University gives scholarships for sports that don’t require Nike sneakers

That would be Northwest Christian University. The RG’s Austin Meeks has the esports story here:

Talking to Jacob Gates is like talking to any other student-athlete preparing to enter college on a sports scholarship.

Gates, a 2018 Sheldon High graduate, wanted to attend Northwest Christian but wasn’t sure he could afford tuition at the private school. Fortunately, the school’s athletic department was offering scholarships to play a game Gates knew and loved.

Gates spent hours training by himself, practicing his aim and honing his skills in hopes of landing a spot on the team. This fall, he’ll reap the rewards as one of NCU’s newest scholarship student-athletes.

Here’s the twist: Gates’ sport is a video game.

Naturally the NCAA cartel is trying to figure out how to get their cut:

Overwatch, the game NCU will introduce in the fall, has more than 30 million players worldwide, according to the website Esports Charts. Looking at the exponential growth of online gaming, it’s easy to see why some experts are saying it’s only a matter of time before esports are sanctioned by the NCAA.

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2 Responses to University gives scholarships for sports that don’t require Nike sneakers

  1. Birdy says:

    Two wrinkles:

    (1) No one owns baseball, but League of Legends is owned by a Riot Games. They can change the rules or scrap the game entirely without any input from the NCAA. Also, the life-cycle of these games is usually quite short in terms of popularity. It’s a recruitment tool (“Gates is hardly getting a full-ride, but the scholarship money is enough to make his tuition affordable.”). How much money are schools going to pay out in scholarships for a game that may not exist by the time the student reaches campus?

    (2) How do you enforce amateurism in e-sports? If people will pay the U to watch students play a game, what prevents the team from just streaming it on Twitch and pocketing the money themselves? If the money is good enough to attract the NCAA, then won’t it be good enough to compensate the player for a lost scholarship? You don’t need a stadium to play Fortnite…

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  2. bled to death, monthly says:

    “eSports” LOL. Can’t get wedgies if there’s no locker room, right fellas?
    “it’s only a matter of time before esports are sanctioned by the NCAA” …who cares what the NCAA thinks?
    “what prevents the team from just streaming it on Twitch and pocketing the money themselves” Nothing, and God bless them. Eliminate the middle man, own as much of the means of production (and marketing, and distribution, etc) as possible! GET SOME!

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