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  • bY shaon January 14, 2022

While Esports may be a young industry, it is a flourishing one that’s been shown to develop both academic and social skills in high school and college students throughout the country. The old stereotype that video game players are anti-social has been proven to be false, as studies and anecdotal evidence are finding that participation in video games, particularly competitive Esports, helps kids with collaboration, strategic thinking, and sportsmanship. The development of those skills increases kids’ self-confidence, which leads to better academic outcomes.

With more than 90 percent of American teens playing video games on a gaming console or cell phone, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey, the time has come for parents to shift their approach to video games and embrace the benefits they offer.

So, What Are the Benefits of Esports?

Educators have long known that student participation in extracurricular activities boosts student success. Students who participate in sports or clubs at school miss less school, graduate at a higher rate and engage in fewer harmful behaviors, like drinking and smoking. All students should be given the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be not only talented gamers, but societal game-changers: educated, empathic, and productive individuals. Though kids of all ages may show a propensity towards—and talent—for video gaming, high school is usually the time when it becomes more than a hobby. There are many positive aspects to gaming, including leveraging it for youth engagement in STEM interests as well as social-emotional learning.

Below are a few of the examples of how Esports can be of benefit for young people in developing their social skills:


Traditional extracurricular sports are not always accessible to all students. Sometimes students are too introverted to even consider trying out for the team. Other students may not physically be able to participate or compete on the playing field. Esports offer another avenue for kids to explore their passions and grow their skills, as well as their confidence. Organized sports have been a highlight of the school social experience for decades, while gamers have in the past felt like outcasts. When middle and high schools offer an organized Esports program, passionate gamers learn that they are accepted and respected members of the school community. Video games also play an important role in the creation and maintenance of teen friendships, which means Esports can help students develop a network of peer support.


The ability to work as part of a team is necessary to succeed in many environments, from college courses to professional jobs. Most Esports are played as a team, meaning that every game requires students to work collaboratively with their teammates to accomplish a shared goal. Students learn that strong communication skills often lead to winning in the game.


Every game played results in either a win or a loss. Just like traditional sports, Esports teaches kids important life lessons like good sportsmanship. Especially as they have entered the mainstream of culture, Esports has developed a strict code of conduct that demands good manners and respect from all players involved in a game. Players may not be able to shake hands after a match, but they’re still expected to win and lose with grace.

Strategic Thinking

Studies have shown that strategic thinkers are among the most highly effective leaders. Esports are a great way to develop these skills; in fact, games like League of Legends and Overwatch are often referred to as “strategy games.” Online games require players to analyze and respond to the constantly changing conditions of play and map out a game plan to achieve victory. The sometimes rapid pace of the games requires players to make quick decisions. Those decision-making and other critical-thinking skills can be applied outside of the game.

With the exploding popularity of Esports among young people, it is important for parents to understand the benefits it can provide. While too much of anything can always be dangerous, an understanding and appreciation of the benefits of gaming can be very helpful to parents and their children. Building social skills through gaming can be an extremely rewarding (and fun) experience that allows middle and high school-aged children to gain valuable skills for their future.

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  • bY shaon January 4, 2022

While your kids may roll their eyes at your love of old Nintendo games, they have their own version of beloved video games that bring them countles hours of joy. The big difference-besides the obvious technological advancements-is that they could potentially earn a scholarship (and possibly make a career) out of it.

Historically, high school students have received scholarships for academic excellence, proficiency in the arts, and being athletic acheivers. With the massive growth in ESports over the past few years, universities have started developing official school-sanctioned teams and many of them even offer scholarships. ESports scholarships are growing in popularity all across the country, and young men and women are taking advantage of these amazing opportunities to use their particular talents for financial benefit when it comes to getting the degree they have always wanted.

So, how can your child get some of this money for college for themselves? In this guide, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about ESports scholarships, including which schools offer scholarships (and how much those scholarships are worth), which games are most popular to play on college teams, and how they can earn one of these video game scholarships.

What is Esports?

Esports are competitive video games, and the term does not only apply to ones focused on actual real-world sports like football, basketball, or boxing. Most include types of battle arena combat, first-person shooting simulators, and any other fast-paced, competitive options. Esports have professional players, large spectator events in stadiums and convention centers, corporate sponsorships, and everything else conventional sports do. They also have an awful lot of fans and young people getting involved with group play and competition. While there are some single-player ESports tournaments, most are team-based games. Some of the most popular ESports games (as well as those with the largest prizes for winning) are Counter-Strike, DOTA 2, Fortnite, League of Legends, Madden NFL, and Overwatch. Varsity ESports teams at US colleges began in 2014, and today well over 100 colleges and universities have ESports teams and are part of the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE).

Who Qualifies for ESports Scholarships?

You (more likely, your children) know of gamers who’ve won massive amounts of money in competitions, six or seven figures even. Before you get your hopes up, know that this isn’t the kind of money you’ll be seeing if your child gets an ESports scholarship. Some schools do offer five-figure or full-tuition scholarships for ESports players, but these are rare and very competitive. The majority of video game scholarships are a few thousand dollars a year. This can be a great help when paying for college, but it isn’t going to necessarily make your children rich. But as every parent knows, every little bit helps.

There are two main ways to join an ESports team and be eligible for scholarships. Some schools will have tryouts that only current students can compete for. Those that make the team will receive a scholarship if the school offers them. Other schools have a longer, more competitive recruiting process that involves sending recruiters or coaches to major tournaments to scout for potential recruits and hosting tryouts when players are still in high school. Alternatively, you and your child can contact coaches at these schools and fill out a recruiting form to get your name out there and begin the recruiting process. The coach will invite players they’re interested in to campus for interviews, conversations with current members, and a tryout. While the results of the tryout will depend heavily on your child’s skills, other factors, such as how well they mesh with current members, what their grades are like, and what openings there are on the team will also impact whether or not they’re offered a spot. If they pass, the coach will then offer them a place on the team, potentially along with a scholarship. 

What Schools Offer Esports Scholarships?

As far back as 2016, colleges all across the country offered more than $16 million worth of money for Esports experts. These students were part of high school teams and demonstrated their prowess with some of the most popular games. Colleges want these players just as much as they want a football star or a basketball rising talent. Esports events are just as competitive and potentially lucrative for the schools. 

If your child wants to get an Esports gaming scholarship, research colleges and universities that have prominent gaming organizations and are part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).

Some colleges and universities that offer Esports scholarships include:

Ohio State University offers esports scholarships
  • Albright College
  • Arkansas State University
  • Central Methodist University
  • Concordia University
  • Full Sail University
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Ohio State University
  • Michigan Technical University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California at Irvine

Many community colleges and technical schools also offer esports scholarships.

As the popularity of ESports and competitive gaming grows, it makes sense that more colleges and universities will offer financial aid and scholarships specifically to students who show considerable skills and dedication. The computer and video game industries represent billions of dollars worth of sales. These pastimes are huge parts of many young people’s lives. 

When fun hobbies turn into a pro-level competition, the money will follow. This works the same way it does for physical sports like football and baseball. People want to participate, watch others battle it out for the win, and get involved themselves. Colleges and universities want to take part in the growing Esports world. Giving scholarships to the best players makes sense.

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