In many cases, esports are still playing catch-up with more well-established sports, though that gap may have just narrowed a bit. Yesterday, the University of California, Irvine announced that it would be creating a scholarship program for League of Legends — similar to programs for college football and basketball — to start up in fall 2016.
As reported on Polygon, the four-year scholarships will be offered to 10 promising students. The program will also come with a new PC cafe on campus, partially financed by Riot Games. The cafe will be free for all students to use and will be “built in the model of Korean PC cafes and will offer a ‘premium League of Legends experience,’ though other games will be available as well.”
The university hopes that the move will establish it as one of the most gamer-friendly colleges in the nation, while Riot Games hopes that it will serve as a template for other schools to adopt, to spread the notion of organized college-level esports. The League of Legends North American Collegiate Championship was launched in 2014 and has morphed into an ongoing 32-team league.
Now, why didn’t they have a League of Legends scholarship when I was going to college?