An anonymous reader shares an article: Professional Esports -- competitive video game playing as a spectator sport -- is surging in the U.S., with revenues in the hundreds of millions and growing fast. So it's little surprise that collegiate esports -- in which universities field their own teams just as they would for baseball or basketball -- has been been growing as well, to the point where players are now sometimes earning scholarships that pay their entire tuition. Stephen's College, an all-women's college in Columbia, Missouri, announced a varsity esports program two weeks ago. The University of Utah did the same in early April. The growth of varsity esports teams is phenomenal, said Michael Brooks, executive director at the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), a non-profit organization that is working to set standards and build infrastructure for the scene. NACE launched in September to advocate for college esports, initiate communication between schools, and provide information to program directors interested in varsity esports programs. At the time, there were only seven varsity esports programs in North America. Now there are 34 varsity programs in total, and 31 are members of NACE. Brooks expects the number of varsity programs to double by August.
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