Starting in the fall 2017 semester, five incoming Lees-McRae students will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship for their participation in eSports.
An abbreviation for “electronic sports”, the genre includes any and all games played mostly on a computer, but for the incoming freshman class, the scholarships will be for League of Legends or Hearthstone.
League of Legends, first developed by Riot Games in 2007, is a multiplayer online battle arena video game—four of the five students selected to receive the scholarship will be League of Legends athletes.
The fifth student to receive a scholarship will be a Hearthstone athlete.
First published in 2014, Hearthstone is a two-opponent online collectible card game.
Players cast spells or summon creatures to attack their challenger, with the goal to reduce the opponent’s heath to zero.
The scholarship is renewable as long as the student remains enrolled at Lees-McRae, in good academic standing with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and remains actively involved in the Lees-McRae eSports program.
eSports program adviser, Paul “puzzle660” Scherer—as most gamers properly refer to themselves as– said that the scholarship is a way to promote the small, but quickly growing sport.
“It is a way to cultivate more serious players,” Scherer said.
Lees-McRae will be the first school in the southeast region to not only establish competitive gaming as a club sport, but to also offer scholarships for it.
As time goes on, Scherer hopes the scholarship program will not only be able to cover more players, but will also invite funding for new computers, headsets and the like.