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First Evo Scholarship from NYU Game Center awards more than $20K

The winner of the first Evo Scholarship from the NYU Game Center will receive more than $20,000 from the school toward a game design degree there, the NYU Game Center announced today.

Tony Kao, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Chicago, will enter a Master of Fine Arts program in competitive game design at the NYU Game Center this fall. He expects to graduate in the spring of 2016.

"Tony embodies exactly the candidate we were hoping to attract with this scholarship — a committed gamer and a talented designer who jumped at the opportunity to pursue game design at a deeper level," said Frank Lantz, chair of the NYU Game Center, in a press release today.

The NYU Game Center, which runs game-related master's degree programs at New York University, teamed up with the Evolution Championship Series last year to create the Evo Scholarship. The criteria for the recipient of the annual honor include participation in the fighting game community; an interest in game design, specifically for competitive games; and financial need.

The organizers of Evo donate all proceeds from purchases of tickets for the Evo livestream, which cost $12 apiece for Evo 2014, to fund the Evo Scholarship. This year, they're hoping to double the amount they were able to contribute for the inaugural scholarship.

"At Evo we feel a sense of duty to support fighting game players not only in their competitive lives, but in their personal and professional growth as people," said Tom Cannon, the founder of Evo.

Evo 2014 runs from July 11-13 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more, check out the full livestream schedule.