We all already know that simply playing video games can be a lucrative lifestyle. The popularity of esports has grown exponentially over recent years, especially in games like League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Brothers, and many more, so being on a professional team for one of these games can set you up financially for a long time. However, young Aiden Tidwell, otherwise known in the League of Legends community as Niles, has demonstrated how it can set you up for a successful education as well.
Maryville University, one of the leading universities in esports, has offered Niles a $40,000 full ride scholarship to the school because of his commitment to their esports program, as reported by Insider.com. Niles and the director of esports at Maryville, Daniel Clerke, told the site about the dozens and dozens of hours every single week that go into making the team what it is.
Niles also described how “My team is my family… We share a common passion that we put so much time into it.” He may not have even met this family if it weren’t for the scholarship. Clerke originally offered Niles the full ride, which is what allowed him to go to Maryville. “When they offered me, [the scholarship] I was ecstatic… It gave me so much more independence than I had at the time.”
Last year we heard news surrounding the establishment of Fortnite esports teams in colleges and the scholarship potential for dedicated players of the game. This is yet another story showcasing the rise of esports around the world. According to Daniel Clerke, we could see in the vicinity of 150 national college esports programs next year. This opens the door for hundreds, even thousands of talented players to achieve a quality education regardless of their or their family’s financial standings.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.