People often ask me, “Whitty, are you satisfied with the career choices that you’ve made in life?” A
wildly minimally successful blogger writing for a website that is literally read by millions dozens of people every week? Of course, what’s not to love? I have no regrets about the choices I’ve made that have led me to this point in my career. At least I didn’t until I learned that Fortnite scholarships were a thing. You mean to tell me you can get paid to go to school as long as you promise to play video games competitively for them? Where do I sign up?
Late last week Ashland University announced that it was adding Fortnite to its competitive eSports team. Ashland, located in Northern Ohio, is the first school to add Fortnite to its official list of eSports titles. They’re even offering a scholarship of up to $4,000, depending on your skill level and your academics. That’s right, they’re actually willing to pay you to play video games for them, with the caveat being that you have to actually be good and you have to apply yourself to your studies. There’s always a catch.
All of my childhood and teenage years: wasted. I spent so much time studying, doing homework, playing sports, socializing with my friends and doing other various activities that youths of the 90’s often found themselves occupied by. My parents are partly to blame too, no doubt. Always insisting I turn off the video games and go outside and play. At the time, I honestly thought they had my best interests in mind. I believed them when they said video games wouldn’t get me anywhere in life. Turns out they just wanted me to be miserable for the rest of my life. Why go to school to do something you love and pursue a potential career in a field you genuinely enjoy when you can sit at a desk for 40 hours a week?
If I had invested all of that time into playing video games, I’m sure I could have gotten good enough to play at the collegiate level, maybe even earned a scholarship. Who knows, maybe I would have even been able to realize every kid’s dream of playing professionally for popular teams such as FaZe, Optic, Fnatic or Cloud9. Even if professional eSports didn’t work out, having a former college eThlete on staff here at Milliron Sports would have helped us out immensely (instead of the ragtag bunch of nobodies and average Joes that we currently have). Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I suppose I could always go back to school now, but then I’d have to convince the governing body of collegiate eSports that I still have eligibility left. And, you know, there’s the whole “I suck at Fortnite” thing. But Ashland, if you’re looking for someone to provide some comic relief for the rest of the squad while accidentally firing off my shotgun as I try to down a couple shield potions, hit me up.
In all seriousness, I kind of love the idea of schools handing out scholarships for eSports. As someone who has played video games my entire life, I’m glad to see competitive gaming becoming more mainstream. Video games are going from a silly hobby and a waste of time to a legitimate career opportunity. Granted you have to be one of the best in the world to actually make a decent living at it, but the same could be said for real sports as well. And offering scholarships means you’re providing kids the opportunity for an education that they may not have been able to afford otherwise (most likely because they spent all of their money on video games and energy drinks). It’s definitely something I wish I would have had as an option when I was in school. Although honestly, it’s probably all for the best that this sort of thing wasn’t more prevalent back when I was in college. If I were on an eSports scholarship I probably would have spent my entire college career either getting drunk or playing video games, and that’s just no way to go through life.