Though only offering partial scholarships for now, the program could expand to 35 fully-funded spots

University of Utah has announced that it will offer scholarships for competitive video gamers, becoming the first big-time sports school to offer such a program. Initially the scheme will offer partial scholarships, but as the marketing and sponsorship deals come rolling, the school plans to expand it to as many as 35 fully-funded places.

University’s esports team will first compete in Riot Games’ League of Legends collegiate league, with more games to be announced later this year. The scholarships will be funded directly by Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering department which is one of the best videogame design programs in the country.

“Esports has had a dramatic rise in popularity in the U.S. over the last few years – especially on college campuses,” said A.J. Dimick, director of operations for the U’s new esports program. “We think college esports is a great opportunity and we want our students to be part of it.”

“We have more than 750 university League of Legends student clubs and more than 20 official varsity programs across North America,” said Michael Sherman, college esports lead for Riot Games.

“The U continues to showcase why it’s among the nation’s most innovative and competitive as the first Power Five school to build its varsity League of Legends team.”

University of Utah


PHOTO: Clément Grandjean | CC | No changes made

University of Utah has announced that it will offer scholarships for competitive video gamers, becoming the first big-time sports school to offer such a program. Initially the scheme will offer partial scholarships, but as the marketing and sponsorship deals come rolling, the school plans to expand it to as many as 35 fully-funded places.

University’s esports team will first compete in Riot Games’ League of Legends collegiate league, with more games to be announced later this year. The scholarships will be funded directly by Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering department which is one of the best videogame design programs in the country.