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Video gaming and poker were once dismissed as the pastimes of wastrels and no-goods, but the glitz of these activities is shared by well over 700 million people globally. That’s the regular sort of man and woman and not the cliched world view of people who love card games and esports. The number of esports fans alone in 2019 is 556 million, according to Newzoo, a marketing researching company.

In light of the growing popularity of the market, we have decided to explore a little-known side of these exciting past times: that they actually pave the way to higher education. We sat down and drew the most comprehensive map to esports and poker scholarships in the United States.

After studying the offer of 370+ colleges, universities, and high schools that provide varsity programs and poker education, we have put together a list of all the top venues that offer to help you along on your way to becoming a dab hand at poker, a dead shot in Overwatch, or the world’s best solo mid player in League of Legends.

What you will find in this blog:

College Esports Scholarships in the US

Today, there are well over 300 schools, colleges and universities all across the United States that offer varsity esports programs. High school esports is also shaping up as an important supplement of this education, with experts agreeing that much like regular education, talent should be nurtured in colleges.

As the Lebanon Valley University (PA) puts it, the key to success in varsity program is to help players “stay ahead of the meta”

If you are looking for the country’s top esports schools you have come to the right place. Around 376 of institutions of higher learning in North America are now fully committed to creating exciting new opportunities for their students to storm the world of competitive video gaming, and varsity programs and scholarships are just a small part of the equation.

Tespa's Esports Collegiate Series

The number of actual esports players and school is much bigger. Tespa, an official collegiate league for Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Rocket League, and StarCraft II has a network of over 850 schools in the United States.

It’s important to note that not all of these school offer scholarships to their students. Tespa alone accounts for 30,000 collegiate esports players. Estimated 70% of all college students are playing competitive video games, whether recreationally or with the ambition of going pro.

Recommended Universities with (Esports) Varsity Programs

Fullsail University's The Fortress Esports Arena

Have you heard of Full Sail University (FL)? Well, this private university recently opened “The Fortress,” the largest on campus esports facility in the United States to date. Other learning institutions that are taking their esports very seriously include the University of California, Irvine (CA), which started with a modest scholarship offer for League of Legend ($5,610) and Overwatch players ($2,500).

Here are some of the other universities that presently run varsity programs and are ranked as some of the best esports destinations for would-be college students:

The University of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The University of Harrisburg (PA) is quite keen on topping off their esports potential with valuable expert hires in the face of Joe “Joemeister” Gramano who played professionally in the Overwatch League for Philadelphia Fusion and former Team SoloMid and Team Liquid League of Legends player Alex “Xpecial” Chu.

More about Harrisburg’s varsity program here.

Robert Morris University, Pennsylvania

Robert Morris University (PA) is one of the first institutions to offer young adults an opportunity to hone their esports skills and pursue professional video gaming as a career. The League of Legends team goes back to 2014 and since that time, the University has expanded its ranks of gamers to Overwatch, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

More about Robert Morris’ varsity program here.

Georgia State University, Georgia

Georgia State University (GA) hasn’t waited too long to join the esports fray themselves. The university has decided to go the full Monty with its varsity program, providing scholarships to talented players who are keen on competing in the staple League of Legends, but also those who are interested in titles that go slightly off the main grid, such as Smite and Brawlhalla.

More about Georgia State University’s varsity program here.

University of California, Berkeley, California

University of California, Berkeley (CA) is definitely committed to creating a place where esports athletes can find opportunities to study and continue growing in their video game of choice. The college is also one of the best places to be a female gamer, as they run a dedicated women’s gamer squad.

There is a dedicated Open Play Gaming Arena which houses the growing esports talent on campus and the team is not shying away from any League of Legends challenge.

More about California Berkeley’s varsity program here.

Becker College, Massachusetts

Next on the list we have Becker College (MA), a school that has decided to become the torch bearer in Massachusetts, offering the first state scholarships for gifted esports players. With an yearly funding of $1,000 up to $5,000, students have an opportunity to do what they love, pursuing a career in League of Legends, Smite and Paladins.

Keen on finding out more? Check Becker Colleges’ esports program here.

Bloomfield College, New Jersey

Esports are in full bloom at Bloomfield College (NJ), one of the latest signées with the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), the insittuion has quite some way to go before it build itself into a powerhouse of competitive gaming, but the foundations have been laid.

Learn more about Bloomfield College’s esports efforts here.

