Thankfully, gamers have come a long way from getting beat up on the blacktop for playing Yu-Gi-Oh and trading Pokémon. Now that schools across the U.S. are sponsoring varsity eSports teams, skipping your history homework to finish Dying Light seems like a perfectly legitimate excuse. Plus, since eSports isn’t yet regulated by the NAIA or the NCAA, no one’s stopping college gamers from getting paid to compete. Who cares what your parents think—there’s just so much incentive.
If you love gaming more than life itself, you don’t have to give it up for an education. Button-mash your way to a degree at these 10 colleges with the best game design programs, the coolest hardware and the most competitive gaming teams.
10. Robert Morris University
They’re trendsetters—the first school in the entire country to offer athletic scholarships for eSports. Gamers with League of Legends experience can compete on their varsity squad, the Robert Morris Eagles, and earn up to 50 percent of tuition and room and board (worth around $19,000). Practicing for four hours a day at least, the Eagles buff their summoner skills with some of the best hardware available; their school-gifted rig includes a 128GB solid state drive (what’s a loading screen?) and a 24-inch HD monitor.