What’s The Value of Esports Scholarships?


What’s The Value of Esports Scholarships?


Esports scholarships. Can you imagine that such a rare beast exists? As it turns out, being paid school money to play video games and represent your team is an actual thing. After all, collegiate sports are a big thing, so why shouldn't esports be as well.

Today, in the United States alone, the University of Utah is one out of some 130 schools that are fielding professional students in video games and offer scholarships for eSport gaming. Thousands of gamers are participating in NACE, the North American Collegiate Esports association and with a scholarship, more talented gamers can get a chance to start a professional career as a gamer.

Winning NACE games is not just about representing your school. It’s about building a professional reputation in a very lucrative sports industry. Until recently, college sports scholarships have mostly been given to the top-performing athletes within traditional sports like soccer or basketball but as the e-Sport industry is growing, some colleges realize they need to change too.

In fact, universities all over the world are joining the e-sport trend. In the United States, several schools are already offering talented gamers to join their so-called 'varsity' programs. These are designed to give talented gamers a chance to focus full time on their gaming without sacrificing their academic career. In the UK, the University of Roehampton has just recently launched its first esports scholarship, being the first one of its kind in the UK. The scholarship is currently worth £1,500 a year but to fully understand these new phenomena we will return to the US where college esports started already in 2010.

How Big is the Scholarship?

Esports scholarships are not usually big, but they are a sufficient incentive to have students enrolled. Plus, just like sports, they are a way to get into college, which can be difficult otherwise. When much of the curriculum is excelling at a video game, you can imagine how this becomes something rather easy.

If you are a mathematician or a linguist, there will certainly be a lot of work to do at a university for example, but so long as you love what you do – results will be a natural consequence of your passion for science.

In this case, we are talking about esports athletes who spend their time in an almost leisurely way and manage to obtain a scholarship. In fact, there are over $15 million distributed in esports scholarships already and the numbers are growing.

Between 2015 and 2018, the amount of such scholarships grew from $10,000 to $20,000, but this is not very likely to be the case for each gamer. In fact, most scholarships will be worth around $3,000 and $5,000. This is not quite enough to actually make it through college, but it's a great start.

Odd jobs can be picked up here and there, and universities offer a very rewarding system of bonuses for successful gamers. So, if you are at Utah and topping the Overwatch game, you will be likely to have your schooling all sorted out for you.

Can You Pursue a Career Past University?

One of the biggest questions, once you are done with your esports education, is – what's next? Many people fear that there is no future, but not according to a recent survey by HitMarketJobs.com. One of the main platforms to track the esports industry – in terms of available jobs – the company claims that you will be able to make a living as an esports professional.

Indeed, the industry has big needs as it is worth over $1.1 billion in 2020. As a result, jobs such as even hosts, social media analysts, big data researchers – if you want to work at HitMarketJobs.com or Newzoo, for example – are all there and they are all worth your while.

There are in fact many jobs you can be doing right now in esports, including broadcasting, consultants, community manager, content writing, customer support, executive positions, frontend developer, social media manager, and specifically things like – head coach, sales & marketing specialist, and more.

The Future's Bright for Esports Fans

All things considered, the future for esports professionals is bright. Starting with an esports scholarship at school is not that crazy of an idea at all. In fact, you can use your passion for video gaming to gain entry into school and then study the subjects you are keen on – whether this is video gaming specifically.

There is a lot of positive overlap between video gaming and designing programs and esports. Many gamers have switched careers, working in the video gaming industry, which is a great career path, especially if you have the background knowledge to know what makes a game interesting. Other talents, including Merlini – a famous Dota 2 player – have completely left the scene as it's too demanding and leaves little time to meet people and start a family, the player said.

The good news out of all of this is that if you want to – you can always apply for an esports scholarship and so long as you have a bit of talent, you will break into some of the most exciting events and gaming competitions around the world.

Then again, do you really want to?