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University of California to add Overwatch scholarship

UC Irvine introduced a League of Legends scholarship last year

The University of California Irvine will add Blizzard's Overwatch to its scholarship programme later this year.

UCI has been offering League of Legends scholarships since 2016, and Overwatch is the second game to be added to the programme. According to ESPN, tryouts for the Overwatch scholarships will start in the summer.

Participants in the programme will receive $2,500 a year towards their tuition fees, for which they must spend 15 to 20 hours a week on, "practice, team meetings, community service, workouts, and competitions." UCI will provide a "professional-grade infrastructure" to help coach and improve their performance.

The decision to add Overwatch was taken due to the popularity of the game among students, and the success of the UCI gaming club's Overwatch team, which won the Tespa Summer Series last year. In addition to being popular, Mark Deppe, acting director of UCI eSports, said that Blizzard has an ambition to make eSports, "more inclusive and accessible to groups that are underrepresented in esports."

The introduction of the Overwatch scholarship programme is also timely due to the impending launch of Activision Blizzard's Overwatch League, which promises to create a healthier and more profitable eSports structure around the game. Mike Sepso discussed those plans at Gamelab last week, which you can read about here.

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