Esports, also known as Electronic Sports, E-Gaming, or competitive video gaming, are organized competitions with multiplayer video games. Esports is played at the high school, collegiate, and professional level. The Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) approved esports as a varsity sport for high schools in Arkansas starting in the spring of 2019. There are three games currently supported by the AAA: League of Legends, Smite, and Rocket League.
Henderson State University’s esports program is the first in the state of Arkansas to offer scholarships and dedicated funding for esports. Scholarships are available to current and incoming HSU students who are full-time. HSU awarded $20,000 in scholarships to students for the 2020-2021 season. Are you interested in applying for an HSU esports scholarship? Fill out this application to apply.
In what games does the esports program at HSU compete?
League of Legends, Overwatch, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, Valorant, Rocket League, Smite, Apex Legends, and Fortnite. We are always looking for new players and games as well.
How big is esports?
Esports has had a thriving professional, collegiate, and amateur scene for years. In 2017, esports revenue reached 665 million dollars. In addition, over 335 million people from around the world watched professional esports competitions in 2017 (Forbes, 2018). Some professional tournaments have had prize pools of over 20 million dollars.
There are more than 80 universities in the U.S. that have esports programs which include scholarship opportunities, coaching staff, and dedicated spaces on campus for esports activities. Some examples are Georgia State University, the University of California at Irvine, the University of Texas at Austin, Louisiana State University, the University of Wisconsin, Michigan State University, the University of Illinois, and many more.
John Price Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts
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