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Second U.S. School to Offer Athletic Scholarships to Gamers

leagueoflegendsscholarshipWhile purists are still trying to accept Robert Morris University’s decision to offer scholarships to video gamers, another school has decided to do exactly the same thing.

Expect another round of dismay and criticism from old-school sports fans as the University of Pikeville in Kentucky, a small liberal arts school in the eastern section of the state, begins to offer scholarships for talented gamers in the fall of 2015.

Like the scholarship at the Chicago-based Robert Morris, the University of Pikesville will offer athletic scholarships to those who excel at playing League of Legends, the most popular online video game in the world, with 27 million players worldwide every day.

A spokesman for the University of Pikeville told Forbes the game is “a worldwide trend…it takes skill, practice and a lot of teamwork.”

The school also expects to weather the sort of criticism that was leveled at Robert Morris. Kurt Melcher, associate athletic director at Robert Morris, said the people who get upset are like a “middle-aged dude sitting in his La-Z-Boy watching NFL on weekends, going, ‘What? That’s not a sport!’ while he has a six-pack of beer and Cheetos. It challenges him in some weird way. Because it’s new.”

The Details of the Scholarship

The University of Pikesville plans to offer 20 scholarships to gamers beginning in the fall of 2015. The scholarships will cover about half of the private school’s costs. To qualify, students will be judged on GPA, work ethic and gaming ability.

Those who get the scholarship – which is open to male and female students – will play for a University of Pikesville Bears team that will send a team to compete in the Collegiate Star League, a League of Legends division which is open to accredited North American colleges. About 230 universities participate, but none of them are offering scholarships to players other than Robert Morris and University of Pikesville.

For those unfamiliar with the game, League of Legends involves two teams of five players each who compete against each other in a virtual arena.

In a news release announcing the scholarship, University of Pikesville President Dr. James L. Hurley said, “In our research and interaction with gamers at this level, we learned that they are extremely competitive, but also hard workers, valuable team members and quite often have a high level of aptitude in using technology. In addition to being good gamers, they will be good students and will bring an exciting new dynamic to our campus.”

iFame Media provided this article on behalf of Fun Crew USA, the top source for water slide rentals and obstacle course rentals in Central Florida.

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