The world is changing. Fast. AI is advancing at a pace we previously thought impossible. The James Webb telescope is unfurling the great beyond before our very eyes. Kanye West has completely lost his mind. (Okay, that last one happened a while ago.) And eSports as a main source of income isn’t frowned upon as much. South Africa is still behind in that department, though Centennial Schools is looking to change that.
See Mom, we told you video games weren’t a waste of time
The school is the first in South Africa (and Africa) to start offering scholarships specifically in the field of eSports. Only three spots are on offer so far for kids aged 12 – 15, with the ‘best’ gamer winning a R300,000 scholarship. The second and third best will receive R200,000 and R150,000 scholarships to Centennial schools, respectively.
The founder of Centennial Schools, Shaun Fuchs, explains: “eSports have become more inclusive than other sports, with boys and girls able to play on the same teams and participants coming from various social groups and demographics… eSports is incorporated into our overall approach to education as it teaches students valuable skills beyond the classroom,” he continues.
Centennial Schools houses the largest (and probably best) eSports arena that a South African school has ever seen. There are 30 individual gaming rigs and lounge areas with stands to seat spectators. There’s also enough RGB to trigger any unfound epilepsy cases. It’s a true gaming space.
Time to win some money
Since the entire point of eSports (or any sport, really) is to win, the scholarships are being awarded to the children that can outperform the rest. The top three kids will be granted scholarships. We hope the rest have a solid plan B. Kids that participate will need to compete in Minecraft, Aim Lab, Overcooked and Superliminal.
Why those games? Well, we couldn’t tell you. Sure, these can all be considered ‘competitive games’, though they aren’t what come to mind for eSports competitions. We expected established eSports titles like Fortnite, Rocket League or CS:GO. Still, to each their own, we guess.
The scholarships on offer are even being backed by some big names in the gaming industry. Cooler Master has signed up, providing gaming equipment worth R25,000 to the school. Asus is also on the team, providing gaming laptops to the scholarship winners along with some additional gear to build up the children’s at-home setups. And finally, BRUSA Sports – a company that helps young children get scholarships to the US is also on board.
Registrations open today, 25 January and close on 28 February 2023. Only children who are in grades 6-9 will qualify for the scholarship competition. To sign up, click right here.