By Jose Lujan
Getting a scholarship playing competitive video games at Alderson Broaddus University is closer than you might think.
AB recently created an e-sport organization with a group of students sharing their interests for different videogames and competing between them. Although AB does not currently offer a scholarship, it wouldn’t be out of the question.
This already happens in other universities in the U.S., such as Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania, where they get a big portion, if not a full-ride, by playing video games competitively. Also, because it is not related to NCAA rules yet, students can earn tournament prices that, depending on the game, can surpass $1 million.
“It’s not really a sport” and “It’s not the same as a football player” were typical comments students made at Ashland University when they were interviewed by the New York Post about this topic. But the members in the team dress up, get together to practice, have a coach and require demanding focus and quick response time, so why is competitive gaming not as valid as any other sport?
“It would be relevant,” Jakob Henriksen, goalkeeper and captain of the AB soccer team said. “It’s the fastest growing sport in the world. Especially now with COVID,” Henriksen said.
According to influencermarketinghub.com, e-sports awareness has increased in the last five years from less than a million to over 1 billion, and since the outbreak of the pandemic, numbers have increased significantly in the past few months too.
A different way of competition in AB gives more freedom of choice. It could be a strong recruitment call, especially for younger generations who dedicate a lot of time playing video games.
Adapting to the new changes, and making important decisions when a new era is coming is key to determine the improving or downfall of any institution. Let’s hope AB makes the right call.