Waterloo esports gets boost with new scholarship

Games Institute and faculty partners continue building on recent success

By Emma Vossen Games Institute

The University of Waterloo Games Institute has secured $25,000 of funding per year over two years from the Ontario government to provide scholarships to students pursuing careers in the gaming and esports industries.

The Games Institute is an interdisciplinary research network hub that seeks to advance the study, design and purpose of interactive, immersive technologies and experiences. It is a key part of the Waterloo tech ecosystem for its role in research, education, knowledge dissemination, outreach and collaboration.

The new scholarship is an interdisciplinary collaborative effort between the Games Institute and the faculties of Arts, Health, Math, Engineering and Science, part of an Ontario-wide allocation of one million dollars over two years across 18 institutions.

The scholarships are valued at $2,500 to $5000 each and will support high-achieving graduate and undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and are pursuing careers in the gaming and esports industries.

"Given the continual growth of the esports phenomenon worldwide, it’s fantastic to see the Ontario government supporting students who want to be part of this emerging profession through these scholarships," says Neil Randall, executive director of the Games Institute. "UWaterloo students are perfect for this initiative, and I’m excited about where the support will lead them."

Successful applicants will be welcomed to join Waterloo’s Games Institute as members of the community and research ecosystem to help further and support their work in gaming, esports and interactive technologies.

The new scholarship opportunity comes on the heels of remarkable growth and recent successes of esports at Waterloo. In November 2022, an esports event hosted at the local Bingemans Conference Centre attracted participants from around the region. Waterloo’s competitive esports team is actively involved in competition with other Ontario universities and in tournaments throughout North America. Esports continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in the entertainment industry.

Interested students are invited to apply for the new scholarships.