Last updated February 7, 2019 at 11:53 am
The five students receive the first scholarships in Australia to study while competing for the uni’s own League of Legends team.
The first five university students to receive scholarships for eSports in Australia have been announced. The team will study at QUT along with representing the university in the League of Legends Oceanic Challenger Series.
As well as studying their degrees, the five will be part of an athletic program that also includes physical training, sports psychology and nutrition support to take their gameplay to the next level.
“Between now and their first game in April, we’ve got a pretty rigorous preseason lined up for the guys that obviously coincides with that first semester of university,” says QUT eSports coordinator Dylan Poulus.
“And so we’ve got to balance both their professional commitment to play League of Legends for us and their academic commitment to QUT.
“They’re going to train for more than 20 hours per week at times playing League of Legends and that will be supplemented alongside a physical training regime, a psychological training regime and then diet interventions from the high-performance support team.”
The QUT eSports program is part of the larger QUT Sport and its Elite Athletes Program, which supports more traditional sports and athletes.
“There will be plenty of crossover with the elite athletes studying at QUT,” says Emily Rosemond, who runs QUT Sports.
“There’s learning on both sides. Our eSports team can learn from traditional sports performance models and vice versa. The evolution of eSports and the industry itself is something that traditional sports will need to embrace for future growth and development to stay current.”
The scholarship recipients are:
- Jason `hi and goodbye’ Nguyen, 18, who joins QUT after studying Game Design at TAFE
- Zihong `Unspecialized’ Li, 22, studying Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment.
- Henri `Feint’ Magisson, 20, studying Bachelor of Engineering.
- Michael `Frogadog’ Cornish, 22, studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in accounting.
- Justin `Spoil’ Tu, 23, studying Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in medical engineering.
The players form the QUT Tigers, the first Australian uni team to mix it with the pros, and will based in Australia’s first dedicated on-campus gaming arena.
With the esports industry booming worldwide – now worth more than $1.2 billion globally – it has cemented its place among traditional sports.
More than 230 million people every year watch gaming tournaments on the web, TV broadcast and in stadiums.
With universities around the world having sports programs and supporting elite athletes, it’s no surprise that they’re moving into the digital space as well, competing against professional athletes around the world.
“Esports at QUT has just exploded – we’re so excited to have these new scholarships.” says Poulus.