League of Legends and VALORANT developer Riot Games has announced a significant three-year collegiate partnership with esports company GGTech Entertainment for its North American ecosystem.
As a result, GGTech will be Riot Games’ official provider of its North American collegiate programme. Notably, this includes the College League of Legends and College VALORANT competitive season.
League of Legends has had a notable presence at the collegiate level since 2015 with the introduction of the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC). The introduction of College League of Legends (CLOL) in 2018 has seen the scene continue to grow in popularity as more and more universities begin to participate.
CLOL’s 2023 Championship saw 32 teams qualify through their respective conferences to compete for its $190,000 prize pool.
College VALORANT, on the other hand, only made its debut earlier this year. Both CLOL and College VALORANT were organised by the Riot Scholastic Association of America and the help of third-party operators.
Riot Games states that the new three-year partnership aims to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all of its college activations across CLOL, College VALORANT, its college club programme and additional programmes.
Riot Games did reveal though that the partnership will not result in any changes to its current scholastic community competition guidelines for League of Legends or VALORANT. According to the announcement, the reasoning for this is to still allow third parties to engage in the scholastic space.
In June 2022, Riot Games updated its community guidelines to allow all third parties to operate collegiate tournaments in its games, ending a highly unpopular exclusivity deal with high school esports platform PlayVS.
The Riot Scholastic Association of America will also remain closely involved with the operations, strategy and direction of Riot’s college ecosystem.
GGTech’s involvement in Riot Games’ North American collegiate operations shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, with the esports company already a major player in Riot’s collegiate efforts in LATAM and EMEA.
Through its UNIVERSITY Esports IP, GGTech teamed up with Amazon to create a multi-title continental university championship that sees student teams compete against other European universities. Moreover, the company recently acquired UK-based university esports company NUEL and secured $12.4m (~£9.75m) in investment.
J.T. Vandenbree, Head of the Riot Scholastic Association of America, commented: “As we add more games and continue to grow our offerings, we wanted a partnership where we could bring the whole program under one roof.
“We are looking forward to levelling up our game and building more collaboration with students and schools of all sizes, investments, and solo queue ranks.”
GGTech’s three-year partnership will officially commence at the beginning in the 2023-24 school year.