Illinois College to offer scholarships to play video games

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Monday, April 10, 2017
(FILE) Robert Morris University Illinois students practice playing the video game "League of Legends" with their collegiate teammates.

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- Illinois College will become one of a small group of higher-education institutions offering scholarships for playing video games.

The Herald & Review reports that the growth of esports, or competitive video games, has colleges and universities developing teams to compete as prizes are growing and sponsors are taking notice. The program begins in the fall.

The college has hired coach Christian Matlock to lead two teams that are essentially ranked as varsity and junior varsity teams. Matlock says video games have a reputation of being a waste of time among some people, but he sees them as a way to foster teamwork skills and improve problem solving.

The college is joining about a dozen schools across the nation that have teams, including Robert Morris University in Chicago and Maryville University in Missouri.