Lourdes University announces video game scholarships are going to be on offer, similar to athletic scholarships.
If you enjoy playing video games, you may have once considered having a career as a gamer. In the past, this would have been basically impossible unless you had a gifted talent for a particular game. However, today, as technology continues to grow and expand, there are many ways to make a living as a gamer. Students can attend college and learn how to create games or players can actually have a career as a game tester or go on YouTube/Twitch and be followed by millions of people, earning a profit in the process. Now, it seems there is one more outlet for gamers to try and make a living. A University in Ohio is now going to add video gaming to their list of athletic offerings, providing scholarships for prospective students.
Lourdes University is a private liberal arts university located in the northwest region of Ohio. The college offers a rigorous program for a variety of career opportunities including athletics. Students from across the nation attend the college to take part in the athletic programs and now there will be opportunity for players to take part in eSports. Joining a collection of around 30 different schools, Lourdes will now offer an eSports program for students to apply for.
Mary Ann Gawelek is the President of the university who has been a strong supporter of an eSports program for some time now. According to Gawelek, for an individual to be able to take part in eSports, the mental ability has to be present as well as critical thinking skills. With game play in general, players have to be able to work with a team and be competitive, which is a driving factor in being successful.
A First For the College
With the new offering, Lourdes will become the first to offer an eSports scholarship program as a member of the Wolverine-Hoosier athletic conference. The students who take part in eSports will be able to compete in gaming events across the nation as part of the National Association of Collegiate eSports. The new group was just formed last year and is working to legitimize the eSports industry in association with education.
For Lourdes, the university has plans to try and recruit as many as 60 eSports athletes within the next few years. The institution is one that is Franciscan and catholic and the venue has made the decision to not focus gaming on first person shooter games. eSports director for the university, Cory Cahill, stated that scholarships for the competitive video games will be based on merit like a scholarship would be for a traditional sport.
In traditional sports, such as football or basketball, a player would have to show their skill in the game in order to be noticed by colleges in regards to the game. With eSports, it’s the same except players are showing their prowess at a particular video game. According to Cahill, eSports is more than just moving a mouse. There is strategy involved, communication and mental focus. Hours are spent playing the game in order to become skilled, which means eSports is a true sport.
The director has plans for the University to create three teams to take part in the League of Legends game which is a fantasy multiplayer game that features a battle arena. More games will be added to the sport as the number of participants in eSports grows.