Paul Smith’s College to offer over $100,000 in esports scholarships in gaming tournament
Paul Smith’s College will award high school students a combined $100,000+ in scholarships through an esports tournament to be held Jan. 25, 2020, at the new on-campus Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family Esports Lab.
All qualified participants will receive $1,000 annual scholarships ($4,000 over four years) to be used at Paul Smith’s College, while the winners will be awarded $7,000 scholarships totaling $28,000 over the course of a four-year degree. Open to boys and girls ages 16 to 18 competing in teams of two, the tournament will feature the games Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Fortnite.
“This tournament is an exciting way to both embrace esports and help students attain a college degree,” said Paul Smith’s College President Cathy Dove. “We are very grateful to Stewart’s Shops and the Dake Family for supporting esports and education for students from the region.”
Esports are a surging billion-dollar industry, and with an audience size approaching 500 million worldwide, have begun receiving recognition comparable to that of soccer or basketball. Gaming competition will appear as a sanctioned event in the lead-up to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and demonstration event in the 2024 games.
Following its formation, Paul Smith’s esports club quickly ballooned to 70 students, 30 of whom are registered with the varsity A and B teams competing with other colleges in games including Overwatch, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Rocket League, Fortnite, FIFA 2019 and Madden 2019. The college is a registered member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), which saw its esports membership more than double in size this fall to 57 colleges fielding teams.
“The esports program at PSC has come a very long way in a very short amount of time,” said head coach Matt Bailey, citing a successful push for esports’ inclusion in the 2019 Empire State Winter Games and a recent gift made to the college to fund an esports lab. “Most importantly, it has the full support from our campus leadership and students to continue making this a reality.”
In October, Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family donated $100,000 to Paul Smith’s for the creation of a practice and competition space with state-of-the-art gaming equipment and furniture. Situated in one of the college’s academic buildings, the lab will be conveniently located for this and other future tournaments.
“Stewart’s and the Dake Family are committed to giving back to all our shops’ communities,” said Susan Law Dake, president of the Stewart’s Foundation. “We are excited to support this innovative, popular program, which will be an effective recruitment tool at Paul Smith’s College.”
Eligible and interested students can visit www.paulsmiths.edu/esports or smash.gg/pscesports for more information. Select Stewart’s Shops will also display posters with QR codes for quick registration. The shops can be found throughout upstate New York and southern Vermont.
About Paul Smith’s College
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs – in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences – draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information, visit www.paulsmiths.edu.