Arcadia teen lands esports scholarship to University of Utah for video gaming

ARCADIA, Calif (KABC) -- Arcadia teen Micah Tang seems like most high school students his age -- he likes video games.

A typical game of Hearthstone lasts five to 20 minutes. Micah said he plays about 20 to 50 times a day.

"We fought tooth and nail. There are holes in this room from a very frustrated teenager," said Micah's mom, Jennie Chang,

For most traditional families, the path to college is paved through academics or athletics, but gaming?

"We've had countless, countless heated discussions about where his priorities were. I would say I was probably his biggest obstacle," his mom said.

Now, she's one of his biggest supporters. Micah, whose game name is "Ryder," landed a Division 1 scholarship to University of Utah for gaming.

"It's amazing how I can get rewarded for putting in all that time, and losing sleep and just continuing grinding the game," Micah said.

Utah became the first power-conference school to offer scholarship money under the athletic department for esports.

"Micah has now become the catalyst. There's a four-year-guaranteed program in Utah to recruit high school students from around the country to come and play," his mom said.

Micah said he will pursue a degree in video game design.

If you need more proof that game is a fast-growing sport, Utah wasn't the only school that came knocking. Robert Morris University was interested, too.

Friday was graduation for Micah, and he chose not to walk with his classmates. Instead, he attended a national tournament in Austin. Game on!
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.