Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is the first third level institute in the country to launch an esports scholarship.
With over 2.5 billion active gamers globally and over 70,000 esports players in the country, it is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.
The scholarship, which is sponsored by UPMC Ireland and ArcLabs, will be available to new and existing students of WIT. Under two categories, Elite Esports and Emerging Talent, the WIT Vikings Esports scholarship will be offered to League of Legends, Valorant, Counter-Strike, Rocket League and FIFA '20 gamers.
Speaking at its launch, Head of Vikings Sport, John Windle said his goal is to give all esport players in WIT "the opportunity to receive the same supports and recognition that is given to current sports teams".
Critics have questioned the legitimacy of esports as a sport, however, the official governing body of gaming and esports in Ireland has defended the categorisation.
Darragh Cunningham, Director of Ireland Esports, said "The skill level, commitment and consistency of effort from esports athletes matched and at times exceeded that of what I have seen across other sports".