Illinois College Becomes First School To Offer Athletic Scholarships To Gamers

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Well, this is quite an interesting first…

The world of gaming is very akin to the world of sports–competition, leagues, ambidextrousness(?) but now the barriers between the two worlds have been brought down. The geeks have literally turned into the jocks, at least at Robert Morris University in Illinois, that’s been made true.

Robert Morris University-Illinois, a 7,000-student private institution with its main campus in Chicago, announced this month that it would incorporate eSports – organized video-game competitions – into its athletic program. Starting in September, League of Legends players will join hockey goalies, quarterbacks and point guards as varsity athletes at the Chicago campus. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The university plans to offer between 45 and 50 athletic scholarships to incoming gamers, said Kurt Melcher, the university’s associate athletic director. The scholarships will pay for 50 percent of tuition and 50 percent of room and board for members of the League of Legends team.

This is one small step for geeks, one giant leap for geek-kind. Believe it. Soon quarterbacks and campus basketball phenoms will be sharing the same halls as the types of kids they once stuffed into lockers.

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