College Sports Meets Video Gaming eSports

Ever wish you could letter in video games? If you attend Robert Morris University in Chicago, you might be the closest yet to do so.

League of Legends will be considered an official school sport (or eSport) just like Basketball or Soccer in the upcoming school year, and this will mark the first school to declare any video game an official school sport.RMU_Esport_LoL_intro_press_graphic

Is the school setting itself ahead by being the first school to offer competitive gaming as a sport, or will it become a joke placing it on par with community college rumors.

As gamers, we will see it the first way, but potentially, admissions could drop. No word yet if this new addition to the roster will place the school in any sort of Major League Gaming or other eSport groups, but it’s potential. League of Legends is becoming the new World of Warcraft gaming obsession and that goes double for competitive gamers.

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Robert Morris University Illinois is pleased to announce the addition of an online sport to its athletic program.  Commonly referred to as eSports, the activity consists of organized video game competitions. Specifically, RMU students will compete in League of Legends, one of the largest and most popular eSport games.    Although eSports have long been a part of the culture of gaming, competitions have seen a large surge in popularity in recent years.  Robert Morris University recognizes the value and legitimacy of eSports and is excited to add eSports to its already rich athletic program.

Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher states, “Robert Morris University 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.”

Robert Morris University is in the process of recruiting students for the first year of competition, beginning with the fall quarter in September, 2014.     RMU will join the Collegiate Star League, made up of 103 institutions of higher learning and compete against other universities including Arizona State, George Washington and Harvard.  Significantly, Robert Morris University is among the first in the nation to offer substantial scholarships for members of the first RMU Varsity eSport League of Legends team.  Qualified gamers can earn scholarships of up to 50% tuition and 50% room and board.

Currently there are over 750 schools in 46 states and eight Canadian provinces that participate in League of Legends High School Starleague (HSL).  Robert Morris University seeks eSport athletes with experience in the HSL or similar for their inaugural competitive season.  Teams in the Collegiate Starleague compete for Riot’s North American Collegiate Championship and $100,000 in scholarship money. Qualification to the event can be obtained through league play or through the North American Collegiate Open tournament.

The RMU eSport Program will be directed by Kurt Melcher of the Eagles’ Athletic Department.  All eSport League of Legends applicants will have their application fee waived.

What do you think of competitive gaming and eSports in schools? Does it have merit, or should it be a hobby?

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Daniel Jauch
Written by
I have a huge passion for games and the excitement of finding what heroes you like to play. I believe in everyone there's a little gamer that wants that adventure and interactivity, so I do what I can to connect people to that inner-hero.

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