If you like playing video games (and have dreams of moving to Kentucky?), the University of Pikeville has quite the deal for you.
The Kentuckian private liberal arts college just made video games an official sport on its campus, and they're dishing out 20 gaming scholarships to students this fall. But don't get too excited yet, because just being good at Halo and Smash Bros. won't get you in—there's a specific game that Pikeville is putting their hopes on. That game is the multiplayer online battle arena title League of Legends, which pits teams of five on five against each other using armies of mythical creatures for their battles.
"It will be a regime a lot like athletics," Bruce Parsons, Pikeville's new media director, told Yahoo! "They'll have to have a certain GPA. We'll look at them like student athletes. There will be practice time and video time when they have to study other teams for upcoming competitions."
The recruits will be coached by graduate Eric VanHoose, a self-described "lifelong gamer." Pikeville joins Robert Morris University as only the second school to offer scholarships for Legends players and recognize it as a varsity sport. (Robert Morris has a classroom fitted with more than a $100,000 worth of computers and an expansive video screen for its team.) The team will compete in the Collegiate Star League, along with the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, the University of Denver, and 230 other universities and colleges who have teams in the league.
“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,” said Pikeville President Dr. James L. Hurley.
Here's a taste of what the team will be getting into: