Soon-to-be college students can now tell their parents that they are trying to get a scholarship when they're playing League of Legends. According to Forbes, Illinois College has added the game as part of the college's varsity sports program. The college will award scholarships to outstanding players of the game.
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena computer game where players get to choose and control one of more than 100 available champions. The player gains levels by defeating champions from the opposing team.
Business Insider reports that top professional video game players are able to get millions of dollars by playing and winning at different tournaments. It seems that Illinois College is preparing their students to be professional video game superstars.
Robert Morris University consists of around 7,000 students. It is making headlines by being the first institute of its kind to integrate eSports into their athletic program. Kurt Melcher, Associate Athletic Director, said, "Robert Morris University has always been at the forefront of providing opportunities for a diverse student population with different interests and skills. League of Legends is a competitive, challenging game, which requires significant amount of teamwork to be successful."
The school also said that they want to recognize students who are competitive, but are not into sports such as football or basketball.
The announcement of the League of Legends team gained a lot of feedback. Some are saying that it is a good idea, while others are saying that playing computer games is not a sport.
Illinois College will be starting their League of Legends scholarship program this fall. Top players can get a scholarship of about $20,000, which translates to 50 percent room and board and 50 percent tuition.
The school is looking for scholars who will fill up 19 player spots, with eight or nine players included in the school's varsity team. Since the announcement, the school has already received 400 inquiries.
Robert Morris University's League of Legends varsity team will be competing in the Collegiate Star League alongside hundreds of other institutions including ASU and Harvard.
Andrew Dixon, a senior at Robert Morris University, said that League of Legends is a tough game. "This is a very mentally taxing game, especially when you're being pitted against five other individuals."
League of Legends is a huge game with millions of players around the world. In October, Staples Center in Los Angeles was sold out due to the game's championships. About 8.5 million people also went online to watch the battles.
[Images via Gamer Living]