On March 13 it was announced that the first ever Collegiate Esports Championship would be taking place in Houston, TX at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 10 – May 12 as a part of Comicpalooza. The event is being co-championed by ESPN Events and Tespa, Blizzard’s collegiate esports division, both of which have been active in promoting the event and laying the groundwork months in advance. This is an official LAN event where top college teams from across the country will compete for glory across several different game titles, including Overwatch.
A Long Time Coming
These teams, across all games, have gone through grueling bracket-style tournaments which started several months ago in order to make it to this point. For those competing in Overwatch, there was a group stage that began back in January that seeded a Round of 64 single-elimination bracket. The final eight teams not only needed to do well in their seeding matches but also had to win three straight games in order to arrive here, at the Quarterfinals.
These remaining finalists will be competing for prizes in the form of scholarships to help lighten the load of their education. With this and a great deal of pride on the line, these players are going to be giving it everything they’ve got throughout the weekend.
Who is Playing and When to Tune in
Interested in more on each of these teams? Tespa has been doing a series called “Road to CEC” featuring several player and team profiles leading up to the event. This can be found on their Twitter page or directly on Tespa’s website. VODs from the qualifiers leading up to the event, as well as a complete bracket, can also be found on Tespa’s website.
Below is the schedule for the event as well as a comprehensive list of all teams participating, which can also be found on the ESPN Events website:
Talent and Production
Broadcast talent is set to include Jake “JAKE” Lyon, Connor “Avast” Prince, Andrew “ZP” Rush, Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez and many others from across different esports platforms. All of this should make for a wildly entertaining desk (even perhaps harkening back to antics of the 2018 OWWC desk) and an overall landmark event for collegiate esports.
This degree of production, all happening at a LAN event, could signal a potential change in the tides for collegiate esports, which has for so long taken a backseat to other semi-pro options, including Contenders and Open Division. With such a strong collaboration between Tespa and ESPN, could the collegiate scene be on it’s way to being the most viable Path to Pro? Either way, this is an event that will certainly be worth watching.
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Featured Image Courtesy of ESPNEvents.com
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