ESPN Events, the event promoter of ESPN, has announced the Collegiate Esports Championship (CEC), a new series of collegiate esports events in which students can compete for scholarships. The inaugural event will be held in Houston, Texas as part of the Comicpalooza convention.
Collegiate esports continues to grow
With the recent cancellation of Heroes of the Dorm and Heroes of the Storm Global Championship, the ESPN event presents the ideal candidate to fill the void. With hundreds of schools across North America invited to compete, it’s a great opportunity for schools that have been developing competitive teams on campus to showcase their accomplishments.
“As universities continue to grow their esports programs at the varsity, non-varsity and club levels, we’re proud to be providing a platform for national exposure and recognition of some of the most talented players in the collegiate space,” said ESPN Digital Media Programming VP John Lasker. “Through our collaboration with top publishers in the industry, players will be able to showcase their talent in high-level competition on some of the most prominent esports titles.”
The tournament will start with qualifiers hosted by collegiate esports organizations Tespa and Collegiate Starleague (CSL). Once qualifiers are over, the event will move to Houston, where a live LAN event featuring semi-finals and finals will take place. Hosted at the George R Brown Convention Center during the Comicpalooza weekend, CEC will run May 10-12.
“We are looking forward to being part of the great spotlight ESPN will shine on the burgeoning collegiate esports scene as a result of their CEC event,” said CSL CEO Wim Stocks.
The winners will receive prizes in the form of scholarships, something that is not new to the collegiate esports scene.
Blizzard, Capcom are on board
The event will feature myriad major titles, including Overwatch, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. According to the news release, qualifying rounds and the main event will be streamed globally on ESPN and various other platforms.
“It’ll be a first for Blizzard to have four collegiate championship events under one roof, which should make for an awesome show for the fans,” said Blizzard Live Experiences Senior VP Todd Pawlowski.
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