Playing video games isn’t a waste of time–in fact, it can open doors to college scholarships and lucrative careers. Esports–multiplayer video games played competitively in front of spectators–is skyrocketing in popularity.
Colleges are offering scholarships for esports athletes who join a collegiate esports program. This increased competition for student gamers means students are looking for schools with great academics and top-level resources and equipment.
Esports is surging in popularity, with the overall market expected to reach nearly $2.2 billion by 2023.
Colleges and universities are recruiting esports athletes, along with those in support roles such as IT and business management, left and right. Along with the growing demand for esports comes the need for modern esports facilities designed to handle the infrastructure needs such programs demand.
As collegiate esports expands, here are some of the latest and most important developments to keep in mind:
1. There are detailed rankings for collegiate esports. Miami University was one of the first top-ranked institutions in the U.S. to launch a varsity esports program. In 2017, the school’s varsity Overwatch team took first place in the National Association of Collegiate Esports Overwatch season. Coming in second, UC Irvine was the first public university to create an official esports program. The school viewed an esports program as both a practical extension of its successful computer game science major and the thriving gaming community.