For many teenagers and young adults, Video Games are no longer time-wasters or activities that prevent them from going out and getting jobs. In fact, the rise of eSports has made video games a job. Today, many people are now playing video games professionally and building a career out of their skill sets.

The rise of eSports scholarships

For the fall of 2017, a young freshman from Alaska has received an athletic Scholarship so he can go to college at Southwest Baptist University and play League of Legends for the school team. He is the first incoming student from the state of Alaska to receive this type of scholarship.

These athletic scholarships aren't exactly brand new, however, even though they are rapidly gaining in popularity at more and more universities. In 2014, Robert Morris University offered the very first eSport athletic scholarship to several students, which covered between 35% and 70% of their total tuition. The very next year, multiple colleges across the United States added their own scholarship programs for gamers, including Columbia College, Maryville University, and Southwestern University. There are even two colleges abroad, the Garnes Vidaregaande in Norway and Arlanda Gymnasiest School in Sweden who took up the call and offered their own scholarships to incoming students who excelled at video gaming.

The first public university, University of California Irvine, offered a scholarship for eSports in 2016, and every year this trend continues to increase.

Who receives these scholarships?

Across the nation, clubs are opening up and forming so players can compete in local and national competitive gaming competitions. These clubs can be for casual gamers who just like to have fun and increase in intensity to higher levels.

Some clubs even scout talent every year and do a post-game analysis to encourage improvement in the players. The universities that offer scholarships usually house an official school team, which is a step above a school club and is supported by the school faculty and staff. These schools often attain teams due to committed faculty members who recognize the growing eSports movement and successfully lobby their administration to create school-supported teams.

The Future of Gaming

Some schools just aren't buying into the eSports trend, such as the University of British Columbia, who has won multiple major championships but won't upgrade the school club. However, most schools are acknowledging this growing trend in sports and entertainment. Now hardcore video gamers have yet another achievement to seek using their gamer skills.