With the rapid rise of esports, thousands of college gamers find a heretofore unexpected opportunity unfolding before them as they chart the scholastic waters of their secondary education—that of the student athlete. And while the schlubs of sports-gone-past sweat on the sunbaked track outside the gym, this new generation of air-conditioned athletes drifts through hairpin turns while hitting top speed on ’shrooms and hurling explosive turtleshells at their equally absurd opponents. From Fortnite to FIFA, Rocket League to Madden. Overwatch. League of Legends. Call of Duty. Super Smash Brothers. Mario Kart. All of the time-honored and respected means of combat previously relegated to the unofficial and underground have emerged blinking in the sun with high scores to settle. International competitions garner spectators by the millions and global e-sports revenues are projected to top $1 billion this year. In short: Yes, mom, someone will pay me to play video games. And that means someone else will pay to learn. Keiser University offers to hone students’ gaming skills, get them into the competition and set them up for career opportunities. University of South Florida just launched an organization spanning all three of its campuses and comprising more than 200 student gamers. In collaboration with Florida State University, University of Central Florida and University of Florida, they hosted a Battle for Florida tournament this year. At Ringling College of Art + Design, what began as an e-sports club started by a pair of first-year students, has spiraled into a college-wide partnership with e-sports organizing app MissionControl, and multiple tournaments hosted throughout the year, with students competing for prizes in front of streaming viewers. Relatively pandemic-proof, the esports league even continue past lockdown and hosted competitions throughout the summer. Local entrepreneurs have taken notice as well, including Sy Pilz and Rich Schineller of Samurai Sy Productions, who this past year began production on Esports Edge, a television series about the competitive gaming industry. Shot at Ringling College’s studios and labs, as well as the new esports arena at Ohio State University, the show takes viewers behind the scenes in the world of competitive video games, explaining everything from the basics of gaming to the intricacies of high-level play and starting a career in the business.