Twitch and Alienware reward scholars who can kick butt online.
If you've ever gone after a scholarship, you know how the process works: Get outstanding grades, show involvement in your school's community, and exhibit a unique skill that makes you a compelling candidate for financial support. Enterprising students from all walks of life have acquired scholarships for everything from sports to video game design, but how often do the two cross over? Thanks to eSports network Twitch and gaming rig purveyors SteelSeries and Alienware, five students each took home $10,000 in scholarship money for busting heads in online games.
The first annual Twitch & Alienware Scholarship distributed $50,000 among five student gamer-athletes, whose skill sets included Halo, Diablo, Team Fortress 2, Starcraft, and Counter-Strike. Kelli Dunlap, Kevin Carlino, John Stockwell, Antonio Revard, and Joey Yurgelon hail from universities all across America in both undergraduate and graduate programs, and while not every one is a professional gamer or aspiring game designer, each one proved his or her mettle in both an online and academic arena. They were judged on their "grades, gaming achievements and passion for the gaming profession," according to Twitch. "The avid professional gaming and spectator community has helped us thrive with more than 20 million visitors a month, and this scholarship is our way of showing appreciation for their passion while reinforcing our commitment to what we view as a legitimate sport," said Emmett Shear, its CEO.
Given the price of a college education, $10,000 won't make or break any bank accounts, but a well-endowed scholarship fund is a boon for both inventive students and the growing eSports scene. More importantly, the next time your parents give you grief for playing games instead of doing your homework, now you have a perfect excuse. Just don't overdo it.