Today, Twitch, which is one of the world's leading video game broadcasting networks, announce the winners of the first annual Twitch & Alienware Scholarship for Outstanding Student Gamers.
The competition awarded $50,000 in scholarship based on criteria spanning academic and gaming achievements, which was sponsored by SteelSeries, a leading manufacturer of gaming peripherals, including headsets, keyboards, mice, software and gaming surfaces. The winners, who each will receive $10,000, include Kevin Carlino (pictured above), John Stockwell, Antonio Revard, Joey Yurgelon and Kelli Dunlap. It is quite unprecedented to hear anyone receiving funds for higher education just from being a professional gamer — and we're not talking about those Dell commercials that give you a free Xbox 360 for school.
"Live video game streaming is gaining momentum quickly as evidenced by the traffic to Twitch as well as the increase in pro tournaments, partnerships, charity drives, developer showcases and sponsor interest," according to CEO of Twitch, Emmett Shear. "The avid professional gaming and spectator community has helped us thrive with more than 20 million visitors a month, and this scholarship is our way of showing appreciation for their passion while reinforcing our commitment to what we view as a legitimate sport."
The eSports movement has grown by leaps and bounds with millions streaming, tweeting, and sharing their competitive gaming accomplishments through a well-connected network of professional and non-professional gamers. SteelSeries, which partnered with Twitch (formerly Twitch TV), is Dell's high-powered PC gaming brand and is keenly aware of its place within the competitive gaming space. Kim Rom, not to be confused with Kim Dotcom, CMO of SteelSeries notes it well, saying, "Some of our most loyal, passionate customers are students. The passion that our customers show for gaming is absolutely infectious, and we want to support them in any way we can. We hope the scholarship money will help our customers turn their passion into a career.
In order to have qualified for the Twitch & Alienware Scholarship, winners were determined by a panel of industry experts who factored in their grades, gaming achievements and true passion for the gaming profession.
Below, you can find a breakdown on each of the scholarship winners and their merits:
Kelli Dunlap: American School of Professional Psychology in Washington, D.C., PhD candidate —
This Halo expert and graduate student is conducting her doctoral dissertation research on the interplay between video games, personality and mental health. Simply put: Are you a noob or are you a pwner?
Kevin Carlino: Arizona State University, Computer Science —
This fifteen year veteran of the classic Diablo franchise, Carlino also serves as the host of Diablo Daily for Team Evil Geniuses, and he loves s'mores (we keed, we keed).
John Stockwell: Pennsylvania State University, Computer Science —
This aspiring game developer has a mean fixation on playing competitive Team Fortress 2. You may not have enough logs to tussle with this Gaming Abe Lincoln.
Antonio Revard: Michigan State University, Media Arts & Technology (Video Games Design & Development) —
A popular name amongst Twitch users, Revard is also a former professional Counter-Strike player and is a prominent broadcaster on the world's leading video game broadcasting network.
Joey Yurgelon: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Mechanical Engineering —
If you feel yourself to be a true real-time strategist then Joey Yurgelon may be one to disagree. The self-admitted fanatic of the Blizzard Entertainment classic Starcraft, also enjoys playing League of Legends.