Pokimane (Imane Anys), a well-known Twitch streamer and YouTube personality, donated $50,000 to University of California Irvine according to an announcement by the university this past Thursday, February 13, to fund a new esports scholarship.
Every year, a chosen student will receive a $2,500, merit-based esports scholarship from the school. There is no limit on how many times a student can receive the award. In the four years that UC Irvine has had an esports program, they have not given out scholarships for it. Director of UC Irvine esports Mark Deppe says, “We couldn’t be more excited about this generous gift from Pokimane. The gaming community contributes so much passion and energy to the world of esports, and we are thrilled to recognize and reward some of the outstanding leaders… I hope this will inspire other successful gamers and streamers in the future.”
Additionally, Shannon Chan, president of The Association of Gamers at UC Irvine, believes “This is such an exciting experience for the UCI gaming community… As a leader in our campus gaming scene, I’ve gotten to know so many passionate gamers who, I’m sure, will be thrilled about this. I’m excited to see how this will support them.”
Pokimane, as of the writing of this article, has just over 3.9 million followers on Twitch, making her one of the top 10 most-followed Twitch streamers. She also has more than 4.5 million YouTube subscribers, 1.6 million Twitter followers, and 4.5 million Instagram followers. She began streaming in 2013, but her channel surged in 2017. Since then, she has established herself as a premiere League of Legends and Fortnite streamer.
“I am so pleased to be able to give back to the gaming world, which has given me so much,” she said to UC Irvine. “I’m also especially happy to be supporting UCI’s esports program because their students are focusing on gaming in addition to pursuing their college degrees – which, I can say from experience, isn’t easy!”
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.