Posted on June 24, 2014, Stew Shearer University Offering Scholarships for League of Legends Players
Robert Morris University Illinois has announced that it’s adding League of Legends play to its athletic programs.
The addition of the popular game which, of course, is played on a professional level around the world, will make it possible for skilled players to become eligible for scholarships worth up to half of the costs of room and board if they compete for the school. RMU’s League of Legends team will be the first college varsity eSports team in the United States. That being said, athletic director Kurt Melcher believes this move to just be an appropriate extension of athletic policies the school has already cultivated.
“The sports culture at RMU is unique,” said Melcher in an interview. “We have all the major sports: our football team, we have a basketball team, soccer teams. But then we also have color guard, we have choir, performing arts all under the athletic umbrella. We also have a painting guild that students can receive scholarships for. [League of Legends] just made sense. I don’t think anyone thought anything disparaging about adding eSports and eSports athletes to our lineup.”
Melcher himself reported being an avid fan of StarCraft and Command & Conquer back when he was in college. It was his re-visitation of StarCraft, in turn, that led him to discover the robust and expanding world of League of Legends and eSports.
“I was shocked at the scale and size of that game and the community behind it,” he said.
Riot Games, hoping to aid RMU with its recruitment efforts, has apparently stepped in to help the school take its first steps into the world of eSports. The university, in turn, intends to “strictly” enforce the conduct standards that professional League of Legends players are required to adhere to. The school hopes to have its competitive team ready to play for the 2014-2015 school year.