Esports Takes Another Step Towards a Pro Sports Model With Overwatch Collegiate League

Published: Mar 4, 2020 - Last Updated: Jul 11, 2023

The esports system in the United States has taken another big step towards setting up a system akin to that used by other sports with the news that Activision Blizzard, developers of the Overwatch World League and Call of Duty League, have struck a deal for an Overwatch Collegiate League.

The deal was struck with UMG Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Torque Esports, and the series, called the UMG Overwatch Collegiate Clash, will be contested over an eight-week period, with the schools competing for a prize fund of $40,000.

The cash, however, will be available to the victors in the form of esports scholarships.

The importance of collegiate esports

As we already alluded to in a recent article, collegiate esports is a key developmental step in the establishment of the esports industry and there are already hundreds of colleges across the United States, and at similar educational establishments in other countries, that have an active and thriving esports scene.

Currently, hundreds of colleges across the United States have their own Overwatch team and across the first seven weeks of the tournament, teams will be selected from this group to compete against each other, with the aim of earning a place in the finals, which take place on the eighth week of the tournament.

umg-overwatch-collegiate-clash

The UMG Overwatch Collegiate Clash will be streamed live at Twitch.tv, to further enhance the exposure for the next generation of esports talent.

It is abundantly clear that this development is another key step towards setting up a parallel system for potential esports professionals as exists for young wannabe football, basketball or baseball stars, who move through the school system before the very best are eventually drafted onto professional teams.

“Becoming the Development League”

Speaking about the agreement, Torque’s Esports President and CEO Darren Cox clearly outlined their decision to echo how many sports operate in America in particular.

“Esports observers have highlighted colleges in the USA as a big opportunity for publishers and brands alike, and Torque will use this huge opportunity with Overwatch to prove the value to all parties.”

“Like stick and ball sports, college competition is becoming the development league where young esports stars of the future are honing their skills and preparing to become professional gamers. It is a clear step to the ‘big leagues’.”

An exciting development for OWL and Call of Duty Leagues

This news is also exciting news for the teams participating in Activision Blizzard’s other two big franchises, the Overwatch World League and Call of Duty League. In addition to this year, Coronavirus concerns notwithstanding, seeing teams play home and away fixtures in the leagues, matching the ‘sports model’ of competition, we now see clear signs that underneath this top-level, a collegiate level of competition is being developed.

It would be hugely surprising, once the Call of Duty League is a little more established if the same process is followed in setting up a collegiate level feeder for this professional competition too.

For esports gamers, it is also a fantastic opportunity to develop their skills at a secondary level of gaming, in what will be a highly competitive environment against competitors of a similar ability.

The first UMG Overwatch Collegiate Clash is expected to start in late March 2020.

Ian John

Since: August 10, 2015

Ian is a regular contributor to EsportsBets. Ian is well-versed in the world of esports betting and casino gaming and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.

See all articles from this author

Related Articles

w7m win rainbow six invitational 2024 in sao paolo brazil
February 27, 2024

The BLAST R6 Six Invitational Breaks Records with Viewership

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege esports continues to surge as the BLAST R6 Six Invitational becomes the biggest…
Image via Rivalry
February 27, 2024

Rivalry Partners with Launders for Launders LAN in Toronto

Esports book Rivalry and caster and esports influencer Mohan “Launders” Govindasamy have unveiled the Launders LAN, a Counter-Strike 2 tournament…
February 25, 2024

How to Watch the PGL Major Copenhagen

Top-tier Counter-Strike returns in March as the PGL Major Copenhagen 2024 kicks off pitting 24 teams against each…
Best Fortnite Skins 2021
February 20, 2024

Best Fortnite Skins 2024: Which Are The Top 10 Most Popular Skins in Fortnite?

So, you want to flash your cash, and show off your Fortnite fashion to the rest of the…
GSL Season 2 Code S: Betting Preview
February 19, 2024

GSL Code S Season 1 2024 Betting Preview: Odds, Format & Predictions

Kickstarting another season, GSL Code S betting is back with the first season of 2024 kicking off in…
February 14, 2024

Rivalry and Blacklist International Extend Partnership in Dota 2-Focused Venture

Sports betting and media company Rivalry has extended its partnership with esports organization Blacklist International, as the pair of companies…
February 13, 2024

Thunderpick World Championship Returns with $1 Million Prize Pool

Online crypto betting site Thunderpick has today announced the Thunderpick World Championship 2024, an international CS2 tournament with…
Spirit vs FaZe Analysis & Prediction - IEM Katowice 2024 Grand Final
February 11, 2024

Spirit vs FaZe Analysis & Prediction – IEM Katowice 2024 Grand Final

Despite being a rematch from the group stage, this year’s IEM Katowice Grand Final has got everyone excited…