What Popular Esports Could Lead To A College Scholarship?

Yes, you read the title right. All those video games your child plays could lead to a college scholarship. But know one thing, not every online video game is considered to be an Esport.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the differences between Esports, online video games, and which can potentially earn your child a college scholarship.

When it comes to Esports, there’s one thing to understand… it’s a sport. Yes, Esport athletes systematically train like any other athlete from other sports.

There are Esport leagues with teams like any other major sport. The teams in the leagues have coaches, they offer their players training facilities, nutritionists, and even personal chefs to ensure their players are in the best shape to win!

To many people, this seems far-fetched that all this effort would be put in for people who play video games for a living. But there’s a perfect reason why they do it… it makes MONEY.

Yes, Esports are very profitable. In fact, one of the biggest Esports competitions, the 2018 Dota 2 International, had a $25 million prize pool with the winning team taking home $10.8 million!

Esports are ultimately entertainment, with the thrill of who’s going to win the big money. This makes people interested in it, and because of this, many owners of professional sports teams have decided to get involved.

In the Blizzard’s Overwatch League, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft bought a team in Boston.

Other major sports owners, like the owners of the New York Mets and Philadelphia Flyers. have bought teams in Blizzard’s Overwatch League.

Even the NBA decided to cash in on this idea. On February 9, 2017, the NBA 2K League was announced. They played their first game on May 1, 2018.

The difference with online video gaming compared to Esports, is for one, online video gaming is normally a solo act or a group of friends playing together.

Esports are leagues with teams that play in organizations like any other sports league.

Some Colleges And Universities Offer Scholarships For Some Games

Some Colleges And Universities Offer Scholarships For Some Games

One of the fastest-growing sports is Esports and as you’ve already learned, Esports make money. Because of this, some colleges are offering scholarships to certain games.

The National Association of Collegiate Esports, also known as NACE, is the official governing body for varsity Esports. NACE currently has 151 member schools across the United States.

Certain games can earn Esports scholarships. The gamers who can receive the scholarships must excel in certain genres.

The types of games that could earn a college scholarship are as follows:

  • Sports games
  • Fighting games
  • Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA)
  • Real-time strategy
  • First-person shooter
  • Collectible card game

The way a gamer can get noticed by college scouts or coaches is by participating in tournaments and having an online gaming channel like on Twitch.

Some players can submit a recruiting form as well. Once a coach decides on the right gamer, they’ll invite the gamer to the campus to meet current team members and participate in a live tryout.

Not all colleges have Esports scholarships. Some have gaming clubs, but the games that offer scholarships are limited.

The amount you can get for an Esports scholarship varies, but it’s usually between $500 to $8,000 per year.

In 2019, Harrisburg University won ESPN’s inaugural Collegiate Esports Championship.

Harrisburg University became the first college Esports program to award full-ride scholarships to its entire 16-player roster in 2018.

There are many video games on the market these days, but only some of them are considered Esports and only a few offer college scholarship opportunities. Here is a rundown of some of those games.

League Of Legends


League of Legends is one of the most popular video games in the entire world. It’s developed by Riot Games, and it features a team-based competitive game mode based on strategy and outplaying opponents.

The idea of the game is the players are on a team, and they work together to break the enemy’s Nexus before the enemy team breaks theirs.

League of Legends has been said to be the world’s largest Esport, with 12 leagues internationally.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for League of Legends:

  • Robert Morris University League of Legends Scholarship: up to $19,000
  • Columbia College Scholarship for League of Legends: currently offering a partial discount on tuition
  • Indiana Tech: between $2,500 – $5,000

Rocket League


Rocket League is a unique game as it mixes soccer with rocket-powered cars. The game was developed and published by Psyonix and it was first released in 2015.

By 2018, Rocket League had 40 million players and this popularity is what led to it being adopted as an Esport.

It’s been played in leagues like Major League Gaming, ESL, and Psyonix’s own Rocket League Championship Series.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for Rocket League:

  • Maryville University: $2,000 awarded
  • Akron University: $1,000 awarded
  • Boise State University: projected amount of $150,000

Super Smash Bros.


When Super Smash Bros. was originally released in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, it took the world by storm.

You could play as your favorite Nintendo characters in an all-out brawl. What’s not to love about that?

