College recognizes video games as varsity sport Dressed as Champions from the League of Legends online video game, Melanie Delia (L) as Lulu, Justin LaTorre (C) as Ezreal, Jason Williams as Ashe, pose at the 45th annual Comic-Con in San Diego, California (- AFP / Getty Images)
College recognizes video games as varsity sport
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As a teenager, Youngbin Chung became addicted to video games. He played for 10 hours a day.

His grades were poor. His parents fretted.

A few years later, the 20-year-old leads a team of players into virtual battle in a darkened room at a university in Chicago. Chung is studying computer networking on a nearly $15,000-a-year athletic scholarship. He gets the money to play League of Legends. It's the game he used to play so much at home.

"I never thought in my life I'm going to get a scholarship (for) playing a game," said Chung. He is one of 35 students attending Robert Morris University on a video game scholarship.

Gamers have become stars. Video gaming is called esports. In professional leagues, they compete for millions of dollars in prizes. They pack thousands into stadiums around the world.

Games have evolved from the days of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Today they involve multiple players. They communicate with each other in teams. The squads plot strategy, predict opponents' moves and react very quickly.

Robert Morris has about 3,000 students. School officials believe that spending money to recruit these students will enrich campus life. And add to its ranks of high-achieving graduates.

"It's coming. It's coming big time," Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher said of the esports trend.

Hundreds of colleges and universities have esports clubs. Robert Morris is the first to recognize it as a varsity sport. It's all to play a single video game, League of Legends. Teams of five use keyboards and mouses to control mythical fighters that battle.

The Robert Morris Eagles will play teams in two leagues that include Harvard and MIT. The goal is to make it to the League of Legends North American Collegiate Championship. Members of the first-place team take home $30,000 each in scholarships.

Some 27 million people play League of Legends each day, according to developer Riot Games Inc.

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COMMENTS (21)
  • Ashley0207-yyca
    10/10/2014 - 09:07 p.m.

    I think it very weird to have a college have remembered a video game. I wish my school can remember a video game and play it. I don't agree that a college can so that to the students. Maybe they wanted college students to have a break. I learned that some colleges give their students breaks. I am very amazed to see college students play a pretend video game by playing in their costumes.

  • wade78647856
    10/13/2014 - 12:45 p.m.

    that's awesome that you got those cotumes because there epic there are a acher and mage and a warer right and ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha that's FAKE MAN.

  • dylant23
    10/13/2014 - 12:50 p.m.

    you guys can win the tournament go gamers yeah boss gamers but bye the way you guys keep the good job on writing keep up the good work and keep the ideas going ok :)

  • ArnulfoL-Bla
    10/13/2014 - 03:58 p.m.

    I read the article "College recognizes video games as varsity sport. It was interesting to read that the college made video games as a sport. Before reading this article, I did not know if you enter a tournament you get $30,000 dollars for winning. The Critical Thinking Question asked: Why is it a good thing for Robert Morris University to be one of the first universities to make video games a varsity sport? More colleges will want to make it a sport too.

  • brandi1018
    10/14/2014 - 01:04 p.m.

    I think this is pretty cool. It has a good vibe to it because of if all that person is good at is video games then they have a chance to shine in something to. A minus about this is how the people could get obese because all they do is sit around and play video games and probably take brakes to eat. One interesting thing to me is though they get money to work and do something love to do, and not all people can say that they do what they love and love what they do.This has its disadvantages and its advantages and overall its really neat.

  • ChloeN-Bla
    10/14/2014 - 08:31 p.m.

    I read the article "College recognizes video games as varsity sport". It was cool to read the article because young Bin Chung played video games a lot. People usually don't addicted to video games. Before reading this article, I did not know he got payed for playing a game in college.I didn't know that video games could be a sport.

  • AriannaW-Bla
    10/14/2014 - 11:32 p.m.

    I read the article "College recognizes video games as varsity sport". It was exciting to read that college kids get to play video games for a sport because us kids have learned that playing video games is bad for you. Before reading this article, I did not know video games can be a sport.

  • ChristinaL-Bla
    10/15/2014 - 07:02 p.m.

    I read the article "College Recognizes video games as a varsity sport". It was interesting and surprising to read that members of the college who won first place team take home at least $30,000 each in one scholarship because I never new that you could even win that much money. Before reading this article, I did not know a video game was a sport. The Critical Thinking Question asked: Why is it a good thing for Robert Morris University to be one of the first universities to make video games a varsity sport? Kids can actually do something else than other sports and so they can express themselves.

  • cm2001KING
    10/16/2014 - 08:37 a.m.

    I think this is a cool idea because then it gets people who don't like to read and write it gives them a chance to try something different then reading and writing because everyone likes video games

  • TaylorC-Bla
    10/16/2014 - 06:38 p.m.

    I read the article "College recognizes video games varsity sport". It was interesting to read that article because my brother loves video games. Maybe he can do that! Before reading this article, I did not know that someone could be on a video games for 10 HOURS.

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