Continuing the trend of colleges offering esports scholarships is a small all-women’s college in the Midwest. Stephen’s College, located in the state of Missouri, have announced their intention to begin offering Overwatch scholarships to any qualifying athletes.
Along with this scholarship offer, Stephen’s College also plans to form their own Overwatch team to participate in the Fall season of the TESPA cup. For those unaware, TESPA is best known for hosting a number of collegiate esports competitions, among which is the famous Heroes of the Dorm tournament based around Blizzard’s MOBA Heroes of the Storm.
Stephen’s College also plan on putting this scholarship on par with the school’s eight other athletic programs. This means that recipients of the esports scholarship will receive all the benefits and resources that recipients of traditional sports scholarships do.
In an interview with ESPN, Dianne Lynch, the college’s president had the following to say about the aim of the project:
“Our mission is to ensure that woman can succeed and make choices about anything they do in any environment and in any profession.”
“Our hope is that we will be able to create a culture on campus where the only people in the room who are gaming are women, so you have this dynamic that eliminates that other, sort of negative culture out of their immediate space,” Lynch said.
The college administration reportedly chose Overwatch as the game to represent due to its “diversity and positive representation, and the high regard with which it has been held on campus.” It is unknown whether the college will participate in other esports or not.
Esports Insider says: An all-women college encouraging girls in esports is a great decision and should help provide another push in the right direction for females in esports. This could mean that more skilled females will now be provided with a chance to make it far in esports, which also helps with the diversity the college is looking for.