PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) —The University of Pikeville says it plans to start offering scholarships to gamers in the fall.
WYMT-TV reports the school will be one of only a few in the nation to make video games an official sport and offer scholarships for those who play League of Legends.
At least one other school – Robert Morris University in Chicago – has also made it an official sport and is offering scholarships.
“It’s actually becoming a worldwide trend,” said UPike new media director Bruce Parsons said. “This game is five on five competitive play. It takes skill, practice and a lot of teamwork.”
Parsons said the school is dedicated to providing different types of technology to its students.
“I think there are going to be a lot of students, both nationwide and international, who are going to look at our university who wouldn’t have before,” Parsons said.
UPike graduate Eric VanHoose says he is ready to coach the game, “where players compete to try and get to the other person’s base,”
The school will offer 20 scholarships and begin League of Legends competition play in the fall.
“It will be a regime a lot like athletics,” Parsons said. “They’ll have to have a certain GPA. We’ll look at them like student athletes. There will be practice time and video time when they have to study other teams for upcoming competitions.”
“If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do?” Chances are you’ve probably been asked this hypothetical at some point in your life. Maybe you wish you would have stuck with baseball instead of football or maybe you would have grown the balls to make a move on your crush from senior year. There’s no right or wrong answer, but if you look back on your life and think there isn’t a single thing that you would do differently, go right ahead and fuck yourself. Playing Monday morning quarterback is just a normal part of life and anyone that says they haven’t is a God damn liar. So if I could do it all over again, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst idea to head down to Pikeville, Kentucky and try to hack it as a collegiate gamer. Why not? You and I both know scholarship athletes live the life. Of course I’m using ‘athlete’ in the loosest sense of the word here, but think about it, you’re on scholarship. I can’t imagine Pikeville college is an athletic powerhouse, so these League of Legends kids are probably king dick on campus. The notoriety, the booze, the babes, these kids probably have it all. Full disclosure, I’ve never even played League of Legends because I had friends in high school. But if this gaming gig is going to take off, here are a couple games I’m quite confident I could parlay into an All-American collegiate career and maybe even a shot at the pros:
Give me Goldeneye or give me death. I tried to think of something derogatory to say about the folks that aren’t down with Goldeneye, but quite frankly I can’t think of a single thing because honestly, I’m not sure I personally know anyone that didn’t get down with the Goldeneye as a kid. Automatics at Facility? Bring it. Temple and explosives? Game over. Proximity mines at Complex? You might as well go ahead and mail me the national championship trophy.
Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest
The only thing I enjoyed more than watching Ken Jr. belt home runs in real life was clubbing a few dingers with The Kid himself on the 21″ TV/VCR combo in the basement. Come to think of it, I still have my copy of Slugfest somewhere and I need to go find it. Need it more than anything in life right now really. I just hope Mom Dukes didn’t pitch it, otherwise she’s gonna have to go ahead and find a new son. She’s dead to me.
Mario Kart 64
I’m not talking about that Double Dash bullshit either. It’s been a while since I’ve played, but back in the day I was an absolute handful in the Mushroom and Star Circuits. Always had a little trouble with Yoshi Valley and Banshee Boardwalk but hey, I’ve still got four years of eligibility, that’s plenty of time to up my game. Even Jordan struggled to shoot the rock as a freshman and look how that turned out.
Not sure how many of you actually played Freedom Fighters, but if you didn’t, think Red Dawn in New York City. Freedom Fighters, arguably the most underrated third person shooter of all time, is a game that required tact and a keen knowledge of modern military strategy. Fortunately, I fashion myself a young George S. Patton, so mowing down Russians in the streets of New York like it ain’t no thing was just business as usual. Hear that, Putin?
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004
If you aren’t driving the ball 360 yards and setting course records at the likes of St. Andrews and Bethpage Black then don’t even step on the course with me, muchacho. If it were physically possible for Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods to somehow reproduce and create a son who trained from day one, Marinovich style, to be the world’s best golfer, that kid wouldn’t even be worthy of cleaning the goose shit off the bottom of my Nike spikes.