University of Pikeville Joins eSports Club With New League of Legends Scholarship The University of Pikeville becomes the second school in the country to offer scholarships to students for dominating the video game, League of Legends. The Kentucky liberal arts college, joins Chicago’s Robert Morris University in making the popular multiplayer online battle arena game into an recognized sport on the collegiate level. Students receiving scholarships for their exceptional video game skills will compete against other players in scrimmages and are expected to join in on the epic Collegiate StarLeague battle with over 230 other universities. Bruce Parsons is the New Media Director at the University of Pikeville and he is pretty excited about the new scholarship program in the new eSports arena. He said, “It’s actually becoming a worldwide trend. This game is five on five competitive play. It takes skill, practice and a lot of teamwork.” It is easy to underestimate the amount of work that is put into a game like League of Legends, but this isn’t Super Mario Brothers by any means and will take a lot of hard work and focus from the 20 scholarship recipients. Parsons goes on to say, “It will be a regime a lot like athletics. 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.” So, in other words…eSport students can expect to harden up those thumb calluses during marathon study sessions that will double as game play time. The university is opening up new doors and learning opportunities to students who may have previously overlooked the Kentucky college. They are snagging the attention of students around the world by tapping into a deep seeded love of gaming, which just may be the thing that garners the small private school the ability to grow its student pool exponentially.