The East Coast Conference announced it will include League of Legends as a sport with conference play between all participating institutions. The Peach Belt Conference began its League program last year and will extend its partnership with Riot Games through 2021.
Beginning next year each conference will hold a regular season and conference championship. Each conference champion will also qualify for the League of Legends College Championship Play-In. 2018’s League collegiate competition saw 300 teams enter with 8 advancing to the championship match.
The ECC is an NCAA Division II conference featuring 10 colleges and universities in the eastern part of the United States.
Dr. Robert Dranoff, ECC Commissioner said: “The East Coast conference is excited to be partnering with League of Legends and Riot Games as we move into the world of collegiate esports. We look forward to hosting our first season of League of Legends play in spring 2019 culminating in our championship tournament. Working with Riot Games, we believe we will be able to offer a great experience to our ECC teams.”
The Peach Belt Conference is also an NCAA Division II conference consisting of 12 institutions in the southern area of the United States. Last year all 12 University’s vetted a League of Legends team for its inaugural season with conference finals held live at Georgia College.
David Brunk, PBC Commissioner commented: “We are very excited to be continuing our relationship with Riot Games for another three years. Our first season of League of Legends was groundbreaking in so many ways and we are grateful to Riot and Michael Sherman for their support through that season into our live conference championship. We appreciate their confidence in us to continue the relationship as we continue to build our League of Legends presence and establish the Peach Belt as a leader in collegiate esports.”
Esports Insider says: Riot certainly has dedicated many of its resources to collegiate League of Legends as of late with the establishment of uLoL and a similar deal with Division I conference Big Ten. One thing collegiate esports in general lacks is an overall structure such as the NCAA. Multiple leagues and tournament exist but none compare to something established by Riot itself. It’s refreshing to see not only the developer dedicate to collegiate esports, but institutions taking it seriously as well.