Waikato University hands out country's first e-sports scholarship

Waikato University has handed out the first scholarships in the country for e-sports.

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Recipient Ryan Holt estimates he plays about 30 hours per week to stay at the top of his game. Source: Seven Sharp

Ryan Holt spent his final year at high school while juggling a career as a professional gamer.

"I am the first and currently the only one to have such a scholarship in the country," Mr Holt told Seven Sharp.

Mr Holt is one of the best League of Legends players in the country all thanks to about 30 hours a week practise on the game.

"The stress e-sports players go through when playing League of Legends is the same amount of stress race car drivers go through," he said.

This scholarship comes at a time when Waikato University is investing in the game with Tom Featonby, the university's e-sports coordinator.

Last night, the university opened the OMEN Esports Arena, a dedicated space designed to give students a place to compete, train and learn about the industry.

"It's just like any other sport, you can be really good and follow your passion and make a career out of these things," Mr Featonby said.

For Mr Holt, a computer science major, it's all validation that the world is recognising his passion.

"More and more it seems possible that I can make something out of my life playing video games."