There has probably been an afternoon or evening where your child was playing Fortnite with their friends and you could hear screams and yells, thinking to yourself, “what in the heck is going on in there?” You’ve probably had to yell once or twice before dinner or bedtime to get off the gaming system, and it’s likely you’ve had a family discussion about how to stop your child from playing the gaming system as much as they do today.
WAIT! Maybe it’s time to switch gears and start thinking about how this could provide a FREE RIDE for your child to college!
30 million dollars. That was the prize money for the Fortnite World Cup that took place at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York last weekend. And yes, the stadium they chose to host the finale was actually larger seating-capacity wise than Madison Square Garden. E-Sports is now a $900 million-dollar industry with nearly 400 million viewers worldwide. Gamers now practice more than four hours a day.
What’s more staggering is that Fortnite alone has 80 million players as of mid 2019 and that the 2018 League of Legends world championship got more viewers than the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four combined. So, let’s get our own grip on reality that this is becoming real s**t!
As opposed to getting angry and thinking your kid is wasting time, or ripping the cord out of the electrical socket, it might be a good idea to look at the trend on how colleges are making E-Sports a varsity sport across America. Right now, nearly 200 colleges offer more than 15 million dollars in scholarships for E-Sports. According to NACE (National Association for Collegiate E-sports), the average E-Sports Scholarship is $4,800. That could go a long way to paying for college. Over the past two years the number of colleges and universities offering varsity E-Sports programs has gone up from 7 to 63.
One of the main official collegiate leagues for E-Sports called TESPA has grown to more than 850 schools, 20,000 players, and more than $3 million dollars in tournament winnings. Games such as Dota 2, Counter Strike, and Fortnite all offer $20 million dollars or more in total prize money for their world prize money.
Kids are even capitalizing on building YouTube channels because of the number of kids watching gaming and the new algorithms in YouTube. YouTube now favors “number of accumulated minutes” as to whether content is good versus number of views. Gamers are building branded channels with videos being posted literally every day. The most popular of them all is PewDiePie who has 98 million subscribers and has been reported to earn $12 million a year through his YouTube channel.
Many parents push their kids to become great at football, lacrosse, tennis, or baseball, dreaming of their children getting a division one scholarship. With universities now, such as Robert Morris University, offering a full ride for E-Sports and seeking top level gamers, maybe it’s time you put that four hours a day your kid is gaming to some good use. It might just help you save some money on the bottom line when you have to pay for college!