Shenandoah University, Virginia

Shenandoah (VA) is the latest instituion of higher learning to join the esports fray. Make no mistake when we say that the university is going the full distance, with the team already having its own custom made logo to proudly emblazon players’ jerseys with.

Plus, Shenandoah is all about crunching some solid data as well. The university knows that the esports industry needs a new workforce, and SU is prepared to train it. Esports is an understandable first step. Jump to our “esports jobs of the future” section to get the latest stats on the industry.

Learn more about SU’s esports program and get a chance to apply here.

Cornell College, Iowa

Forget League of Legends, Cornell College (IA) is mounting a powerful offensive across the entire esports vertical, with the newly-inaugurated esports team showing interest in quite a few titles out there, including: CS: GO, Rainbow Six: Siege, Super Smash Brothers, Hearthstone, and yes, League of Legends.

Having hired professional coach Mayson Sheehan, the college is prepared to storm some of the highest summits of the esports competition.

Want to be part of Cornell College’s efforts? Make sure to check out their esports program here.

Esports Scholarship Investment Throughout the Years

Investing in esports scholarships has started timidly, but with the industry hitting an important milestone of $1 billion in 2019, and the flow of sponsorship money reaching $456.7 million over the period, more schools are eager to attract top talent and reap the benefits thereafter.

Today, North America offers the largest opportunity for college students to be part of a professional scene that is quickly developing and nurturing talented young men and women to participate. Some $32 million has been awarded in varsity scholarships since 2014.

