As the scope and popularity of esports expand, universities are developing intramural and varsity programmes to allow students to play in top events. While many programmes are still in their infancy, a few have already established themselves as prime destinations for individuals looking to go from amateur to professional.
In reality, Robert Morris University began giving scholarships to gamers in 2014 in order to assist the university to develop a competitive eSports team. Many universities have now followed suit.Scholarships for eSports have ranged from $20,000 to $2,000-$5,000 in value.
The National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE) is attempting to bring collegiate eSports under the same umbrella that the NCAA does for college athletics.NACE now comprises 57 different schools with varsity-level eSportsprogrammes.
That means that if you are a competitive gamer who is about to start college, you have a plethora of various alternatives available to you that will allow you to pursue higher education while also assisting you in taking your gaming career to the next level.
Based on team talent, financial options, and student support, the top ten colleges with collegiate esportsprogrammes are listed below-
1. California State University, Irvine
- 1. California State University, Irvine
- 2. The University of Miami
- 3. Michigan State University
- 4. Maryville University
- 5. Idaho State University
- 6. Robert Morris University
- 7. Harrisburg University
- 8. Winthrop University
- 9. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- The University of Utah was not one of the first colleges to provide an eSportsprogramme, but they were one of the first major universities to offer varsity eSports. Utah’s programme began in the autumn of 2017, and it now provides half scholarships. Their programme is presently available to League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Rocket League clubs.
- 10. University of Toronto
UC Irvine was the first public institution to establish an esportsprogramme, with teams competing in League of Legends, Overwatch, and Super Smash Bros. Its teams are well-known, having won the 2018 College League of Legends and playing in the first Fiesta Bowl Overwatch National Championships. Academic scholarships are offered to athletes, as is a support structure that includes coaches. Furthermore, UCI attempts to link its players with internships and employment in the gaming and esports industries, hosting events, panel discussions, and offering networking opportunities for students and local gamers.
2. The University of Miami
The esportsprogramme, located in Ohio, was formed in 2015 as the first national D1 varsity squad. It has varsity teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, and Rocket League, as well as junior varsity teams in Call of Duty and Valorant. All clubs have a slew of awards, making it an appealing choice for athletes looking to break into the professional ranks. The school also provides classes in gaming, design, and new technologies, providing students with the opportunity to pursue a career in the business outside of the competitive arena, and those who play on a varsity team at Miami have scholarship possibilities.
3. Michigan State University
Michigan State University offers a comprehensive esportsprogramme to its students, including a variety of recreational and competitive teams. Competitive teams play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, League of Legends, Rainbow Six: Siege, Real-Time Strategy, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Valorant. While many competitive teams have casual counterparts, digital collectable card games, fighting games, Halo, Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, and rhythm games are examples of games with exclusively casual options. MSU also provides broadcasting and leadership opportunities for students who aren’t gamers, providing them with the experience they need to pursue a career in esports outside of the competitive arena.
4. Maryville University
Maryville University has swiftly become the most well-known brand in collegiate eSports after winning the League of Legends title at Dreamhack in 2016 and the League of Legends Collegiate Championship the year before. Their eSportsprogramme began in 2015, and they were among the first universities to provide eSports scholarships.
Varsity and Community Club are the two categories of the MU esportsprogramme. The varsity programme develops elite collegiate talent from all around the world, including a three-time National Champion League of Legends team and a top-four nationally ranked Overwatch squad. The Overwatch squad won the Overwatch Collegiate Championship in April. To gain a position on the varsity team, players must try out. The Community Club is for students who wish to play CS: GO, Hearthstone, Rainbow Six Siege, and Rocket League in a competitive yet pleasant setting.
To learn more about Maryville University’s eSportsprogramme, contact Jarrett Fleming at email@example.com.
5. Idaho State University
Competitive esports is a sanctioned varsity activity at Boise State for undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Idaho’s esports department competes in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) with teams participating in League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Valorant. EsportsU, a free two-week stay-at-home summer programme for high school gamers, is also held there. EsportsU educates participants to different occupations in the gaming business and assists students in charting an academic path that will enable them to accomplish professional objectives in the area.
6. Robert Morris University
In 2014, Robert Morris University became the first institution in the US to provide scholarships to League of Legends players, establishing the school’s varsity eSportsprogramme. RMU has grown into a powerhouse by becoming one of the first to accept eSports as a varsity programme. They now compete in a variety of titles such as League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and DOTA2.
Thanks to sponsors like iBuyPower, ASUS, Cooler Master, and DXRacer, their gaming facilities are also top-notch (they make computer chairs for gaming.) Students interested in participating in the Robert Morris University eSportsprogramme should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RMU’s esportsprogramme is one of the most active in the country, with teams participating in the majority of popular video game titles such as League of Legends, Rocket League, Hearthstone, Madden, Overwatch, Call of Duty, CS: GO, Rainbow Six Siege, Super Smash Bros., and Valorant. The school was one of the first in the country to start a varsity esportsprogramme, and it provides its player’s scholarships worth up to 50% of tuition and 50% of the room and board each year.
7. Harrisburg University
Interestingly, Harrisburg’s esportsprogramme is the university’s first and only varsity sport. The programme, known as the Harrisburg University Storm features teams for League of Legends, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. Students who make the varsity squad get full academic scholarships and a housing allowance, as well as the opportunity to compete for prize pools of up to $50,000.
8. Winthrop University
Winthrop University’s varsity esportsprogramme debuted in the autumn of 2019 and has already established itself as a prominent location for students interested in pursuing a career in gaming. It has varsity League of Legends and Rocket League teams, and it just won its first national title in the 2021 Rocket League tournament on May 2.
9. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
The University of Utah was not one of the first colleges to provide an eSportsprogramme, but they were one of the first major universities to offer varsity eSports. Utah’s programme began in the autumn of 2017, and it now provides half scholarships. Their programme is presently available to League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Rocket League clubs.
10. University of Toronto
University of Toronto esports serves as a nexus for all gaming communities and esports teams on campus. League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Melee, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are among the teams (CS: GO). Several esports leagues, including FIFA, NBA2K, and NHL, are sponsored by the UTSC Athletics and Recreation Department. The team generally plays in local competitions such as the Ontario Esports League, the Collegiate Star League, and relevant internet tournaments.