Nintendo has now partnered with Panda Global, a top Esports brand, to launch their officially-licensed Smash tournament series in 2022.

With Nintendo finally getting into the Esports mix, proves Esports are here to stay.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for Super Smash Bros.:

  • University of California, Irvine: amount of $6,000
  • University of Texas at Dallas: between $1,000 – $6,000



In 2016, a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game was developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The game is Overwatch.

It’s described as a hero shooter game where players are assigned into two teams of six, with each player selecting from a large roster of “heroes”. These “heroes” have unique abilities.

The object of the game is for you and your team to complete map-specific objectives within a limited time.

The pandemic has hurt the leagues of Overwatch, seeing a huge number of layoffs. But it’s still a popular game that has colleges offering up scholarships.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for Overwatch:

  • University of California, Irvine: between $1,000 – $6,000
  • Boise State University: projected amount of $150,000



The most popular game in the world, Fortnite, was released in 2017 by Epic Games. It has more than 125 million total players, which makes it the perfect candidate for Esports.

There are a few different ways you can play Fortnite. You can play a battle royale, or what’s called Fortnite: Save the World. In this version, you play a cooperative game with four players collaborating towards a common objective on various missions.

Then you have Fortnite: Creative, which is a sandbox game, similar to Minecraft.

Either way that you play, Fortnite is here to stay, and you can go to college for it.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for Fortnite:

  • Ashland University: amount of $4,000
  • Southern New Hampshire University: amount of $3,000

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive aka CS:GO


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or as it’s known, CS:GO, is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment.

It’s the fourth game in the series and its popularity continues to grow, especially when they added a battle royale game-mode dubbed the “Danger Zone” in 2018.

The new professional CS:GO league is a different type of Esports league, as it’s owned and run by the teams.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for CS:GO:

  • Akron University: amount of $1,000
  • Maryville University: amount of $2,000



Valorant is a free-to-play first-person shooter. It was released in 2020 by Riot Games.

The game takes place in the near future and the gamers play as one of a set of Agents.

There are teams of five, and you’re either the defending team or you’re the attacking team.

The Esports Club and Team Liquid have teamed up to host Dell Futurist Gaming. This is a platform to help amateur Valorant players and teams from India gain notice.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for Valorant:

  • Boise State University: projected amount of $150,000
  • Becker College: between $500 – $1,000



When Electronic Arts released John Madden Football in 1988 on MS-DOS, it changed the way football games and sports games would be played.

The game would eventually be changed to Madden, and today it is not only one of the most popular video games, but it’s one of the biggest Esports leagues.

The Madden 21 Club Championship had a prize pool of $750,000! This is something you’ll want your child to have a chance at winning.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for Madden:

  • Boise State University: projected amount of $150,000
  • Full Sail University: between $2,000 – $8,000



Like Madden, FIFA is a popular sports game that has a huge Esports scene. FIFA got its start in 1993 as FIFA International Soccer by Electronic Arts.

FIFA has recently “upped” itself in the Esports realm by announcing they’re adopting a new commercial positioning in Esports.

FIFA has engaged with players, developers, analysts, and investors, making FIFA a game you’ll want your child to play.

Here’s a list of a few colleges offering scholarships for FIFA:

  • College of St. Joseph’s: amount of $2,000
  • Texas Wesleyan University: up to $2,000

Understand That The Passion Has To Fit The Game When It Comes To Scholarships

Understand That The Passion Has To Fit The Game When It Comes To Scholarships

It’s great as a parent to support your child in something they love, especially if it’s going to take them to college.

The problem though is when a parent pushes their child to play a game that they don’t have a passion for, just to chase a scholarship.

This happens with other sports and careers, and it’s an issue in the Esports community.

No matter how much you push your child and have them practice, if their heart’s not into it, then they won’t develop any real skill.

As a parent, if your child is into an Esport that can earn them a scholarship, then be supportive and push them along their journey.

If they’re not into it, then ease up and let your child be who they want to be.

I want to thank you for reading our article. Hopefully, you’re not only much more knowledgeable about Esports, but you also know which colleges have scholarships for the listed games.

If you have any feedback, feel free to leave them in the comments, and I’d be happy to answer them. Thank you.

Leave a Comment