Getting paid to play video games is the stuff of childhood dreams. That said, I personally still played Pokémon like it’s my job, regardless of how few paychecks I’m actually getting. As the video gaming medium continues to emerge as a viable spectator sport, though, getting paid to play isn’t as wild a pipe dream as it was, say, 10 years ago. It’s even emerging as a collegiate sport. In fact, if you’re a top-rate Overwatch player, The University of California Irvine (UCI) has some good news for you: They’re now offering an Overwatch scholarship ( via Engadget).
Like Robert Morris University Illinois before it, UCI started offering a League Of Legends scholarship last year, and now it’s expanding its gaming-based scholarships with $2,500 towards tuition fees per year for students who are willing to spend 15 to 20 hours per week practicing, attending team meetings, participating in competitions, and even doing community service. UCI has also said it is going to provide students “professional-grade infrastructure” so they’ll actually be improving their play as well.
The timing of this is pretty good too, considering that Blizzard recently started an official eSports league for Overwatch, so hopefully this new program could serve as a pipeline for high schoolers who are skilled and dedicated enough to turning their video game passion into a real career.
Overwatch is just the latest game to be considered for eSports competition, but what other titles would you like to see given the same treatment? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments below.
Featured image: Blizzard Entertainment