Riot Games has entered a partnership with the American collegiate athletic programme Big East Conference to launch the Big East League of Legends Championship in Spring 2019.
Seven of the 10 schools in the Big East Conference will compete in the League of Legends competition. Specifically: Butler, DePaul, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, and Villanova.
Taking place in a regular season which will start in January next year, the championship will see the top four teams compete for the title. The winner and runner-up will book their spot in the League of Legends Championship Play-In, giving them a chance to reach the League of Legends College Championship.
Vince Nicastro, Deputy Commissioner & COO of the Big East Conference commented: “As the Big Fast enters its second year of competitive esports, we are very excited to further our involvement with Riot Games and our League of Legends competition. Interest in esports on our campuses continues to grow and we are proud to be able to provide the opportunity for Big East students to compete on the national stage.”
The League of Legends College Championship is a collegiate competition involving schools in North America. Over 300 teams competed in the initiative in this year’s iteration of the championship.
Michael Sherman, College Esports Lead at Riot Games added: “We have continually been impressed by the Big East’s forward-looking approach for how esports can support their membership since we first talked with them in 2016. This partnership is a huge step forward for College League of Legends and sets a new precedent for support from a Division I conference.”
In October, Big East Conference partnered with ESL to launch a Rocket League competition within the conference. A pilot event was hosted in April, and led to a more permanent inclusion for esports in the initiative.
Esports Insider says: It’s clear that the Big East Conference is keen to integrate esports in a big way, and partnering with Riot Games – in addition to ESL – is certainly one way to do that. It’s great to see that two teams will get the chance to compete in Riot Games’ official collegiate competition, too.