Esports in US Colleges: What You Need to Know

Remember thetimes when your mother shouted at you to turn off your computersaying “Games won’t make you money”? Well, that didn’t agewell.

eSports nowadaysis a huge industry where professionals can earn a lot of money. Infact, it is so big that some universities have decided to includeeSports as a degree.

ProfessionaleSports is no joke. You cannot expect to play your favorite gamescasually and become a Champion in eSports tournaments. It requiresmentorship, skill, talent, hard work, practice, building a team, andmuch more.

In the pastcouple of years, we have seen more and more US colleges that includeeSports in their programs. Whether it is an optional course or anentire degree. So, what would an eSports career bring and is choosingan eSports college a good idea?

Let’s divedeeper into this subject and find out.

The Rise of Collegiate Esports

Since the dawn ofthe first esports scholarship at RobertMorris University in 2014, the landscape of collegiateesports has evolved at breakneck speed. Fast forward to 2023, and wefind an ecosystem teeming with talent, ambition, and, yes, a touch ofnerdiness.

Schools acrossthe nation, such as Northwood University and Fisher College, areleading the charge, boasting accomplishments that would make eventraditional sports teams green with envy.

Northwood, forinstance, has been a juggernaut across multiple titles, includingLeague of Legends, Overwatch, and VALORANT, to name a few. Theirprowess isn't confined to national borders; they've strutted theirstuff on the global stage, too, winning the Red Bull Campus Clutch inBrazil.

The Big Players

When we talkabout the big leagues of collegiate esports, certain names resonatelouder than a gaming headset at max volume.

The NationalAssociation of Collegiate Esports (NACE) and the EsportsCollegiate Conference (ESC) are two such entities, orchestratingcompetitions that draw in the cream of the collegiate gaming crop.

The ESC, inparticular, has been a battleground for schools across seven states,featuring titles like Rocket League and Overwatch 2.

There are eSportsarenas that attract more visitors than NCAA football stadiums,according to ClutchBuzz list of bigger NCAA venues.

What's the Big Deal?

You might wonder,"Why all the fuss about esports in colleges?" Well, beyondthe thrill of competition and the glory of victory, esports offerstangible benefits.

Scholarships, forone, are a significant draw, with millions of dollars in esportsscholarships and aid being dished out to student-athletes. Thisfinancial support not only enables students to pursue highereducation but also fosters a culture of competitiveness andexcellence.

The Games That Rule the Roost

The esportstitles featured in collegiate competitions read like a "Who'sWho" of the gaming world. Not every game is fit for the eSportsscene. The game that usually thrives requires complex skills,competitiveness, and teamwork in order to succeed.

League ofLegends, Overwatch, Rocket League, VALORANT, CS:GO, and even thestrategic complexities of Rainbow Six Siege are just the tipof the iceberg.

These gamesdemand not only lightning-fast reflexes and strategic depth but alsoa level of teamwork that rivals any sports team.

Beyond the Game

What's equallyimpressive is how collegiate esports transcends the boundaries ofmere gaming. These programs offer students a path to develop valuableskills in leadership, communication, and strategic thinking.

Moreover, theyopen doors to careers in the burgeoning esports industry, which isnot just limited to being a pro gamer but also spans roles in eventmanagement, marketing, and game development.

FAQs in the Collegiate Esports Realm

Q: Can esportsreally be considered a sport?

A: With teamwork,competition, strategy, and physical and mental challenges, esportsshares many parallels with traditional sports. Plus, if chess can beconsidered a sport, why not esports?

Q: Are esportsscholarships a thing?

A: Absolutely!With over $16 million in esports scholarships and aid, gaming canindeed pay for your education.

Q: What's thefuture of collegiate esports?

A: Brighter thanthe screen of a gamer at 3 AM. With increasing recognition andinvestment, the trajectory is set for growth, inclusivity, and evenmore competitive excitement.

Final Words

So, if you havesome talent for games, and like playing it competitively, maybechoosing an eSports college is a good idea. Of course, it comes downto personal preference, but one thing is for sure.

The eSportsindustry will continue to grow in the future and many more eSportsopportunities will start to emerge. It shouldn’t surprise us wheneSports starts surpassing some of the traditional sports, we all knowand love today in popularity.

So, career-wiseit might be a good decision since the global eSports market ispredicted to reach$13 billion by 2025.

But remember, noteveryone is meant to become an eSports player, but there is no harmin trying out yourself and checking whether or not you have theskills and talent for the job.

Photo credits: Photo by Sean Do on Unsplash