ESPN, Tespa, and StarLeague join forces for Collegiate Esports Championship

ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship ESPN Events Tespa Collegiate StarLeague

It seems good things are on the horizon for competitive college gaming. ESPN Events announced yesterday the creation of the ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship (CEC). The initiative aims to establish regular competitive events for hundreds of Tespa and Collegiate StarLeague-participating teams.

The Championship roster is heavily front-loaded with Blizzard titles. So far confirmed are Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Hearthstone, and StarCraft II.

“It’ll be a first for Blizzard to have four collegiate championship events under one roof,” senior VP of live experiences at Blizzard Todd Pawlowski said. “[It] should make for an awesome show for the fans.”

This is great news for competitive Heroes of the Storm, which should find a new home at the CEC. The HotS community was hit pretty hard last December when Blizzard announced they were pulling resources away from the game and canceling its esports division. The announcement of this new tournament should revitalize the scene and rally fans back to the Nexus.

The Championship will also become the only collegiate championship venue for Overwatch. Previously the game was part of the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

Players competing in the varsity championship stand to win titles and scholarships.

Street Fighter V is a varsity mainstay. It’s also just generally a monster when it comes to prize pools and big tournament support. The Collegiate Esports Championship will enhance that position even further.

“For more than 30 years, Street Fighter has been the king of fighting games,” said Street Fighter executive producer Yoshinori Ono. ”We’re delighted that our collaboration with CSL and ESPN will allow us to expand Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition to the collegiate market.”

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According to the announcement, Tespa will hold qualifiers for the Blizzard games while StarLeague handles Street Fighter V events. This will all culminate at the CEC finals set to take place at Comicpalooza in Houston, TX between May 10 and 12. Finalists will compete for scholarship prizes and — of course — championship titles. ESPN will produce and stream the event.

There’s no word yet on what other titles may make their way into the Championship. However, Tespa’s involvement practically guarantees the CEC will add more games in the future. Stay tuned to Daily Esports for more news about this brand new championship and other developments in the world of competitive gaming.


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