The University of California, Irvine, is diving into esports in a big way.

With support from League of Legends developer Riot Games, the university is constructing a 325sqm eSports arena and webcasting studio for live competitions.

Up to 10 academic scholarships will also be offered to students on the university's League of Legends team, similar to American universities' long-held tradition of sports scholarships.

"We hope to attract the best gamers from around the world," said vice chancellor for student affairs Thomas Parham, "and our academic programs in computer gaming science, digital arts, computer science, engineering, anthropology, law, medicine, neuroscience and behaviour create a strong foundation for research and inquiry related to gaming."

This is just the latest foray into universities by Riot's collegiate programme, which sponsors League of Legends clubs at schools across North America and Europe.

UCI was ranked number 1 school for gamers by College Magazine in 2015; 72 percent of students identify as gamers, and the school offers both a computer game science major and cross-disciplinary research between games and other subjects.