Playing video games might sound like the most unlikely way to pull a college scholarship, but an increasing number of students are doing just that: Scoring a college education because of their gaming skills.
E-sports (the term used for competitive gaming) while long a major mainstream sport in China and Korea, has recently become more popular across the US and Europe. To get a sense how just how many people are watching e-sports, one need look no further than the 2017 League of Legends championship, which had over 106.2 million viewers— more than the 2019 Super Bowl..
Some estimate gaming will be a $1.67 billion industry by 2021. And steady stream of universities are trying to tap into that market.
According to the National Association of Collegiate E-sports, over 3,000 college students currently compete among 130 different teams. Since NACE formed in 2016, it estimates that schools have dished out over $15 million in scholarship aid to e-sports players.
And the field just keeps growing. It’s expected that there will be around 150 national college e-sports programs by 2020, which means even more opportunities to get a free ride from playing games. See more at Insider.