Collegiate v. Challenger: A Letter to Tespa

DRAFT

With dreams of becoming eSports professionals, students with amazing scholastic potential are leaving university and choosing the Challenger Series over Collegiate eSports. And somehow (is it legislative?) collegiate eSports teams have found a way to hog-tie themselves into a position in which they can’t offer students any incentive to stay.

When presenting students with the opportunity to become eSports athletes Tespa boasts that as an organization they have given out over 1 million dollars in scholarship money. Considering an average student education costs anywhere from $20-$100k, a million dollars doesn’t stretch very far. The universities themselves are offering students an average of around $5,000 in scholarship money, which can pay for housing and books, or tuition, but not both. Like the NCAA offering students “only” scholarship money, the universities are profiting off the backs of students. Choosing not to compensate them financially and leaving a student – usually with minds not yet developed for decision making – with only one feasible option: leave school and join the Challenger League. Which frankly is not an entirely dumb decision. The Challenger League provides them an on-ramp to professional eSports and pays $10,000 a month. Ten times the amount they’d have made in scholarship money over the same period and that’s only of they were in the Big Ten.

Like the NCAA “only” permitting schools to offer students scholarship money, despite the fact that those same students bring in millions of dollars worth of profit a year. Choosing not to compensate them financially and leaving a student – generally with minds not yet developed for decision making – with only one feasible option: to leave school and join the Challenger League. Which frankly is not an entirely dumb decision. The Challenger League provides them an on-ramp to professional eSports and pays $10,000 a month. Ten times the amount they’d have made in scholarship money over the same period and that’s only of they were in the Big Ten…

I could continue but I feel my point is clear. I want to know, from those much better versed in this industry than I, what is it we can do for these students? Would branding them as streamers and working with the Twitch Students community help? Would there something “wrong” about sponsoring members themselves instead of teams, who pass the money to management and leave none for the team? How do we support these players in both their careers and their education, while making sure that they’re fairly compensated for the entertainment they bring to us and the money they make for their organizations?

@WASDmeta

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