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College esports programs looking for next recruits at Virtual Esports Combine

Like more mainstream college sports, esports recruiters are looking for the best of the best in gaming.

INDIANAPOLIS — All those hours behind a screen playing video games may turn out to be worth it for students. More and more colleges are willing to pay high-schoolers to join their esports squads.

Esports is a booming multi-billion-dollar industry right now, and colleges are offering scholarships for student gamers.

Just like other college sports, there are recruiters looking for the best of the best. There's a Virtual Esports Combine Oct. 15-17, giving young gamers a chance to show off their skills to scouts.

Indiana Sports Corp. partnered with Ball State University to make it happen. So why are colleges now taking an interest in building their roster?

"Colleges and universities target these esports players to increase teams to help sort of grow their academic programming," said Indiana Sports Corp Ryan Vaughn. "A lot of these kids are STEM-focused in their education and they want to pursue STEM-focused careers or higher education. There's also just a lot of emergent technologies around gaming that these kids are particularly skilled at because they've been engaging with it for so long."

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There are a handful of Indiana colleges and Universities among the 124 teams already registered as scouts, including Ball State, Butler, Anderson University, Bethel University more. Some larger schools, like the University of Louisville and the University of Oklahoma, will also be present.

Registration is open to any high school student in the country online. Recruiters will be looking for gamers who excel in games including League of Legends, Fortnite, FIFA, Madden, NBA2K, Call of Duty and more. To see the full list, click here.