The National Association of Collegiate eSports has partnered with Hi-Rez Studios to create varsity eSports leagues in both SMITE and Paladins.
Michael Brooks, NACE Executive Director, stated:
“When the very first colleges started varsity eSports programs, they typically started with teams in one to two different games.
Now that we have models in place for developing an eSports department and our first institutions have matured more, the goal has shifted to expanding these departments into more games.
Fundamentally, this means more opportunities for students interested in games beyond Hearthstone, League of Legends, or Overwatch.
Working directly with the publisher of the games brought into the varsity level is paramount in order to see the space grow.
This allows access to systems needed by administrators to lead teams and offers security for schools in how they operate their programs.
Hi-Rez Studios was one of the first publishers to recognize the clear need for publishers and administrators to work together if the collegiate space is to have success.”
NACE and Hi-Rez Studios will be creating recruiting systems and outreach programs to help connect coaches with students interested in joining the eSports scene.
The first competition will start in August of this year. The league will be split up to accommodate the semesters of the school year.
We’re excited to see the varsity eSports programs expand.
NACE currently has 78 varsity eSports programs across North America.
They provide students with the tools they need to advance in the eSports area, while also connecting students with scholarships, graduation guidance, and competition arrangements.