College Video Gaming – A New Sport Gains Traction

What if your expert skill at cocktail table arcade games landed you a college scholarship? That’s the reality for avid teen gamers today, though consoles have taken the place of cocktail table arcade games. High school students can leverage their talents for college scholarships, joining their university’s e-sports league and competing for championships. Popular college sports like football and basketball won’t be disappearing anytime soon, but e-sports leagues are slowly claiming a seat at the table.

The Big Ten League of Legends Tournament

The Big Ten Network, owned by the Big Ten Conference and 21st Century Fox, struck a deal with Riot Games. The network will air a two-month “League of Legends” tournament for college competitive video gaming teams. 12 of the 14 Big Ten schools will play in the tournament. The college teams will consist of six players. Each member of the respective college teams will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

All matches between teams will be hosted online, so the players don’t have to travel in order to participate. Each match will air online through the Big Ten network’s digital platform and on Riot Games’ online platform. The championship match will air live on March 27th.

The one-year deal between the Big Ten Network and Riot Games will likely attract many new viewers, and that’s the main goal of the partnership. If successful, you will probably see a lot more competitive college gaming online and on television in the near future.

Lourdes University Signs On

It’s not just high-profile schools offering students a chance to compete in the e-sports arena. Lourdes University, a private liberal arts school in Ohio, recently announced the addition of competitive video gaming to its athletics program. The school plans on recruiting up to 60 gaming students in the next few years, with plans to compete in the National Association of Collegiate eSports.

Gamers Gain the Spotlight

Will “League of Legends” and competitive video gaming take off at the college level? Major corporations seem to think so. So do the colleges. If you know a high-school student with the chops to go pro, tell them about this new opportunity – who wouldn’t want to go to school on a gaming scholarship?