhouse. Students will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, as well as staff and online training through Boston-based Gamer Sensei, known as the world’s top source for esports coaching.
Scholarships of up to $5,000 a year will be given out to select students based on ability, academics, communication skills and playing position.
“Collegiate esports is happening, and it makes all the sense in the world for Becker, already a pioneer in game design, to be leading the way in Massachusetts,” said Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D., president of Becker College. “With a campus community that is passionate about games, adding esports is a natural fit for us.”
League of Legends, created by Riot, has more than 100 million players a month. The game’s World Championship was the most watched program on Amazon’s Twitch, with 49.5 million hours.
“Our esports varsity program will mirror many traditional varsity sports rules and regulations, complete with tryouts, uniforms, practice schedules and academic achievement standards,” said Timothy Loew, Becker’s varsity esports general manager and executive director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute. “Given the popularity of our esports club, I fully expect to be adding more varsity teams in games like Hearthstone and Overwatch over the next academic year.”
More than 80 colleges and universities in the United States have esports varsity teams.