Move over, college athletes! A new type of athlete is entering into the world of college recruiting, benefits and scholarships: video gamers.
According to The Verge, Robert Morris University in Illinois has recently become the first university to officially add video gaming as a sport in its athletic department. Actually, the university has only added one video game to its list of athletics, the game “League of Legends.”
This new, surprising sport brings with it everything that a traditional college athletic event could offer. Robert Morris and the video game coaches will now begin to recruit high school “athletes” to participate in the physically rigorous video gaming sport.
Athletic scholarships will even be offered to the recruited video gamers. The Verge claims that universities will be able to offer up to 50 percent of their tuition in scholarships.
Robert Morris University says that it “recognize[s] the legitimacy and value of e-sports.” The “League of Legends” game is “a competitive challenging game which requires significant amount of team work to be successful.”
Currently, the university is recruiting 27 students to field three teams of nine people to compete in the North American Collegiate Championships with a prize of $100,000 in scholarships.
This new college athletic event will certainly bring in many fans and viewers to cheer Robert Morris University to victory. But, more importantly, the addition of video gaming to the athletic department will ensure that the age-old debate over the difference between sports and games will continue.