LoL experts can now make the most out of their gaming prowess as Robert Morris University in Illinois has just offered the first-ever athletic college scholarship for playing the said video game. Now welcoming the legitimacy of “eSports”, the school says its wants to reward those who don’t necessarily want to play traditional sports like basketball and football.
With over 27 million active players, this offer was an easy sell and has in fact attracted more than 700 applicants in just one week. Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher, who will be the university’s new varsity eSports program director said, “League of Legends is a competitive, challenging game which requires significant amount of teamwork to be successful, no less a sport than many others,”
“League of Legends is no different than say the skill required or amount exerted as bowling.”
The credibility of this scholarship goes as far as hiring a coach for its team. It includes 50% of tuition and 50% of room and board, garnering a total of $19,000 worth of academic coverage per student.
As expected, this newest offer gathered a lot of criticisms and insults. As per Melcher, he normally responds to two kinds of feedbacks. First are those from the gamers side who feel like they have been vindicated or liberated and second, the hardcore athletes side who often say, “What do you mean? That’s not a sport.”
While virtual games have already been used to bashers and the like, pushing the game into the dominion of a formal college athletic activity requires greater decorum. Melcher targets to “put reverse elements” to the stereotypical notion about gaming by producing good citizens within the university, hence show the society that these scholars definitely got more than LoL expertise.
With regards to the qualifications of eSports scholars, Melcher explained: “We welcome, say, ex-professionals or current professionals that are able to handle the academic side and still maintain the GPA, go to classes and be part of our team. As long as they’re able to handle both responsibilities, we have no problem with bringing on players that have been in that [professional] setting,”
According to the official website of Robert Morris University Athletics, All eSport League of Legends applicants will have their application fee waived.
For more information contact: Kurt Melcher – 312-935-4110/
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