Field Trip: Video game scholarships at NYIT

OLD WESTBURY, Long Island (WABC) -- Can you imagine getting a scholarship to play video games? Well you'll soon be able to do just that at the New York Institute of Technology. In fact, NYIT Athletics has been in the forefront in collegiate eSports.

The CyBears have their own state-of-the-art eSports arena inside their library on its Long Island campus.

The arena, which boasts 14 maxed-out computers with GTX 1080 TI graphics cards, 500 GB of storage and 32 GB of RAM, and 240hz monitors that measure 24 inches - is open to the general student body when NYIT's eSports team is not practicing or competing. The room also features 70-inch monitors for spectators to follow the action.

The room is also equipped with state-of-the-art OPSeat and Vertagear gaming chairs.

The CyBears membership has ballooned to more than 50 participants and they currently compete in six games: Overwatch, League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, Rainbow 6 Siege and Smash Brothers (Melee/Ultimate).

The CyBears also competed in the first-ever eSports competition at Nassau Coliseum, routing Molloy in Overwatch before a spirited crowd at the arena as well as more than 3,400 online viewers on Twitch.

NYIT even has its own Twitch channel.

The CyBears also play a league schedule through the East Coast Conference, which crowns a champion each spring that earns an automatic berth to the League of Legends Championship Play-In. NYIT will host that ECC championship on March 30 at the theatre at its Manhattan campus.

And how about this? The eSports team also benefits from cutting-edge research on campus into the effects of gaming. Doctors from NYIT's Center for Sports Medicine are influential in consulting with eSports manufacturers and perform research to ensure ergonomic chairs and other gear and the overall safety of participants.

These aren't your days of playing Donkey Kong or Tetris, but we had to see it all for ourselves in this week's Field Trip.

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