Scholarships have forever been a mainstay of college sports, and now esports are getting into the scholarship act too. This is the second year of a college esports tournament from video game giant Blizzard. The tournament is called Heroes of the Dorm, and teams compete in Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, a five-on-five “hero brawler.” Tournament play is going on now and wraps up in April with the finals in Seattle.
The top college team from the U.S. and Canada will win big scholarships: $25,000 per year per team member (for up to three years of undergraduate study). Prizes for other winning teams include high-end gaming PCs. Blizzard says, “In total, more than $500,000 in scholarships and other prizes are up for grabs.” ESPN is hosting live coverage, which is streaming on Twitch and other platforms.
This year’s tournament started at the end of January with qualifying rounds. Now the top 64 teams are advancing through a single-elimination bracket. This stage lasts until April 3, at which point four teams, the Heroic Four, will be determined.
The Heroic Four teams will travel to Seattle to compete in the live tournament, which will run April 9-10. The event will be streamed or you can go to Seattle to see the event live at CenturyLink Field. “Admission is free, but for the ultimate Heroes of the Dorm experience, priority access to the venue at CenturyLink Field, a Heroes of the Storm skin code, and a voucher redeemable for a Heroes of the Dorm 2016 T-shirt, the premium ticket to the Heroic Four is the way to go, ” says Blizzard.
Blizzard is strict about the rules. A few days ago the Harvard team was disqualified for cheating, when it was discovered that a team member was sharing accounts with a player who was not on the team. A Berkeley team replaced Harvard.