NEW YORK (Reuters) – ESPN will keep its first ever university championship for aggressive video gaming later this year, the TV sports community said on Tuesday, a excessive-profile esports occasion geared toward younger lovers who spend greater time with game controllers than baseball bats or hockey sticks. ESPN Events, a unit of Walt Disney Co’s cable sports activities community that also produces a lineup of different sports occasions such as the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, will produce the Collegiate Esports Championship (CEC).
The showdown may be held in Houston at Comicpalooza on the George R. Brown Convention Center in May. Players will compete in five games: Overwatch, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm and Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. Street Fighter is made by means of Japan’s Capcom Co Ltd; the other featured games were developed by way of Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc. As expert esports tournaments have multiplied inside the remaining couple of years, so too have university-stage video games, with faculties growing their very own competitive groups as they might for traditional sports activities. Schools just like the University of Nevada, Las Vegas now provide esports labs and route work, and the University of California at Irvine even has its own esports arena and summer season camp. “As universities continue to grow their esports applications on the varsity, non-varsity and club degrees, we are proud to be providing a platform for country wide publicity and popularity of some of the maximum talented players within the collegiate area,” stated John Lasker, vp of ESPN’s Digital Media Programming, in a statement. The CEC will even emerge as Overwatch’s most effective collegiate championship. Prizes could be inside the shape of college scholarships, ESPN stated. Players will come from the masses of North American colleges presently competing in qualifying fits hosted through Collegiate Starleague and Tespa. Portions of the qualifying rounds, in addition to the championship, could be streamed globally, with ESPN to announce later which systems it’s going to use. The Overwatch fits mainly will even proven on the livestreaming video platform Twitch, owned by way of Amazon.Com Inc.