The Updated List of Varsity Esports Programs in North America

SchoolCity and StateRegionLeague
Abilene Christian University Abilene, TexasMid SouthTespa
Academy of Art University San Francisco, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Albright College Reading, PennsylvaniaNorth EastNACE
Algonquin College Ottawa, OntarioCanadaTespa
Amarillo College Amarillo, TexasMid SouthTespa
Appalachian State University Boone, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
Arizona State University Tempe, ArizonaSouth WestTespa
Ashland University Ashland, OhioGreat LakesNACE
Augustana College Rock Island, IllinoisGreat LakesTespa
Averett University Danville, VirginiaMid EastNACE
Ball State University Muncie, IndianaGreat LakesTespa
Bates College Lewiston, MaineNew EnglandTespa
Bay State College Boston, MassachusettsNew EnglandNACE
Baylor University Waco, TexasMid SouthTespa
Bellevue University Bellevue, NebraskaMid WestNACE
Berklee College Boston, MassachusettsNew EnglandTespa
Boise State University Boise, IdahoNorth WestNACE/Tespa
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MassachusettsNew EnglandTespa
Boston University Boston, MassachusettsNew EnglandTespa
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OhioGreat LakesTespa
Brescia University Owensboro, KentuckyMid EastNACE
Brigham Young University Provo, UtahSouth WestTespa
Brigham Young University-Hawaii Laie, HawaiiWest CoastTespa
British Columbia Institute of Technology Burnaby, British ColumbiaCanadaTespa
Brown University Providence, Rhode IslandNew EnglandTespa
Butler University Indianapolis, IndianaGreat LakesTespa
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Pomona, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
California State University-Chico Chico, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
California State University-Fresno Fresno, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
California State University-Fullerton Fullerton, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
California State University-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Campbellsville University Campbellsville, KentuckyMid EastNACE
Carleton University Ottawa, OntarioCanadaTespa
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OhioGreat LakesTespa
Cazenovia College Cazenovia, New YorkNorth EastNACE
Central Connecticut State University New Britain, ConnecticutNorth EastTespa
Central Methodist University Fayette, MissouriMid WestNACE
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MichiganGreat LakesTespa
Centralia College Centralia, WashingtonWest CoastNACE
Centre College Danville, KentuckyMid EastTespa
Cerritos College Norwalk, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Champlain College Burlington, VermontNew EnglandTespa
Chapman University Orange, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Cincinnati Christian University Cincinnati, OhioGreat LakesNACE
Clemson University Clemson, South CarolinaSouth EastTespa
Coconino Community College Flagstaff, ArizonaSouth WestTespa
Cogswell Polytechnical College San Jose, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Coker College Hartsville, South CarolinaSouth EastNACE
College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University St. Joseph, MinnesotaMid WestTespa
College of St. Joseph Rutland, VermontNew EnglandNACE
Collin College-Spring Creek Plano, TexasMid SouthTespa
Colorado School of Mines Golden, ColoradoSouth WestTespa
Colorado State University Fort Collins, ColoradoSouth WestTespa
Columbia Basin College Pasco, WashingtonWest CoastTespa
Columbia College Chicago, IllinoisGreat LakesNACE
Columbia University New York, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Concordia University Montreal, QuebecCanadaTespa
Cornell University Ithaca, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Culver-Stockton College Canton, MissouriMid WestNACE
Cypress College Cypress, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Daemen College Armherst, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Dakota State University Madison, South DakotaNorth WestTespa
Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova ScotiaCanadaTespa
De Anza College Cupertino, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Defiance College Defiance, OhioGreat LakesNACE
Delaware Valley University Doylestown, PennsylvaniaNorth EastNACE
DeSales University Lehigh County, PennsylvaniaNorth EastNACE
Dawson College Montreal, QuebecCanadaTespa
Dickinson State University Dickinson, North DakotaNorth WestNACE
DigiPen Institute of Technology Redmond, WashingtonWest CoastNACE
Douglas College New Westminster, British ColumbiaCanadaTespa
Drexel University Philadephia, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
Duke University Durham, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
East Carolina University Greenville, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TennesseeMid EastTespa
Eastern Oregon University La Grande, OregonWest CoastTespa
Ecole de technologie superieure Montreal, QuebecCanadaTespa
ECPI University Virginia Beach, VirginiaMid EastNACE
Edinboro University Edinboro, PennsylvaniaNorth EastNACE
Elon University Elon, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott, ArizonaSouth EastNACE
Emerson College Boston, MassachusettsNew EnglandTespa
Emory University Atlanta, GeorgiaSouth EastTespa
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FloridaSouth EastTespa
Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FloridaSouth EastTespa
Flordia International University Miami, FloridaSouth EastTespa
Florida Southern College Lakeland, FloridaSouth EastNACE
Fontbonne University St. Louis, MissouriMid WestNACE
Fort Hays State University Hays, KansasMid WestTespa
Full Sail University Winter Park, FloridaMid EastNACE/Tespa
