Esports: The New Football Scholarship? Gaming Scholarships For College Grew 480% Last Year


Esports might just be the new college scholarship.

According to Michael Brooks, the executive director of the National Association of Collegiate eSports, the number of post-secondary institutions offering esports scholarships has grown almost 5X in the last year.

In other words, all that time your kids spend on Fortnitejust might not be a complete waste.

Epic Games

A promo image for the massively popular Fortnite game

Esports is growing an incredible rate — 41.3% year-over-year, according to a Newzoo report. That growth is transforming the space into a $1.5 billion market by 2020, says Newzoo’s Peter Warman, when about 300 million people will be watching eSports.

That’s up from $362 million in 2017.

By contrast, the almost 100-year-old NFL made $14 billionlast year, the MLB is around $10 billion, the NBA is just over $7 billion, and the NHL is at about $4 billion.

With growth rates for esports so high, it’s likely that professional gaming will eventually overtake some or all of the major professional sports leagues. And that’s probably why colleges and universities are getting into the act.


The growth of eSports, as projected by Newzoo

I asked Brooks about the recent growth, how schools are awarding eSports scholarships, and what life as an varsity esports athlete is like.

Koetsier: How many schools now have scholarships for esports?

Brooks: In NACE we have 81 member institutions.  All but two offer scholarships.  Outside of NACE we know of 6 other varsity institutions and I believe they all give scholarships.