Day 6

Scholarships to play video games: when eSports and academia collide

We hear from two eSports stars on playing video games for a living. We also hear from the Associate Athletics Director of the Robert Morris University Illinois, Kurt Melcher, about being the first university to offer an eSports scholarship for students.
South Korea's SK Telecom T1 team celebrate with their trophy after defeating China's Royal Club at the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship Final in Los Angeles. ((AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File))

Cineplex Canada's first national eSports tournament wraps up on March 6. Cineplex is just one of the latest businesses hoping to cash in on the increasing popularity of eSports.

We hear from Adrian Ma and Kelly Kelley on life as an eSports star. We also talk to Kurt Melcher, Associate Athletics Director of Robert Morris University Illinois - the first university to offer an eSports scholarships - about expanding the definition of college sports and academia's investment in a growing industry.

After kicking off the program in 2014, Robert Morris University currently has 17 varsity eSports players and 16 varsity reserve players who get 70 percent and 35 percent off of tuition respectively. 

According to the research firm Newzoo, eSports and pro-gaming is predicted to generate a billion dollars in revenues in the next few years. Sports cable TV channels like ESPN continue to incorporate coverage of the massive gaming competitions to encourage rating and subscription growth.