SOUTHFIELD – Lawrence Technological University offered $600,000 in scholarships to the winners and runners-up of the first-ever E-Sports Michigan Invitational video game tournament, held Saturday on LTU’s Southfield campus.
Some 75 students from 15 high schools in the Detroit area competed. LTU and the State Champs! high school sports TV show sponsored the event.
Teams competed throughout the day in brackets, and in the finals, Troy High School defeated Bloomfield Hills High School 2-1. Members of Troy High’s team were Wesley Chiu, Linus Garin, Ken Lu, Evan Jiang, and Eric Zhang.
LTU offered scholarships of $16,000 a year for up to four years to the Troy High winners, and $14,000 a year for up to four years for the Bloomfield Hills runners-up.
The teams competed in League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena game first released in 2009. League of Legends has become one of the world’s most popular multiplayer games, with more than 60 million people playing online per month, with peak hours reaching 7.5 million people playing simultaneously around the world. National championships in the game are contested in the United States, Germany, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and other nations. In the U.S., the championship draws 20,000 people to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Lisa Kujawa, LTU assistant provost for enrollment management, said the tournament was part of the university’s continuing outreach to K-12 students interested in LTU’s computer science, game art, interaction design, and other technology programs.
Kujawa said the university plans to host the tournament again next year. For more information, visit http://esportsmichigan.com/.
Other teams competing included Canton High School, Clarkston High School, Warren De La Salle High School, Lakeland High School, Salem High School, Warren Consolidated Schools, Seaholm High School, Dakota High School, Plymouth High School, Chippewa Valley High School, Milford High School, Clawson High School, and Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Detroit.