Fancy yourself as an esports athlete? A scholarship to WIT is up for grabs

Waterford Institute of Technology are the first third level institute in Ireland to offer esports scholarships.

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is to become the first third level institute in the country to launch an esports scholarship.

The WIT Vikings Esports Scholarship is sponsored by ArcLabs and will included five main categories: League of Legends, Valorant, Counter Strike, Rocket League and FIFA ‘20.

The scholarships will be worth €1,000 or €500 to gamers who are considered to be excelling in their chosen game, while €2,000 is being offered to elite level gamers.

This follows an announcement last year that software research centre Lero were to open an esports research lab in the Universtiy of Limerick, aimed at improving the performance of amateur and professional players.

Esports has become increasingly popular in Ireland, with an estimated 700,000 people gaming regularly and in April, Munster Rugby partnered with Phelan Gaming to compete as Munster Rugby Gaming in future tournaments.

Existing sporting organisations jumping on the esports bandwagon is hardly a surprise, as esports has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world and will feature at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris as a demonstration sport.

Some of the world’s biggest brands have also identified esports as a lucrative area to expand into, with Red Bull, Coca-Cola and McDonalds all choosing to advertise at esport tournaments.

Back in Ireland, the first governing body, Ireland esports was set up at the start of April and Irish gamers have been enjoying great success.

Back in 2019, an Irish teenager came 58th in the Fortnite World Cup held in New York.

Joshua Juliano competed against 99 of the world’s best Fortnite players, taking home $50,000 (€44,934) in prize money.

While esports may still be in its infancy here compared to the US or China, the restrictions placed on physical sporting events due to Covid-19 has allowed virtual gaming to thrive.

The line of what is considered to be sport has been blurred, and it looks like online gaming will become a huge part of the sporting landscape in the not so distant future.

Most Read in #Discover