University Makes the Video Game League of Legends a Varsity Sport with Athletic Scholarships

(Photo: pinguino k)

League of Legends is a hugely popular multiplayer online combat game. Many people do not just play, but play so well that they win tournaments for that game. League of Legends has become so intensely competitive that Robert Morris University-Illinois, a college in Chicago, thinks that it can be called a sport. That's why that college is designating its League of Legends team a varsity sport and is offering team members athletic scholarships. Inside Higher Ed reports:

Starting in September, League of Legends players will join hockey goalies, quarterbacks and point guards as varsity athletes at the Chicago campus. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The university plans to offer between 45 and 50 athletic scholarships to incoming gamers, said Kurt Melcher, the university’s associate athletic director. The scholarships will pay for 50 percent of tuition and 50 percent of room and board for members of the League of Legends team.

The gamers will be treated like other varsity athletes, Melcher said. They’ll have uniforms, regular practice sessions and postgame meals. Students who need it will also receive tutoring support from RMU’s athletic department.

The League of Legends team will compete in the Collegiate Star League, an eSports league that includes teams from institutions like Harvard, MIT, and the University of California at Berkeley, the athletics official said.

-via Christine Ramsey

Can a video game be legitimately called a sport?

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