Gamers, take note! Private liberal arts institution Kentucky College, a component of the University of Pikeville, has announced that it will be making video games an official sport and offering 20 scholarships to gamers from the autumn.
According to a report by WYMT-TV, the College’s decision makes the University of Pikeville one of the few establishments in the US to provide scholarships to those who play ‘League of Legends’, a multiplayer online battle arena game.
“It’s actually becoming a worldwide trend,” Pikeville’s new Media Director Bruce Parsons told the Associated Press. “This game is five-on-five competitive play. It takes skill, practice and a lot of teamwork.”
Parsons added that the school is focussed on providing its students with the highest quality of cutting-edge technology.
“I think there are going to be a lot of students, both nationwide and international, who are going to look at our University and wouldn’t have before,” Parsons said of the relatively small Pikeville.
Not only will students be able to play video games; they will also be coached in their technique. Graduate Eric VanHoose confirmed that he is ready to coach the College’s gamers, describing the goal of the game as competing “to try and get to the other person’s base.”
Parsons described the proposed regime as being “a lot like athletics. [Players will] 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.”
At least one other US institution- Robert Morris University in Chicago- has made ‘League of Legends’ an official sport and currently offers scholarships to gamers.
Additional reporting provided by the Associated Press.