Fortnite is now one of the biggest games in the world. However, it doesn’t exactly have an official eSports scene yet. That’s not stopping a university in the US from being one of the first colleges in the country, and probably the world, to offer scholarships for Fortnite and Fortnite: Battle Royale players.
Ashland University in Ohio announced earlier this week that it will begin offering Fortnite as part of its eSports program starting in Fall 2018. Speaking to Variety, Ashland University head coach Josh Buchanan said: “I think Fortnite has a lot of room for players to get creative. There’s a lot of teamwork in [the game’s core building mechanic] that’s really untapped. A lot of players kind of do fancy stuff, and it looks cool, but it might not be the most efficient. I think it’s a game that, due to how creative you can be, there’s a lot of potential to get really, really skilled in the game.”
According to the official site, the Ashland University Eagles eSports team is planning to conduct tryouts for Fortnite players for the next school year, which it will announce on an unspecified date. The team is looking to arrange teams comprising of four players each that will practice and compete regularly.
The Ashland University eSports team already offers League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League within its ranks. The eSports program offers scholarships of up to $4000 based on player skill and academic requirements. Anyone interested in joining the program can do so by filling out the form here.
It is the hope of head coach Buchanan that there will eventually be collegiate leagues set up for official Fortnite competitions in the future. He said: “Fortnite appeals to both the core and casual gaming audience. We’re excited to provide this platform for gamers who want to showcase their skills in a more competitive space. Fortnite facilitates an environment that allows players to get creative, innovate and show off their mastery of their skills.”