Mold your mind with games: University in California offering scholarships to the best Smash Bros. Ultimate players


When I was a young lad going to school, I was told video games rot the brain. They could not help me with my education. Only judicious amounts of studying would get me my degree. Fast forward to 2019, and it turns out everything is a lie. The University of California, Irvine is offering scholarships to expert Smash Bros. Ultimate gamers. I now curse being a child of the 1980s.

Scholarships for serious skill!

This particular financial opportunity is a reality due to a $50,000 donation from the owners of Street Media. Students will be selected by the institution’s eSports program and TAG Smash Ultimate Club. The six best players will each receive scholarships worth $6,000, plus funds to cover additional costs. Hopefully, that extra money will go towards making sure everyone has the Fighter Pass. Also, schools have eSports projects now?!

The university’s eSports department will provide personnel to coordinate gaming schedules, equipment, and any necessary travel. However, no coaches will be on offer. Since only six trainees will get cash, I doubt they will be sportsmanlike and teach one another. It’d be heartwarming to see, though!

It’s not all fun and games. Every participant must practice 10 to 15 hours per week. Also, they have to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Therefore, they have to be just like college me and balance their extracurricular activities and educational ambitions. Things aren’t so different now, after all.

Parting words from an educator

The director of UCI eSports, Mark Deppe, uttered the following regarding the opportunity:

The ‘Smash’ community at UCI is one of the biggest and most passionate gaming clubs on campus. We are fortunate to be able to offer scholarships to ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Overwatch’ players. When a donor emerged with a desire to support one of his favorite games, we knew this was something we had to pursue to create more opportunities for the ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ student gaming community.

What a beautiful time to be alive. Perhaps I will travel to California and hone my Smash skills at UCI. If I’m good enough, I won’t have to worry about paying off student loans.

Enthusiasts, what do you make of this unique opportunity for scholarships? Let us know your innermost feelings down below.



Arthur Damian
Arthur Damian is a writer, editor, educator, and lover of video games. Based and living in Brooklyn, NY, he has been gaming since the age of five, from the NES to the Nintendo Switch. His favorite system is the SNES, his favorite game is Chrono Trigger, and you cannot convince him otherwise. He loves dogs, rainbow cookies, Spider-Man, and songs with intricate drum patterns. Arthur is also the Editor-in-Chief at That VideoGame Blog.