ASHLAND, Ohio — You may want to stop telling your kids to quit playing video games. A local college is the first in the nation to offer a Fortnite scholarship for students.
River Daunhauer from Chippewa Lake in Medina County is among the first players to be awarded a $4,000 Fortnite scholarship to Ashland University “I was so excited I could go to college and do something that I love to do. It’s a sport to me. I have to go to practice and stuff.”
According to Joshua Buchanan, the first Head Esports Coach at Ashland University, Ashland is the first college in the U.S. to add Fortnite to its Esports program. There are 34 students on the Esports team — 10 are focused solely on Fortnite. They practice in the university’s new gaming center with 25 gaming stations and, soon, a player’s lounge.
“Each of them play 20 hours per week: 9 hours of official practice; 2 hours, 5 days a week of individual practice outside to work on their individual skill,” Buchanan said.
Ashland joins programs like those at the University of Akron, one of 66 colleges and universities in the U.S. that participate in varsity Esports.
The schools recruit Esports players in the same way they would a varsity athlete.