Gamercraft’s Guide on eSports Scholarships

It’s truly incredible to think that what was once thought of as a brain rotting activity meant for kids would become a viable sport and career outlet. Video games are an interactive art form and we’re lucky to experience these unique stories.

Because of its growth, they have developed several industries and jobs for artists, business executives, and players alike. Aside from the creation and distribution aspects of gaming, there’s the eSports industry that has blossomed into a larger than life monolith of businesses, competitors, and dedicated arenas.

As the industry continues to grow and we see players in their teens winning millions playing a game like Fortnite, a lot of people are looking to take their slice of the pie. Yes, becoming an eSports competitor definitely sounds like an ideal career path. And how could it not, right?

But, truthfully, gaming competitively takes a lot more than just winning a few matches here and there. Some players today start practicing in grade school and continue into their collegiate years. Believe it or not, the industry has grown so much that colleges are now offering eSports scholarships and programs to students.

And while today we are only talking about player-related scholarships, everything points out that esports scholarships will expand to coding and programming, gaming broadcasting, and more.

If you’re someone who’s looking to participate in an eSports collegiate program, or you’re just curious as to how colleges can offer eSports scholarships, Gamercraft is here to educate you. Class is in session.

So, You Want an eSports Scholarship

High school graduation is a pivotal point in many young adults’ lives. Those pursuing a path in higher education may decide on their ideal school based on scholarships and the quality of the program they’re looking to enter. The same applies for those looking to pursue a career as an eSports athlete.

Because the industry has become such a huge phenomenon, many schools are offering comprehensive programs aimed to hone player skills and improve on their talents. Before we dive into the intricacies of getting an eSports scholarship, let’s take a look at some of the universities offering varsity eSports programs and teeams.

Miami University (Oxford, OH)

This university has been offering eSports scholarships since 2016. Their Overwatch team won the 2017 National Association of Collegiate eSports Overwatch season. They also compete with Hearthstone and they host a minor tournament on the campus.

University of California-Irvine (Irvine, CA)

Students set up and test out the first operational computers in the eSports arena at UCI. Photo: Steve Zylius/UCI

Focusing on Overwatch and League of Legends (LoL), California-Irvine is recognized as one of the first universities to offer a varsity eSports team. They offer $5,610 scholarships to LoL players and $2,500 for those competing with Overwatch. The university also claims that 72% of its students participate in some form of gaming.

Robert Morris University Illinois (Chicago, IL)

Overwatch, LoL, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, and Dota 2 are a few of the games that the Robert Morris University Illinois competes with. The university developed a varsity eSports team for LoL back in 2014 and has been offering scholarships for the program ever since by leveraging partnerships with brands like ASUS, iBuyPower, and DXRacer.

The Finer Details of eSports Scholarships

With universities across the United States offering eSports scholarships to hopeful competitors and eager students, you might be wondering how one goes about receiving one and what they entail. Here’s the simple version of what you can expect from an eSports scholarship and how to get one:

Choose Your Preferred Game to Compete with

eSports competitions cover multiple games across several different genres. Before you think about applying to a university’s program and getting an eSports scholarship, you need to decide on the game(s) you want to compete with. Maybe it’s Street Fighter, Fortnite, or LoL. Whichever you prefer, make sure to have it in mind when you do your research.

Fill Out a Recruiting Form with Your Chosen University

Many universities that offer large varsity eSports teams will invite players to fill out a recruiting form. This allows operators of the program to see your play experience by checking things like your Twitch channel, gamer tag, highlight video, and hours played per week.

Research eSports Scholarships with Your Chosen School

When it comes to earning an eSports scholarship, the school determines the amount and length of payout. Most schools offer partial scholarships that could be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. But a school like Harrisburg University might offer a fully paid tuition scholarship to certain athletes.

Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) is a great resource to check if you need help finding a university and their eSports scholarship information.

In order to attract high-caliber competitors, many universities are currently offering scholarships of varying payment degrees. If you’re looking to enhance your eSports education and earn an eSports scholarship to pay for it, the time to apply is now.

There are a plethora of universities out there looking to find their next champion or winning team. Make sure to have a great eSports highlight video together, be a team player, and put your best foot forward. We at Gamercraft wish you luck in all of your eSports education endeavors!

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