Heroes of the dorm: Student gamers can win $450,000
All of the hours college gamers have spent playing videogames might come in handy for them. Florida Gulf Coast University students will be able to become heroes. But instead of saving the world, they could save their college tuition.
Blizzard Entertainment will hold an eSports collegiate tournament called “Heroes of the Dorm” after the video game the contestants will be playing.
“Players will compete simultaneously in the tournament online using TeSPA’s [a collegiate gaming network] “Compete” portal, a competitive platform for college students,” said Tyler Rosen, program manager for eSports.
ESPN will broadcast live coverage of the competition, starting with the round of 16 via its online streaming network, ESPN3.
“The competition will kick off on March 28 as teams compete through open qualifiers. From there, the top 64 teams will advance to a single elimination bracket and play in the following weeks until the player pool has narrowed to the top four teams,” Rosen said in an email.
The winning team will walk away with $450,000 in tuition and prizes. Each winning team member will receive $25,000 per year in college tuition for their remaining years of enrollment — up to three full years as an undergraduate student or up to two years as a graduate student. Seniors on the winning team will get up to $25,000 toward their student loans.
“In addition to winning college tuition, players can win epic gaming PCs and an all-expenses paid trip to the finals,” Rosen wrote.
According to Rosen, this is the first time eSports has hosted a tournament.
“By tying collegiate competition to ‘Heroes of the Storm,’ we’re hoping to provide an outlet for students and players alike to engage with our games in a unique and exciting way that hasn’t before happened on this scale,” Rosen wrote. “Similar to our support of TeSPA, we’re thrilled that this program allows us to continue giving back to our college player base in a truly meaningful way by funding the winning team’s college tuition.”
The requirements for registration are simple. Each team member must be enrolled in an accredited graduate school or four-year college or university in the United States or Canada and have a valid university email address.
“While we don’t have an estimate of what the final participation count will be, we are very happy with the thousands of signups so far,” Rosen wrote. “Registration is still open, but to date we’ve had more than 700 complete teams sign up, representing over 350 universities across the United States and Canada.”
Students interested in signing up for the tournament can make a team and register by accessing http://www.heroesofthedorm.com. The last day to register for the tournament is March 26.
“Heroes of the Storm is completely free to play, and is in closed beta testing,” Rosen wrote. “Once students are registered for the tournament, they will receive beta access so they can begin honing their skills.”
Students who might think playing video games is not their forte can compete for prizes by entering a fantasy bracket. Brackets will be available on April 3 on the Heroes of the Dorm official website.
“Spectators can also win amazing prizes, including $10,000 for the top fantasy bracket, top-tier gaming systems, limited-edition “Heroes of the Storm” merchandise and Battle.net gift cards,” Rosen wrote.
Ryan Boddy, a junior double majoring in computer information systems and accounting, likes the idea of the tournament.
“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for Blizzard to create hype for their new game while granting students the opportunity to get paid for what they love, playing video games,” Boddy said.
Blizzard has prize money accessible to students such as Boddy, who cannot participate in gaming but would like to be a part of the tournament.
“I don’t have time to get together a team and learn the mechanics of the game,” Boddy said. “If anything, I will enter the spectators’ prize pool and submit a bracket predicting winners.”