Major universities like Marquette, Ohio State and the University of California are among nearly 200 U.S. colleges that now have active esports programs and even competitive varsity teams. Many offer scholarships totaling roughly $15 million per year. And some are going a step further, OZY reports, investing millions on high-tech, multipurpose esports arenas that are helping legitimize gaming in the world of college athletics, as well as lure prospective students.
Is that a winning tactic? As the popularity of the billion-dollar esports industry skyrockets, once-hesitant parents are seeing it as a viable career option for their kids — one that pays for an otherwise expensive education.