Esports has come a long way from sticks and stones to the kind of platform it offers professional gamers today. In fact, the platform is such that players are no longer referred to as just gamers, they are called athletes. Esports has started to be matched with sports, although the industry still has a long way to go. The amount of growth has promoted the culture to expand its roots into different classes of eSports. Varsity eSports in universities and colleges has popped up in a few places. This noteworthy development will mean new and extensive boundaries for the platform.
Before League of Legends was what it is today, events and tournaments that Riot Games held for the MOBA weren’t even called that. They were community funded projects that made players stay in small, crammed rooms and bathroom closets and travel cheaply, just so they could compete. Now, with the eSports platform leading the battle, LoL tournaments and leagues have risen to standards matching those of international sports. Massive arenas, large hotels, doctors, psychiatrists, and chefs are placed at the beck and call of players and teams.
This is an example of a single game. Other competitive games like Dota, Counter Strike, Hearthstone, StarCraft and more have also come a long way to make their space in eSports, while pushing the industry itself forward.
Now, growth has come to the extent that eSports can be brought to at least a small extent, at college and university level. This has already been done by Riot Games. Riot founded the uLoL that sprouted from the North American Collegiate Championship in 2014. The tournament comprises of 32 colleges from all across North America. In the same way, Heroes of the Dorm is a tournament that Blizzard set up at a college levels for players to compete and get exposure.
The purpose is to promote eSports as an entity that can be utilized the way varsity sports is utilized. Scholarships and loans are based on the sports performance of a student. In the same way, eSports is being encouraged to reach a stage where it can be treated as a specialization with benefits for players.
A handful of universities have already launched eSports programs, events and scholarships. However, the initiative takes a little more time to mature into something bigger.