North American esports tournament and production service company Unified has announced plans to expand its high school esports programmes to include League of Legends.
As a result of the expansion, the association will offer competitions for high school students starting in the summer.
The news follows on from Riot Games‘ decision to change the scholastic and collegiate ecosystems for League of Legends. The changes mark the end of esports tournament platform PlayVS‘ exclusive deal with the publisher, opening the door for tournament organisers to host competitions.
Unified’s League of Legends offerings will begin with a one-versus-one tournament open to all high school students in North America. The competition includes $500 (~£408.94) in gaming equipment as prizes.
Following the introductory tournaments, Unified is said to offer ‘safe, structured, and fun competitions on a national scale’, with players taking part in an online regular season before the in-person finals. Information on the season finals was not disclosed.
Chris Harris, COO of Unified, spoke on the expansion: “National competitions are great, but what we believe to be the heart of high school esports is the competition against local rivals and the opportunity for these students to play on stage. That’s what creates lifelong memories for these students. We’re thrilled to be able to provide that starting this fall.”
Unified is no stranger to scholastic and collegiate esports. In recent years, the company has operated Riot Games’ first collegiate conference that awarded $20,000 (~£16,357) in scholarships. In addition, the company says it’s also expanding its ‘path to pro’ opportunities for students and even younger audiences.
In May, the company renewed its existing agreement with Riot to operate the LCS Proving Grounds, a North American academy and amateur League of Legends tournament. Additionally, Unified announced a partnership with gaming peripherals brand HyperX.