As competitive gaming and eSports expands its reach around the world, many schools and organizations have embraced the competitive nature of games and the communities they foster, with the University of California Irvine expanding its own eSports program in connection with Overwatch.
UC Irvine has announced that an Overwatch scholarship opportunity will be provided at the university in Fall 2017, as the scholarship will be the second gaming-oriented educational prize that the university offers, following League of Legends‘ award that went into effect last year.
Students chosen for the program will be provided “partial scholarships towards the cost of tuition,” totaling $2,500 a year towards tuition fees. The program will require 15-20 hours a week of practice/training time, including team meetings, community service, competitions, and more. Tryouts for the program will be held later this summer, while “professional-grade infrastructure” and coaching will be provided to accepted members.
The University of California Irvine seems to have implemented the Overwatch scholarship program in response to the university’s success with the title in the eSports circuit, with the UC Irvine team having won last year’s Tespa Summer Series. UCI’s eSports director Mark Deppe provided a statement on the Overwatch scholarship opportunity, explaining:
We are very excited to take this next step in growing out scholarship program for top gamers who are also strong students and great members of our community. We look forward to connecting the excitement generated by our competitive teams to advance efforts along our other pillars: Academics, community and entertainment.
Overwatch is available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.