League of Legends players.
This fall, the University of Pikeville will offer "at least 20 scholarships" to League of Legends players who will be treated much like other student athletes. "They'll have to have a certain GPA," said University of Pikeville new media director Bruce Parsons. "We'll look at them like student athletes. There will be practice time and video time when they have to study other teams for upcoming competitions." According to Parsons, the University of Pikeville League of Legends team will begin official tournament competition shortly after the start of the fall term.
Despite NPR's flippancy, this makes a lot of sense, both for the students and the schools. While nowhere near as popular as the NFL or NBA, eSports has been growing exponentially of late - the Dota 2 International 2014 tournament was recently televised on one of the lesser ESPNs - which both affords gamers a scholarship opportunity and offers a new potential revenue stream for the increasingly large number of universities in danger of losing control over their other revenue-generating sports programs.
[Image: Riot Games]