It offers 22 players full tuition scholarships each year along with a housing allowance. The gamers get to practice in specially designed chairs, with massage therapy balls and cutting-edge technology – and the chance to compete in tournaments offering as much as $50,000 in prize money.
In return, they must commit to a rigorous schedule which includes maintaining good academic grades, compulsory physical exercise sessions and strict meal plans on top of the four-hour daily gaming practices.
Harrisburg is by no means alone – a handful of smaller universities in the US have begun using their e-sports to attract students who might otherwise go elsewhere.
Victoria Horsley, from NACE, said smaller universities are eager to add the e-sporting programmes because it helps with student recruitment. “They see e-sports is popular so they want to jump in and try to grab all the students in their market as soon as they can,” she told the Washington Post.
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