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Concordia University Texas is offering thousands of dollars in video gaming scholarships

The new scholarship competition program at Concordia doesn't require a lot of sweating -- unless you're losing.

AUSTIN, Texas — The idea of the student-athlete is changing.

A new scholarship sport at Concordia University Texas doesn't require any running or throwing. Instead, it puts the player behind a video game controller.

"I've always loved video games. They've been a part of me," Cameron Hoffman, who has played video games since he was a kid, said.

The new esports competition program at Concordia doesn't require a lot of sweating -- unless you're losing.

"It's starting to become more of a competitive scene," Hoffman said. "We see more and more people making a living out of playing video games."

Starting this fall, many students like Hoffman could land big bucks in scholarships for doing just that.

"Being a small private university, our options are limited," Marc Valdoria, the coach of the program, said. "To allow students to express themselves was a great opportunity to capitalize on."

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Valdoria said Concordia will add the first varsity esports program of its kind in Central Texas starting in Fall 2019. 

The Austin campus joins more than 100 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada who have a team.

"It takes a lot of game experience and knowledge. And like in sports, you have to do repetitive things to get better," Valdoria said. "It's the same with gaming. If you want to be one of the best, you have to keep practicing."

Concordia will enter the competitive gaming arena by sponsoring teams in League of Legends and Overwatch. The campus will be offering 10 scholarships worth up to $18,000 based on esports and merit for the new competitive gaming program.

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"Even though it's being housed under student life, it's a varsity esports program," Ronda Seagraves, the Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at Concordia, said. "The students will be treated like student athletes, meaning their accountability and eligibility will be the same."

The new program will allow students like Hoffman to use their talent to meet their career goals.

"It lets people like me make something out of it and not only play a video game as a hobby," Hoffman said.

For more information on the scholarship opportunity, click here.

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