Kentucky University Offers League of Legends Scholarships

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League of Legends face-off As if the availability of Dota 2 courses at Chinese universities wasn’t indicative enough of how popular MOBAs have become, the League of Legends scholarships being offered by the University of Pikeville in Kentucky might very well suggest we are dealing with a new pop culture phenomena. A private liberal arts college, the University of Pikeville has at “at least 20 scholarships” that it wants to give out to League of Legends players that want to pursue “conventional” education with them. Given that League of Legends is part of the eSports scenes, these students will be treated like other student athletes. “They’ll have to have a certain GPA. We’ll look at them like student athletes. There will be practice time and video time when they have to study other teams for upcoming competitions,” University of Pikeville media director Bruce Parsons said in a statement. ALSO READ: Dota 2 is Being Taught in Schools Around China The University of Pikeville is actually not the first North American college to offer a scholarship for eSports. In 2014, Chicago’s Robert Morris University offered a scholarship for competitive gaming and gave its e-sports team their own facility to practice. With eSports on the rise, these scholarships will likely be joined by others in the coming years. Last year, the Dota 2 International was televised on the lesser ESPN networks, a potentially lucrative opportunity for an increasing number of universities in danger of losing control over their traditional revenue-generating sports programs. The 2014 International had a prize pool of $10 million, an amount that is expected to increase in 2015. League of Legends is basking in popularity. In January 2014, it was estimated that 27 million gamers played the game each day and over 67 million put in some hours each month. More than 7.5 million played during peak hours. Do you play League of Legends? If so, would a college offering a League of Legends scholarship make you want to attend that college even more? Let us know in the comments.

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