George Mason University Fairfax, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GeorgiaSouth EastTespa
Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GeorgiaSouth EastNACE
Georgia State University Atlanta, GeorgiaSouth EastNACE/Tespa
Grand Canyon University Phoenix, ArizonaSouth WestTespa
Grand View University Des Moines, IowaMid WestNACE
Gustavus Adolphus College St. Peter, MinnesotaMid WestTespa
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Harrisburg, PennsylvaniaNorth EastNACE
Hartwick College Oneonta, New YorkNorth EastNACE
Harvard University Cambridge, MassachusettsNew EnglandTespa
Hawkeye Community College Waterloo, IowaMid WestNACE
Hofstra University Long Island, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Huntington University Huntington, IndianaGreat LakesTespa
Husson University Bangor, MaineNew EnglandTespa
Illinois College Jacksonville, IllinoisGreat LakesNACE
Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IllinoisGreat LakesTespa
Illinois State University Normal, IllinoisGreat LakesTespa
Illinois Wesleyan University Bloomington, IllinoisGreat LakesNACE
Indiana Institute of Technology Fort Wayne, IndianaGreat LakesNACE/Tespa
Indiana State University Terre Haute, IndianaGreat LakesTespa
Indiana University Bloomington, IndianaGreat LakesTespa
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis Indianapolis, IndianaGreat LakesTespa
Iowa Central Community College Fort Dodge, IowaMid WestNACE
Iowa State University Ames, IowaMid WestTespa
James Madison University Harrisonburg, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Jarvis Christian College Hawkins, TexasMid SouthNACE
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MarylandNorth EastTespa
Johnson & Wales University-Denver Denver, ColoradoSouth WestTespa
Johnson & Wales University-North Miami Miami, FloridaSouth EastTespa
Juniata College Huntingdon, PennsylvaniaNorth EastNACE
Kansas State University Manhattan, KansasMid WestTespa
Kansas Wesleyan University Salina, KansasMid WestNACE/Tespa
Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GeorgiaSouth EastTespa
Kent State University Kent, OhioGreat LakesTespa
King University Bristol, TennesseeMid EastNACE
Lackawanna College Scranton, PennsylvaniaNorth EastNACE
Lamar University Beaumont, TexasMid SouthTespa
Lebanon Valley College Annville, PennsylvaniaNorth EastNACE
Lees-McRae College Banner Elk, North CarolinaMid EastNACE
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
Lenoir-Rhyne University Hickory, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
Lewis University Romeoville, IllinoisGreat LakesTespa
Liberty University Lynchburg, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Limestone College Gaffney, South CarolinaSouth EastNACE
Longwood University Farmville, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Los Medanos College Pittsburg, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LouisianaMid SouthTespa
Lourdes University Sylvania, OhioGreat LakesNACE
Marian University-Wisconsin Fond du Lac, WisconsinGreat LakesTespa
Marianopolis College Westmount, QuebecCanadaTespa
Marietta College Marietta, OhioGreat LakesNACE
Marist College Poughkeepsie, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Maryville University St. Louis, MissouriMid WestNACE/Tespa
McMaster University Hamilton, OntarioCanadaTespa
McPherson College McPherson, KansasMid WestNACE
Mendocino College Ukiah, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Menlo College Atherton, CaliforniaWest CoastNACE
Miami University Oxford, OhioGreat LakesNACE/Tespa
Michigan State University East Lansing, MichiganGreat LakesTespa
Midland University Fremont, NebraskaMid WestNACE/Tespa
Mississippi State University Starkville, MississippiMid SouthTespa
Missouri Baptist University St. Louis, MissouriMid WestNACE
Missouri State University Springfield, MissouriMid WestTespa
Missouri Valley College Marshall, MissouriMid WestNACE
Montana State University Bozeman, MontanaNorth WestTespa
Morningside College Sioux City, IowaMid WestNACE
Mount St. Joseph University Cincinnati, OhioGreat LakesNACE
Murray State University Murray, KentuckyMid EastTespa
Neumont College of Computer Science Salt Lake City, UtahSouth WestTespa
New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, New JerseyNorth EastTespa
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New MexicoSouth EastTespa
New York College of Technology Brooklyn, New YorkNorth EastTespa
New York Institute of Technology New York, New YorkNorth EastTespa
North Carolina State University Raleigh, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
Northampton Community College-Bethlehem Bethlehem, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
Northeastern University Boston, MassachusettsNew EnglandTespa
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, ArizonaSouth WestTespa
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IllinoisGreat LakesTespa
Northern Virginia Community College Springfield, VirginiaMid EastNACE/Tespa
Northwest Christian University Eugene, OregonWest CoastNACE
Ohio Northern University Ada, OhioGreat LakesNACE
Ohio State University Columbus, OhioGreat LakesTespa
Ohlone College Fremont, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OklahomaMid SouthTespa
Old Dominion University Norfolk, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Orange Coast College Costa Mesa, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, OregonWest CoastNACE
Pace University New York, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Pacific Luthern University Tacoma, WashingtonWest CoastTespa
Park University Parkville, MissouriMid WestNACE
Penn State University State College, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
Penn State University-Harrisburg Harrisburg, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
