For a really long time now, gaming has been considered as an unhealthy and unproductive hobby that is only liked by people who aren’t productive and functional members of society, but this perception about gaming has started to change over the past few years rapidly. Society has finally accepted gaming as a hobby, and now more and more people are attracted to the practice, a steady yet rapid progress in technological improvements has allowed developers to create increasingly realistic games that provide people with endless amounts of fun.
eSports have also become quite popular, and people have started to take them quite seriously, several international eSports events have already taken place, and now the next big step in eSports is that colleges and educational institutions are starting to accept eSports as a legitimate form of sports. A number of universities have begun handing out eSports scholarships and are treating eSports athletes as traditional athletes now.
The concept is still pretty new, and there’s a lot of debate going on about it, but it’s certainly a big step forward for the eSports industry since people now have a chance of getting financial aid based on their ability to game. The very first university to accept eSports as a legitimate sport and hand out eSports scholarships was the Robert Morris University, in 2014 they gave out 35 eSports scholarships of two tiers, the first tier covering 35% of the university’s tuition and the second tier covering 70% of the university’s tuition.
Ever since then many other universities have started to follow Robert Morris’s example and have begun handing out eSports scholarships of all kinds, some universities have even collaborated with companies like Riot and iBUYPOWER who are actively involved in the eSports industry, providing universities with funding and helping them create gaming arenas where eSports athletes can game and hone their skills.
While there are still people out there who think that eSports is a ridiculous idea, it’s fairly obvious that eSports has become a part of modern sports and it’s going to stick around for quite a while. Gaming companies and many other parties are always working on further developing the concept, games like Counter-Strike and League of Legends are especially related with eSports. Studies show that students from universities that have eSports teams support their teams and feel proud whenever their eSporting teams win in a competition.
There’s also a rise in gaming clubs being formed in educational institutions, many universities have even started to accept students on the basis of eSports. These clubs consist of casual gamers looking for gaming communities to join for fun and also serious members who form teams to participate in professional eSports tournaments. Some universities encourage the development of such clubs and even provide them with their support. However, there are still universities out there that don’t consider gaming as a sport and are still reluctant in encouraging the concept of eSports.
Regardless of what some people think and some people don’t, the idea of eSports is rapidly developing into a fully-fledged culture that is steadily being adopted by more and more people from younger generations, and as this industry grows, many educational institutions all over the world are actively participating in turning eSports in a legitimate and socially acceptable practice.