StarCraft An NCAA Sport? Nerd Schools Hope So

Aren’t we all a little tired of college basketball? I mean, who really wants to watch games all day this weekend? But with baseball still in spring training, pro basketball not mattering until the playoffs, and hockey being hockey, it looks like we have no other options for our sporting fix. But here come the Nerds Of America to save the day.

StarCraft Gamers

The first interscholastic StarCraft league kicked off last month, and is already off to a rousing start. If you don’t know what Starcraft is - congratulations, you probably had dates in high school. It’s an online multiplayer computer game, the kind you picture with overweight gamers living in their parents’ basement, living off cases of Mountain Dew. But for the experts of the Collegiate StarCraft League, it could be their ticket to fame and fortune. Or a wedgie.

Twenty-three schools field teams in the league, including Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon — basically, all the school’s you’d expect. The inaugural match took place between Princeton and MIT, and THE PRINCETONIAN even covered it, writing what one student called “the longest piece in our sports section all year.”

This is the kind of thing that goes on:

“I practiced a lot of the fast-expand build,” [Alex] Shih said. “I got a little thrown off my build when I saw the drop come in with the zealots and the dragoons, but luckily I had a tank there that was actually originally there to combat a reaver drop.”

Picture this coming out of Stuart Scott’s mouth on SportsCenter and I think we have ourselves a winner.

Princeton lost the match, 3 games to 2, and were “visibly shaken after the match.” They were without their best player, who was unavailable due to “prior commitments.” Translated: He was hanging from a hook in the locker room by the waistband of his tighty whiteys.

But StarCraft is no laughing matter. (OK, it is.) In South Korea, competitive gaming is an $81-million-a-year industry, and the top players can make upwards of $300,000 annually in prizes and endorsements. Does this mean we’re a few years away from gaming scholarships to top schools? And can I retroactively have my tuition paid for my expertise at Oregon Trail?