See, mom? All that video game playing is worth something after all.
The University of California, Irvine is launching a first-of-its-kind eSports gaming initiative this fall. The college is building its own state-of-the-art arena with live webcast capabilities. This new space will be home to collegiate League of Legends competitive games with 80 computers provided by iBuyPower. Furthermore, UC Irvine is offering 10 academic scholarships to the players on their team.
They are not joking around. When I was in college I–you know what, I’m not gonna date myself.
UC Irvine’s Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Tom Parham, stated, “We hope to attract the best gamers from around the world, and our academic programs in computer gaming science, digital arts, computer science, engineering, anthropology, law, medicine, neuroscience and behavior create a strong foundation for research and inquiry related to gaming.”
“UCI has one of the top competitive gaming clubs in the nation and deserves top-of-the-line equipment,” said Darren Su, vice president of iBuyPower. “Through this partnership, we can not only ensure that players have the tools necessary to play their best, but also allow students to be their best through scholarship and research opportunities. Our dream is that one day e-sports will be a tool for students across the country to achieve their professional, academic and personal success. Partnering with UCI is a huge step toward making that dream a reality.”
Why UC Irvine? Turns out that 89% of students support the creation of an eSports team and 72% of students identify as gamers. College Magazine ranked the school #1 for student gamers in 2015. The computer game science major in the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences is the largest in the country. The new facility will be available for classes, social events, competitions, and research projects. So yeah, UCI takes gaming pretty seriously.
What do you think of this investment? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image credit: Riot Games