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Right now Epic Games is cleaning up in the pop-culture department with the free-to-play Battle Royale mode of Fortnite. The game is everywhere, played by millions upon millions of people and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, some colleges are even getting in on the dig by offering scholarships for playing Fortnite.
Techcrunch is reporting that Ashland University in Ohio is offering a scholarship program for Fortnite players. That's right, as part of the university's newly cemented eSports program set to get underway this fall, Fortnite scholarships will be part of that program, which includes financial incentives for players who can perform on a professional level in the game.
The scholarship will offer to pay for $4,000 worth of fees at the university. As noted in the Techcrunch article, that's only about an eighth of the total costs for a year's worth of room and board at the Ashland campus. So, obviously, you'll either need to score several more scholarships or start looking to apply for student loans.
You can actually register for the scholarship by filling out the form over on the Go Ashland Eagles website, where you'll need to put in your name, address, guardian info, and your academic scores.
The form also has a section where you can fill out what games you play, which includes a number of high profile competitive titles, ranging from League of Legends to Hearthstone to Super Smash Bros., and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to Splatoon 2 to FIFA.
The form also requires your achieved ranks in the games you play, your handle and your primary games, and there's also an option for your tournament results.
There's also a section requesting information on whether or not you've played for any professional teams or are associated with any professional eSports organizations.
I imagine the idea behind the scholarship is to give small time gamers an opportunity to make use of the $4,000 to further their education, as opposed to giving it to a professional eSports player who already has an established brand or presence in the scene.
Even still, it's remarkable that in today's society we're seeing such a surge in the gaming market where eSports is starting to dominate so many different facets of entertainment culture. It's all over YouTube, it's all over Twitch, it's all over our cell phones, tablets and smart devices, and people are making legitimate careers out of professional gaming. I suppose it was only inevitable that some universities start offering scholarships to bring top eSports talent into the fold and potentially start their own league.
Of course, we don't know if the end game for Ashland is to have a team or become part of a regional league, but if it happened with college basketball and college football, I would imagine that it won't be long before we start seeing college teams start popping up. In the meantime, if you're good enough in games like Fortnite, you might just be able to earn yourself a scholarship to a university due to your gaming skills.