League of Legends

The League of Legends Championship Series is the name of the professional League of Legends esports league run by Riot Games with ten teams from North America competing. Each annual season of play is divided into two splits, spring and summer and conclude with play-off tournament between the top six teams.

Overwatch

The Overwatch League is an international esports league comprising 20 city-based teams, featuring the best Overwatch players on the planet. The 280-match regular season begins in February and concludes with postseason playoffs in the fall.

With USD $5 million in prizes, thrilling storylines, guaranteed player salaries, and cutting-edge production value, the Overwatch League is the world’s premier esports league.

Rocket League

The Rocket League Championship Series is a biannual Rocket League video game tournament series produced by Psyonix, the game’s developer.

CS:GO

ESL Pro League is a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional league. It is based on two continents, North America and Europe, and currently comprises 26 teams: 14 in Europe and 12 in North America.

Hearthstone

48 of the world’s top Hearthstone players will join Hearthstone Grandmasters. It consists of two eight-week seasons, with five 1v1 best-of-three Specialist matches played on Twitch every Friday and Saturday, and six matches played every Sunday. 

Rainbow Six: Siege

Rainbow Six Pro League is the most prestigious R6S competition in the world, featuring the best teams from North America, South America, Europe and APAC fighting in their respective regions.

About Esports

What is Esports?

Esports has entered the world of spectator sports, making statements with record-breaking viewership numbers, huge investment headlines, and economical growth promise. The vitality of Esports has viewers from around the world excited to watch rivalries and dynasties develop. The production and professionalism of Esports has grown into its own personality, while the prominence and global effect of Esports media superstars rival that of major American Sports. Just think, Fortnite changed the way we dance forever.

Starting in the late 80s and early 90s, Esports pioneers saw the allure of gaming competition. However, it wasn’t until the revolution of the internet, as an entertainment medium and match finder, that Esports was legitimized and validated to the degree that it is now. Reporters from sites such as Forbes have been tracking economic development of Esports as an industry, predicting huge growth in the matter of a few years.  Newzoo’s estimate of Total Revenues in Esports in 2021 shows and predicts growth of 335% over the course of 5 years (2016-2021).

Esports Revenue Growth

Collegiate Esports

In 2019, we’re seeing the professionalism and structure of Esports trend downwards from the professional level into the young-but-thriving Collegiate space.  Particularly from Riot Games, a gaming company that recently launched projects to support it’s collegiate programs, we can see an internal investment in the business of competition extending rapidly towards high school-aged gamers.  

The Gaming Scholarship is a tool being used by collegiate Esports organizations and wise university officials to not only bolster talent and professionalism, but to find Esports athletes who are serious about gaming.  John Koetzier reported for Forbes that in 2018 the number of sponsoring schools included in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) grew from 6 to 24 between the years 2016-2017 and by 2019 have reached over 90 members.

Programs

There are 3 major programs for Esports at the collegiate level: NACE, Tespa, and American Collegiate Esports League (ACEL). NACE is the only official governing body for Collegiate Esports. They offer partial and full-ride scholarships for Varsity Esports athletes. Tespa is a league for collegiate Esports clubs to compete to for scholarship money. ACEL is for club-level Collegiate Esports.

NACE Schools

Tespa Schools

ACEL Schools

The Arms Race

The arms race of Esports is a phenomenon that exists on multiple levels.  Below the professional level, collegiate organizations are emerging and making the case all around America that spending resources on Esports is valuable. This is creating unique and exciting opportunities for serious gamers considering attending a university.

Certainly within five years I hope to see varsity Esports be a common sight on college campuses across North America.  Within ten years I hope that Esports is an expectation at all schools with intercollegiate programs on campus.

Michael Brooks

Director, NACE

We hope to turn aspiring gamers into serious competitors.  With a focus on values and a common goal of winning,  players are encouraged to commit to improvement in all areas of life. We hope that the principles we teach will attract sponsoring universities to our players.