Penn State University-Hazleton Hazleton, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Portland State University Portland, OregonWest CoastTespa
Principia College Elsah, IllinoisGreat LakesNACE
Purdue University West Lafayette, IndianaGreat LakesTespa
Purdue University Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, IndianaGreat LakesTespa
Queen’s University Kingston, OntarioCanadaTespa
Quinnipiac University Hamden, ConnecticutNew EnglandTespa
Randolph-Macon College Ashland, VirginiaMid EastNACE
Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Renton Technical College Renton, WashingtonWest CoastTespa
Ryerson University Toronto, OntarioCanadaTespa
Robert Morris University Chicago, IllinoisGreat LakesNACE/Tespa
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Rowan University Glassboro, New JerseyNorth EastTespa
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New JerseyNorth EastTespa
Saint John Fisher College Rochester, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Saint Louis University St. Louis, MissouriMid WestTespa
Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TexasMid SouthTespa
San Diego State University San Diego, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
San Francisco State University San Francisco, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
San Jose State University San Jose, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Savannah College of Art & Design Savannah, GeorgiaSouth EastTespa
Schreiner University Kerrville, TexasMid SouthNACE/Tespa
Shawnee State University Portsmouth, OhioGreat LakesNACE/Tespa
Shenandoah University Winchester, VirginiaMid EastNACE
Simon Fraser University Burnaby, British ColumbiaCanadaTespa
Siena Heights University Adrian, MichiganGreat LakesNACE
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rapid City, South DakotaNorth WestTespa
Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, ArkansasMid SouthTespa
Southern Methodist University Dallas, TexasMid SouthTespa
Southern Methodist University-Plano Plano, TexasMid SouthTespa
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Edwardsville, IllinoisGreat LakesTespa
Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, New HampshireNew EnglandNACE
Southern Oregon University Ashland, OregonWest CoastTespa
Southern Regional Technical College Thomasville, GeorgiaSouth EastTespa
Southwest Baptist University Bolivar, MissouriMid WestNACE
Southwestern College Chula Vista, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
Southwestern Oregon Community College Coos Bay, OregonWest CoastNACE
St. Ambrose University Davenport, IowaMid WestNACE
St. Clair College Windsor, OntarioCanadaNACE
St. Louis College of Pharmacy St. Louis, MissouriMid WestNACE
St. Thomas Aquinas College Sparkill, New YorkNorth EastNACE
St. Thomas University Miami Gardens, FloridaSouth EastNACE
Stanford University Stanford, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
State University of New York-Albany Albany, New YorkNorth EastTespa
State University of New York-Canton Canton, New YorkNorth EastNACE
State University of New York-Cobleskill Cobleskill, New YorkNorth EastTespa
State University of New York-Old Westbury Old Westbury, New YorkNorth EastTespa
State University of New York-Oneonta Oneonta, New YorkNorth EastTespa
State University of New York-Polytechnic Institute Utica, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Stephens College Columbia, MissouriMid WestNACE
Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, New JerseyNorth EastTespa
Stevenson University Pikesville, MarylandNorth EastNACE
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, New YorkNorth EastTespa
Talladega College Talladega, AlabamaSouth EastNACE
Tarleton State University Stephenville, TexasMid SouthTespa
Temple University Philadephia, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
Tennessee Tech University Cookeville, TennesseeMid EastTespa
Texas A&M University College Station, TexasMid SouthTespa
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TexasMid SouthTespa
Texas Wesleyan University Fort Worth, TexasMid SouthNACE
The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MinnesotaMid WestTespa
The George Washington University Washington, D.C.North EastTespa
Trine University Angola, IndianaGreat LakesNACE
Union County College Cranford, New JerseyNorth EastNACE
Universite de Moncton Moncton, New BrunswickCanadaTespa
University of Advancing Technology Tempe, ArizonaSouth WestTespa
University of Alabama-Birmingham Birmingham, AlabamaSouth EastTespa
University of Alabama-Huntsville Huntsville, AlabamaSouth EastTespa
University of Alaska-Fairbanks Fairbanks, AlaskaWest CoastTespa
University of Alaska-Southeast Juneau, AlaskaWest CoastTespa
University of Antelope Valley Lancaster, CaliforniaWest CoastNACE
University of Arizona Tucson, ArizonaSouth WestTespa
University of Arkansas Fayetteville, ArkansasMid SouthTespa
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Little Rock, ArkansasMid SouthTespa
University of British Columbia Vancouver, British ColumbiaCanadaTespa
University of British Columbia-Okanagan Okanagan, British ColumbiaCanadaTespa
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of California-Davis Davis, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of California-Irvine Irvine, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of California-Merced Merced, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of California-Riverside Riverside, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of California-San Diego San Diego, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of California-Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of California-Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of Central Florida Orlando, FloridaSouth EastTespa
University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MissouriMid WestTespa
