Partly Cloudy
86°FPartly CloudyFull Forecast

Ka-ching! Scholarships for slaying video game foes

Published: Saturday, June 21, 2014 12:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, June 21, 2014 12:20 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP file photo)
FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2013, file photo, members of South Korea's SK Telecom T1 team celebrate with their trophy after defeating China's Royal Club at the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship Final in Los Angeles. Robert Morris University Illinois, a small private university in Chicago, is offering hefty scholarships for players of League of Legends, which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions. The university said it recognizes the growing legitimacy of what are known as "eSports." Starting this fall, the scholarships will cover up to 50 percent of tuition and 50 percent of room and board. That's worth up to $19,000 per student.

CHICAGO – Note to parents: All those hours your kids spend blazing a trail of destruction in video games may not be a complete waste of time after all.

A small private university in Chicago is offering hefty scholarships for players of one game in particular, League of Legends, which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions.

Robert Morris University Illinois announced its new program this month and said it recognizes the growing legitimacy of what are known as “eSports.” The school said it also wants to give credit to those with a competitive spirit who don’t necessarily want to play traditional sports such as basketball or football.

Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher, who will be in charge of the school’s new varsity eSports program, said Friday that he expected a certain amount of surprise and attention, but was surprised by just how much feedback he’s getting.

Melcher said League of Legends is a competitive game that demands team strategy and mental prowess, and spending money to recruit the best will deliver the types of committed students who are drawn by scholarships for traditional sports. The school is even hiring a coach for its team.

Starting this fall, the scholarships will cover up to 50 percent of tuition and 50 percent of room and board. That’s worth up to $19,000 per student. Robert Morris said it is among the first in the nation to offer such substantial scholarships of this type.

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Northwest Herald.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Reader Poll

Have you participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?
Yes
No