The MMORPG League of Legends is now on the list of recreational activities that are also considered legitimate college sports.
Robert Morris University, a private school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, announced that they are adding the acclaimed online video game to their Illinois Eagles’ athletic program. They are even offering scholarships to gamers who are good enough to compete in tournaments and competitions that would cut their tuition and room and board in half if they decide to enroll at RMU. We’re assuming that the “cutting” will be done with a set of lightning claws.
This might sound like a ramped up, after-school activity but it’s actually being treated just like any other sports program on campus. Players who join the team will undergo rigorous practicing and coaching with full staff support, receive additional tutoring to help them maintain their grade point average and compete as part of the Collegiate Star League. Right now, there are 103 teams from schools all across the country competing in League of Legends tournaments but RMU is the first to offer actual scholarships to their digital athletes for training and participating in the video game competitions.
This has to be a momentous step not just for the acceptance of competitive gaming as a legitimate sport but also for college athletics. Just think of it. There could come a time when digital athletes realize that they aren’t getting fully compensated for the carpal tunnel syndrome that they’ll later develop in life from spending all that time practicing and competing and decide that they need to form a union of their own.