University of Central Oklahoma Edmond, OklahomaMid SouthTespa
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OhioGreat LakesTespa
University of Colorado-Boulder Boulder, ColoradoSouth WestTespa
University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, ColoradoSouth WestTespa
University of Connecticut Mansfield, ConnecticutNew EnglandTespa
University of Delaware Newark, DelawareNorth EastTespa
University of Denver Denver, ColoradoSouth WestTespa
University of Florida Gainesville, FloridaSouth EastTespa
University of Georgia Athens, GeorgiaSouth EastTespa
University of Houston Houston, TexasMid SouthTespa
University of Houston-Clear Lake Clear Lake, TexasMid SouthTespa
University of Houston-Victoria Victoria, TexasMid SouthTespa
University of Idaho Moscow, IdahoNorth WestTespa
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign Urbana-Champaign, IllinoisGreat LakesTespa
University of Jamestown Jamestown, North DakotaNorth WestNACE
University of Kansas Lawrence, KansasMid WestTespa
University of Kentucky Lexington, KentuckyMid EastTespa
University of Louisiana-Lafayette Lafayette, LouisianaMid SouthTespa
University of Louisiana-Monroe Monroe, LouisianaMid SouthTespa
University of La Verne La Verne, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of Louisville Louisville, KentuckyMid EastTespa
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Belton, TexasMid SouthTespa
University of Maryland-Baltimore County Baltimore, MarylandNorth EastTespa
University of Maryland College Park, MarylandNorth EastTespa
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MassachusettsNew EnglandTespa
University of Memphis Memphis, TennesseeMid EastTespa
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MichiganGreat LakesTespa
University of Minnesota-Duluth Duluth, MinnesotaMid WestTespa
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MinnesotaMid WestTespa
University of Mississippi Oxford, MississippiMid SouthTespa
University of Montana Missoula, MontanaNorth WestTespa
University of Mount Union Alliance, OhioGreat LakesNACE
University of New Haven West Haven, ConnecticutNew EnglandTespa
Unversity of Nevada-Las Vegas Las Vegas, NevadaSouth WestTespa
University of Nevada-Reno Reno, NevadaSouth WestTespa
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
University of North Carolina-Charlotte Charlotte, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
University of North Carolina-Greensboro Greensboro, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North DakotaNorth WestTespa
University of North Florida Jacksonville, FloridaSouth EastTespa
University of North Texas Denton, TexasMid SouthNACE/Tespa
University of Oklahoma Norman, OklahomaMid SouthTespa
University of Ontario Institute of Technology Oshawa, OntarioCanadaTespa
University of Oregon Eugene, OregonWest CoastTespa
University of Pikeville Pikeville, KentuckyMid EastNACE
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford Bradford, PennsylvaniaNorth EastTespa
University of Providence Great Falls, MontanaNorth WestNACE
University of Rio Grande Rio Grande, OhioGreat LakesNACE
University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, KansasMid WestNACE
University of San Diego San Diego, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of South Alabama Mobile, AlabamaSouth EastTespa
University of South Carolina Columbia, South CarolinaSouth EastTespa
University of South Carolina-Sumter Sumter, South CarolinaSouth EastNACE
University of South Carolina-Union Union, South CarolinaSouth EastNACE
University of South Florida Tampa, FloridaSouth EastTespa
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CaliforniaWest CoastTespa
University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KentuckyMid EastNACE
University of Tennessee-Knoxville Knoxville, TennesseeMid EastTespa
University of Texas-Austin Austin, TexasMid SouthTespa
University of Texas-Dallas Dallas, TexasMid SouthNACE/Tespa
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley Rio Grande Valley, TexasMid SouthTespa
University of Texas-San Antonio San Antonio, TexasMid SouthTespa
University of Toronto Toronto, OntarioCanadaTespa
University of Utah Salt Lake City, UtahSouth WestTespa
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Unversity of Washington Seattle, WashingtonWest CoastTespa
University of Waterloo Waterloo, OntarioCanadaTespa
University of Western Ontario London, OntarioCanadaTespa
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WisconsinGreat LakesTespa
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee, WisconsinGreat LakesTespa
University of Wyoming Laramie, WyomingNorth WestTespa
Upper Iowa University Fayette, IowaMid WestNACE
Utah State University Logan, UtahSouth WestTespa
Utah Valley University Orem, UtahSouth WestTespa
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Virginia Tech University Blacksburg, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Washington and Lee University Lexington City, VirginiaMid EastTespa
Washington State University Pullman, WashingtonWest CoastTespa
Weber State University Ogden, UtahSouth WestTespa
West Virginia University Morgantown, West VirginiaMid EastTespa
West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon, West VirginiaMid EastNACE
Western Carolina University Cullowhee, North CarolinaMid EastTespa
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KentuckyMid EastNACE
Western Washington University Bellingham, WashingtonWest CoastTespa
Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo, OntarioCanadaTespa
Wilmington University New Castle, DelawareNorth EastTespa
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MassachusettsNew EnglandTespa
Word of Life Bible Institute Chester, New YorkNorth EastTespa
York University Toronto, OntarioCanadaTespa

