Don’t Quit Playing Games: How esports Can Land You a Scholarship

Would you believe that a 17-year-old e-sports player made a million more than golf legend Tiger Woods did in the same year? 

It is true. Kerry Sanders of Today was amazed when he learned about Bugha’s (Kyle Giersdorf) claim to fame after winning $3 million at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup.

Money is not the only opportunity e-sports is creating, however. Far from it – esports is now the path to a college degree. 

It is recognized to the point that the University of South Florida dedicated $27.4 million to build an esports stadium on its campus.

With that being said, here is a closer look at how esports can land you a scholarship (and a career). 

College Scholarships for Video Game Athletes

Nearly 250 universities offer e-sports scholarships that average $2,400. 

Most of these universities are major Division I colleges throughout the nation, including:

  • Robert Morris University in Chicago, Illinois: Offers up to $19,000 in scholarship funds for teams in Super Smash Brothers, Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
  • Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana: Offers up to $14,000 in scholarship funds for League of Legends teams.
  • The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio: Offers up to $12,000 in scholarship funds for teams in Overwatch and League of Legends.
  • University of California – Irvine in Irvine, California: Offers up to $6,000 in scholarship funds for teams in Overwatch and League of Legends.
  • Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Offers up to $3,500 in scholarship funds for League of Legends teams.

How Can esports Lead to a Career? 

It might seem surprising to some that esports athletes are earning a career doing what they love. After all, video games are usually considered a “bad habit” of unmotivated kids. 

However, in reality, gamers have been playing professionally since the ’70s. The only change is that there are now more opportunities than ever in the field. 

Currently, the business of esports is worth $175 billion. Experts expect a $25 billion increase by 2023, which is possible because of the number of viewers who tune into competitive plays.

Professor Michelle Harrell, an esports business expert from the University of South Florida, explains that there are around 27 million esports viewers. Compare this number to the average of 17 million people who watch the NFL, and it is clear that the esports industry is not only rivaling the NFL – it is surpassing it. 

You do not need to play in esports tournaments to have a career in esports. There are many related careers, from being an esports coach to being an esports game developer. These are also quickly gaining steam as esports stays in the spotlight. 


esports is an opportunity to secure a bright future, especially with college money and a job at stake. Next time anyone tells you to quit playing games, let them know that you are on your way to landing a scholarship at one of the nation’s D1 colleges.