The very first scholarship for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (opens in new tab) players is being offered by the University of California, Irvine (UCI), for the 2019-2020 academic year. The American university's esports program is able to host the scholarship thanks to a generous $50,000 donation by Brian Calle, declared gamer and CEO of Irvine Weekly and LA Weekly publisher Street Media.
"We are fortunate to be able to offer scholarships to League of Legends and Overwatch players. When a donor emerged with a desire to support one of his favorite games, we knew this was something we had to pursue to create more opportunities for the ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ student gaming community," says Mark Deppe, director of UCI Esports.
UCI's own UCI Esports and TAG Smash Ultimate Club will decide on the six lucky competitors to receive $6,000 in scholarship funds, who will need to practice between 10 and 15 hours a week, keep up a 2.0 GPA, and compete in tournaments to remain on the program. The remainder of the $50,000 donation will be used to cover administrative costs.
The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate club at UCI will also be competing at the Shine 2019 Smash Bros. tournament (opens in new tab) in Worcester, Massachusetts from August 23 and 25 for a piece of the $15,000 prize. And our parents always told us to stop playing video games if we ever wanted to achieve success.
Esports scholarships are nothing new (opens in new tab), and some of the more recent games to afford its finest competitive players the chance to make some dough include Apex Legends, League of Legends, Overwatch, and of course, Fortnite. UCI's new scholarship will be the very first for Smash Bros. Ultimate, which released last December.
Hoping for a shot at a Smash Bros. Ultimate scholarship? We'll teach you how to get good with any fighter (opens in new tab).