Eligibility Requirements for Esports Leagues & Scholarship

Esports competitions have a very low-entry level in terms of age, allowing talented players to quickly progress and shape themselves up playing against the best and proving themselves as adequate players.

So far as the eligibility age for actual esports scholarships goes, each university and high school is entitled to dictate their own terms. Refer to the list of varsity programs to find out in detail which schools out there offer great scholarship opportunities and what the specific terms of each sponsorship is.

Esports Jobs of the Future

You probably haven’t heard about Lyubomir “Splendour” Kozlovski, a former Heroes of the Storm Bulgarian player educated in the United Kingdom who entered the esports fray in 2015. Then a fresh graduate, Splendour managed to secure his first victory with Natus Vincere in the 2015 HWC – Europe Championship.

Two years later, he had already earned $82,000 and was out on his way to land a job with a game development company, thanks to scientific and technical school and university backgrounds. To put things in perspective, HotS is one of the lowest-paying esports titles, but the segment is highly-profitable.

Esports Education for Girl Gamers?

While female gamers still shying away from stepping into the limelight, the audience is full with girl gamers and fans. Just like men, women love to play games and if that was something unusual going back 15 years, today it’s very much the norm. You would hardly see an esports event where a discernible part of the audience isn’t female.

Female esports gamers.
Girls in college esports are beginning to play a far more important role.

Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio has become the first all-girls school to create its own esports team, promoting competitive video gaming among teenage girls. This is the first such initiative with colleges and universities being generally open to talented players regardless of their gender. Yet, less than 5% of all collegiate esports players are female, even if on a management level the stats is improving quickly.

The Connection between Esports and Poker?

For all their whimsical sides, esports players have a lot in common with actual athletes. Science has proven that an esports player can develop the pulse of the marathon runner in the most intense battles and that nutrition and good regiment are a must to a successful career.

The same is largely applicable to poker players whose pulse is quickening every time the pot grows a little more. Proper mental and physical health has an effect on how well you can perform in a game of poker, whether you play online or at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). The point of intersection between the two activities is trading card games such as Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering.

Randy Lew poker & esports pro.
Randy “Nanonoko” Lew flashing a smile during a game of poker.

Having a poker background has helped on at least two occasions, namely in the cases of Team Liquid’s Randy “Nanonoko” Lew and Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy who both used to play poker before switching to esports.

The opposite is also true, with poker pros such as Eugene Katchalov, Doug Polk, and Betrand Grospellier dominating both the felt and the digital world.

Can You Study Poker in Higher Education?

Knowledge and poker go hand in hand. Iconic new players as Maria Konnikova are the living proof that to succeed in poker, you need an analytical mind and an academic approach to the game. Still, most of the advice Konnikova gives, for example, has mostly to do with how much will power you have to progress from a novice to a professional. This raises the question, are there scholarships designated for poker players?

We know that poker has been used to raise funds for various educational initiatives, but not necessarily to send people to school. The Anne Arundel Community College (MD) wants to change that but approaching the subject differently.

Instead of offering scholarships for poker players, the AACC offers players to train and become casino dealers, a profession that can pay as much as $50,000 a year, the college argues. The college offers a limited number of scholarships.

More about AACC’s scholarship opportunity here.

Not Enough Poker Scholarships? Try Magic: The Gathering

Poker scholarships are indeed not as many and indeed, you would be hard-pressed to find enough institutions that use poker to teach statistics, probabilities, and other valuable skills. True, if you pursue technical sciences, you will most likely pick up the skills you need to win at a game of poker, but there is a fun way to learn the game.

Have you heard about Magic: The Gathering? Yes, the trade card game. Before you get all dismissive, you should know that there are a number of players who have made a successful transition from MTG to poker, including WSOP bracelet winner David Williams (8,769,934), John Parker ($3,780,538), and of course, Phil Ivey (26,398,145).

All of them have been avid MTG fans and made the switch to poker for one reasonably significant reason – the cash flow was better. This may be changing, because MTG recently released a TCG online, allowing players to now compete for $10 million in 2019. This far beats Hearthstone for example.

Plus, a player can be making as much as $75,000 yearly just as part of his streaming deal. True, this is not quite yet in the same area of competition as poker, but it comes close. Plus, it’s spreading like a wildfire, with more tournament opportunities cropping up. Should you become a student of MTG? The choice is entirely yours.

Knowledge is Power

Whether you play competitive poker or esports, knowledge will be your biggest ally. You can change your fortunes by understanding the game, other than developing the right composure for it. More importantly, you don’t have to go out on a limb these days, as there are many opportunities to receive a proper scholarship opportunity to pursue both your poker and esports ambitions.