Rise Of Esports Scholarships And Training

Rise Of Esports Scholarships And Training

As competitive video gaming known as esports grows exponentially in popularity, colleges and universities are taking notice. Schools across the country are now offering scholarships and training programs tailored to elite gamers. 

This represents a new world of opportunity for students to pursue their gaming passions at the varsity level.

What Are Esports Scholarships?

Esports scholarships extend beyond popular titles like League of Legends, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike, encompassing diverse gaming genres. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 enthusiasts can also unlock opportunities for academic funding and housing support. 

Just as a skilled player in traditional sports secures a scholarship, mastering the intricacies of Call of Duty Black Ops 2 can open doors to educational benefits. Meeting academic standards remains crucial, but showcasing your prowess in this iconic game can be a game-changer for securing an esports scholarship. 

Consider integrating these lines at the end of your content to emphasize the inclusivity of esports scholarships across various gaming domains.

How Do Esports Scholarships Differ From Traditional Sports Scholarships?

While esports scholarships share similarities with scholarships for traditional sports, there are some key differences to note:

  • No physical exertion required – esports are all about mental agility, strategy, and quick reflexes. You won’t work up a sweat gaming like you would on the football field.
  • More games to master – Athletes usually specialize in a single sport like basketball or tennis. Aspiring esports stars need to be skilled at multiple games since colleges have teams for various titles.
  • Shorter career lifespan – The peak competitive years for esports players are typically earlier than traditional athletes. Reaction times slow down after the early to mid 20s.
  • Gender equality – Esports tend to be much more inclusive to female players, with coed teams and scholarships available. Other sports still struggle with gender gaps.

Which Universities Offer Esports Scholarships?

Competitive gaming and esports have become so popular that colleges and universities now offer scholarships for talented players. Top schools like the University of Utah, Stephens College, and Ohio State University have founded varsity esports programs. 

They recruit elite gamers by providing scholarships for games like League of Legends, Overwatch, and even Call of Duty. The University of California, Irvine even offers scholarships for Call of Duty coop campaigns players who exhibit teamwork and collaborative skills. 

These coop campaigns help build strategic thinking and communication abilities applicable across academic programs. Esports scholarships allow skilled gamers to pursue higher education opportunities.

What Games Are Typically Included In Esports Scholarship Programs?

League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and Hearthstone are popular games that college teams compete in and offer scholarships for. But some niche games like Rocket League, SMITE, Rainbow Six Siege, and even EA Sports titles like Madden may be part of a school’s esports lineup as well.

Aspiring scholarship recipients will want to polish up on the big esports titles, but having skills across multiple games is ideal to appeal to more schools. Becoming known in the gaming community for mastering a certain title can also help players stand out.

How Do Esports Training Programs Complement Scholarships?

Along with scholarships, some forward-thinking colleges have created esports training facilities and programs to develop students’ competitive skills.

The University of Utah, a pioneering school for esports, offers an in-depth varsity esports program to help hone players’ abilities in gaming strategy, teamwork, and handling high-pressure situations. This provides a more rigorous training environment similar to what traditional college athletes receive.

Degree programs in esports management are also popping up, teaching the business side of competitive gaming. This education prepares students for roles in marketing, coaching, team management, and event production.

Related Finding The Right Education Path

Are Esports Scholarships Only For Aspiring Professional Gamers?

While some students will certainly set their sights on a pro esports career, others are hobbyists who simply want to keep gaming competitively during college. Esports scholarships give passionate gamers an avenue to gain financial assistance for school based on their hobby.

For those who do aim to go pro, a college esports program can provide structure, training, and exposure to help them achieve this goal. But plenty of recreational players have earned esports scholarships simply for their love of gaming, not aspirations for fame and fortune.

What Academic Requirements Are Needed To Qualify For Esports Scholarships?

To earn an esports scholarship, students will still need to meet baseline academic qualifications like maintaining a minimum GPA and scoring well on standardized tests. While competitive gaming skills opens doors, grades and scores still matter to garner a scholarship offer.

Experience in student gaming clubs like PlayVS or participation in competitions like DreamHack are also useful on scholarship applications. This shows a dedication to esports beyond just recreational play. Having existing skills in team collaboration and communication are also viewed favorably.

But perhaps most importantly, students need to convey through essays and interviews how their passion for gaming will translate into positive contributions on campus. Colleges want to see maturity and leadership potential beyond just playtime hours racked up.


The emergence of esports in higher education provides new opportunities for passionate gamers to gain scholarships and structured training. As gaming continues growing into a mainstream activity, forward-looking colleges aim to support this enthusiasm through tailored programs. 

For talented players who dream of going pro or working in the gaming industry, varsity esports can help make those aspirations a reality. The rise of esports scholarships and training cements gaming as a legitimate skill to nurture for the digital generation. Colleges are embracing competitive video gaming and recognizing it as a beneficial part of campus life and learning.