Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio has officially announced that it would be providing scholarships to exceptional Fortnite players starting Fall of 2018.
While not your average method of obtaining an academic scholarship, Ashland University has introduced Fortnite to its E-sports program, with Josh Buchanan, the E-sports head coach speaking about how popular and engaging Fortnite is and introducing it as part of his new program.
While other universities have shown concern about the games “distracting” influence, it seems to have no effect on the games dedicated player-base. Many universities have standing policies against cell phones, video games and electronic devices in general.
Universities across the country have been complaining about students forgoing assignments, classes and even much slower internet across campus as many join the universities network to play the game.
66 universities have joined the National Association of Collegiate Esports since its foundation in 2016, with Ashland University amongst them. As with any athlete recruited by the university and receiving scholarships as E-sport athletes, Ashland University grants the most gifted and exceptional players these scholarships.
Kurt Melcher, executive director of e-sports at Robert Morris University, spoke to Fortune about how E-sports, like any sport in general, was exactly the same without any of the physical exertion and stress.
E-sports are also attracting a massive database of fans, players, spectators, and investors. Ashland University is also building a new gaming center for the E-sports program with 25 fully equipped gaming stations as well as scholarships of around $4000 a year. With the constant rise of E-sports and new games being released on a solid and consistent basis, it’s no surprise that more and more universities are introducing E-sports as a fully educational course.