Four major players in the collegiate esports scene in North America have entered a landmark partnership to launch the largest collegiate competitive gaming league to date, according to information obtained by Dexerto.
As esports has grown over the years, numerous companies have attempted to get in and dominate the market in American colleges and universities by providing opportunities for collegiate competitions on titles such as League of Legends and Rocket League.
Now, as a way of consolidating these efforts and obtaining the largest market share in the ecosystem to date, Dexerto has learned that four companies have come together to launch the NACE Starleague.
League operators CSL Esports, collegiate initiative National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), infrastructure company and tournament organizers Nerd Street Gamers, and tournament platform Mainline have all entered an alliance.
Proud to announce our first high school state association esports partnership with Washington! Together, CSL Esports and @wiaawa will work to teach the student participants of Washington life skills through video games💙
— CSL Esports (@cslesportsgg) June 16, 2021
As a result of the partnership, these four companies expect to deliver esports to over 15,000 students across 600 colleges and universities, sources have informed Dexerto. It’s expected to get underway in the third quarter of 2021.
Plans behind the NACE Starleague include working with colleges to host local invitational events, building esports training facilities, facilitating competition for students of varying skill levels, and ensuring fair competition by coordinating with game publishers.
The league will be regulated by the NACE, operated and broadcasted with assistance from Nerd Street Gamers, facilitated on Mainline’s tournament platform, and competed in by schools that are a part of CSL’s program.
The state of high school and collegiate esports is as fractured as the esports industry itself, with no central power being able to grant exclusivity across multiple titles. This partnership has been forged in hopes of providing a uniformed, optimized experience for students across the board.
For example, Riot Games have their own collegiate initiative for League of Legends, heavily-funded PlayVS are vying to be the de facto destination for scholastic esports, and popular tournament organizers ESL also have their own college division.