WATCH | The University of California, Irvine (UCI) has recruited an official League of Legends team to represent the campus in collegiate competitions.
The university has given scholarships worth $15,000 to 11 players, allowing them to pursue both a higher education and an opportunity to advance their gaming careers in the collegiate setting.
While many universities have student-led organizations that compete nationwide, UCI is the first public university to have a program officially backed by campus administration, providing an edge over other competitors.
Players practice everyday, much like traditional college sports, and must stay in good academic standing to continue their endeavors.
There is even an official arena where the players are stationed, with areas open to the public as well for usage, at the cost of $4 an hour to use one of the 80 high-end PC's.
UCI's gaming community, already well-established on campus, has helped to attract many sponsors to the program, such as iBuyPower and Logitech. These attributed have contributed to the success of the launch of the program and the arena.
With the backing of administration, those involved aim to widen the sphere of influence of collegiate eSports, extending to those outside the community in particular. For example, departmental, eSports-specific research has already been in motion, as a result of the program.
UCI eSports hopes to expand its teams, and scholarships, to other games in the near future.