Robert Morris University Illinois announced earlier this month that it will become the first university to offer gaming scholarships, following the addition of online gaming to its athletic program. Specifically, RMU students will be able to compete in League of Legends, a wildly popular online arena game with over one hundred different characters from which to choose.
While competitive online gaming, or eSports, are a long-standing tradition within the video gaming community, the recent rise in popularity over the last several years has not gone unnoticed. Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher says that "[RMU] has always been at the forefront of providing opportunities for a diverse student population with different interests and skills. League of Legends is a competitive, challenging game which requires significant amount of teamwork to be successful."
The university is in the process of recruiting students for the first year of competition, beginning the fall semester of September 2014. RMU will join the Collegiate Star League, made up of 103 colleges and universities across the country, including Arizona State, George Washington, and Harvard.
That's right: Harvard.
RMU is one of the first schools to offer scholarshsips for members of the RMU Varsity eSport League of Legends team, with students being able to earn up to 50% tuition and 50% room and board.
Currently, over 750 schools across 46 states and eight Canadian provinces participate in the Leauge of Legends High School Star League, and it is there that RMU is seeking experienced e-Athletes.
Teams in the Collegiate Star League compete for Riot's North American Collegiate Championship and $100,000 in scholarships. Qualification to the event can be obtained through league play or through the North American Collegiate Open tournament.
For more information, inquiries can be sent to Kurt Melcher, program director at the RMU Eagles' Atheltic Department: