Following the Western University collegiate League of Legends team’s trip to the Los Angeles finals, collegiate esports is now on the mind of Londoners. But exactly how much money can eSports generate?
The UWO team won roughly $10,000 CAD in scholarship money per team member before heading off to the finals as one of the top 8 teams in North America where they ultimately were defeated by the University of Maryland. The UWO team was the one of the two Canadian teams that reached the semifinals, with their fierce competitor University of Ottawa facing off UC Irvine. However, out of the 4 teams, only UC Irvine had an official varsity esports team.
Just under 90 North American schools are offering varsity eSports including Ontarian schools like Lambton College and St. Clair College. St. Clair is one of the first schools in Canada to offer collegiate esports, with massive success with their Saints Gaming team.
We have a full house for our CSGO tryouts! Good luck to everyone competing. pic.twitter.com/O0Htb2rPCk
— Saints Gaming (@SaintsGamingCA) September 15, 2018
St. Clair College’s eSports Director Shaun Bryne says that to say that students were in disbelief would be an understatement.
“From day one we’ve had students come up to us and thinking we were joking. [Thinking] ‘there’s no way I could get a scholarship to play on an [eSports] team.”
The UWO League of Legend’s Team Captain Kyle Raposo says that if Western officially recognizes eSports, that would allow for a dedicated space to train, better flexibility with scheduling, and the financial and moral support to lessen the costs of competing.
Talks have been reported to be underway with officials, but it’s unclear as to if and when both London’s Western University and Fanshawe College are going to officially back their eSports teams as a varsity sport.