Video Gamers Can Receive eSports Grants at Southwestern College

Video games have become so popular as a competitive sport that Southwestern College is now offering activity grants for in-coming students to play for the college’s teams. 

According to Marla Sexson, vice president for enrollment management at Southwestern College, a student may receive a $5,000 grant each year, equaling $20,000 for four years to participate in eSports at SC. These students will be part of a team of gamers who compete against other teams throughout the nation.
League of Legends photo
League of Legends has become the most popular of the eSports.  According to developer Riot Games Inc., 27 million people play the game each day.  Southwestern becomes just the third school in the United States to offer scholarships for eSports.

Currently, Southwestern Colleges offers this as a club activity and according to Tom Jacobs, chair for the division of computer science and communication, around 40 participants now meet several times each week to improve their skills and scores on the computer game. 

According to the game’s website, League of Legends is a “fast-paced, competitive online game that blends the speed and intensity of a real-time strategy game with role playing game elements.”

Zenas Lopez, a Southwestern College student and the co-founder and president of the club, says that the game has brought different groups of students together.

“League of Legends has a global reach,” Lopez says.  “We have lots of international students on our campus and sometimes it’s tough to get to know them.  But I have found that this club unites everybody and with the game’s help, we seem to speak the same language.”

If parents are concerned that their students will attend Southwestern just to play video games and not study, Jacobs says not to worry.  To participate, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress.  

The club currently meets in the computer lab on the lower level of the Christy Administration Building but a gaming area is being renovated just for eSports players.

​For more information, contact Jacobs at (620) 229-6351 or Sexson at (620) 229-6364.

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