It might sound strange to fans of traditional college sports like football and basketball, but eSports is increasingly becoming integrated into the fabric of college athletics.
The Big Ten announced this year that a dozen of its schools would participate in a season-long eSports League of Legends competition, which was broadcast on BTN2Go with the finals airing on the Big Ten Network. League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle video game developed by Riot Games.
More than 20 US colleges offer scholarships for eSports players, and Chicago’s Robert Morris University was the first college in the US to offer scholarships for students who compete in eSports, which could total up to $19,000 a year. The global eSports market is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2019.
To help aspiring eSports players decide on a college, OnlineCollegePlan.com decided to rank the top 20 schools for League of Legends eSports gamers. It took into account how well schools perform at League of Legends tournaments, whether or not colleges offer eSports scholarships, and the quality of a school’s overall academics.
Chicago’s RMU came in at No. 1, not surprising as it has been a pioneer in collegiate eSports. The University of Chicago also cracked the top 20 at No. 12.
Here’s the full list.
20. Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts
19. California State University, Fullerton – Fullerton, California
18. University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia
17. Temple University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
16. Boston University – Boston, Massachusetts
15. SUNY at Stony Brook – Stony Brook, New York
14. Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana
13. University of California, Los Angeles – Los Angeles, California
12. University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
11. Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan
10. University of Washington – Seattle, Washington
9. Vanderbilt University – Nashville, Tennessee
8. Florida State – Tallahassee, Florida
7. University of California, Irvine – Irvine, California
6. Texas A&M University – College Station, Texas
5. University of Texas – Austin, Texas
4. University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland
3. Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio
2. Georgia Tech – Atlanta, Georgia
1. Robert Morris University – Chicago, Illinois