Last week, Robert Morris University in Chicago announced the addition of online sports to its athletics program, and will also offer "gaming" scholarships to qualified students.
RMU students will compete in League of Legends, one of the world's most popular online video games. The firm behind LoL, California-based Riot Games, says over 67 million people play League of Legends every month.
According to a RMU press statement, over 750 schools in 46 states and eight Canadian provinces take part in a League of Legends high school league. And starting this autumn, Robert Morris will be joining the so-called Collegiate Star League, which is made up of over 100 colleges and universities including Harvard, Arizona State and George Washington.
Teams in the Collegiate Star League compete for Riot Games' North American Collegiate Championship -- as well as $100,000 in scholarship funds -- so RMU has decided to treat its top-level, competitive e-gamers like hard-core college athletes.
The university is offering students who make the school's varsity eSport League of Legends team scholarships of up to half their tuition and half of their room and board. And financially, that's not bad at all, when you consider the school lists its 2014-2015 full-time undergraduate tuition fees as $7,900 per quarter, with housing for the year coming in at around $14,400.
"Robert Morris University has always been at the forefront of providing opportunities for a diverse student population with different interests and skills," said RMU Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher, who will also direct the school's eSport program.
"League of Legends is a competitive, challenging game," he added, "which requires significant amount of teamwork to be successful."
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