HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Harrisburg University is offering athletic scholarships for students who are really good at playing video games.
E-sports is a rapidly growing multi-million dollar industry and because of that, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology wants in on the action. They’ve joined the National Association of Collegiate E-sports.
The school is offering 15 full athletic scholarships, starting in fall 2018.
“Gaming has many of the same aspects of any other athletics. There are rules about how you play these games competitively. There are championships that are televised on ESPN. You’re an athlete, so you can only participate in video gaming for a designated number of hours and then you also have to do your school work and academics. There’s coaches, you participate and listen to your coaches. It’s very much like any other athletic pursuit, it just happens to be playing video games,” Harrisburg University President Eric Darr said.
“I started playing video games a long time ago. I actually learned how to code by recreating one of the first video games, Pong,” Darr said. “Just like any scholarship, there’s a need-based component [for the scholarships we’re offering]. Someone’s going to come here to pursue a science and technology degree, so they have to demonstrate that ability, and oh by the way, it probably helps for them to be a world class gamer.”
“I’m going to try my hardest to apply, work, practice and see if I can do it,” Harrisburg University student Jarett Stoneseifer said.
He’s not alone.
His peers Amanda Fidler and Qeu Romanolan are applying, too.
Fidler is the president of Harrisburg University’s E-Sports.
“We have one of the largest clubs with 30-40 members at every meeting. This is the first year it’s been here,” Fidler said. “I think it’s important for people to know that all gamers are the socially awkward people portrayed on TV. We are really social. Maybe we’re outgoing, maybe we’re bubbly, maybe we have colored hair.”
To get the E-sports scholarship, you must first apply and be accepted to Harrisburg University.
To apply, go to harrisburgu.edu.