The GCN and Van Wagner have announced a massive new NCAA esports tournament series, beginning with a multi-conference Fortnite bracket in May 2021. The series is intended to offer esport collegians exposure with chances at cash and scholarship prizing.
During the biggest month in college sports, the Gaming Community Network and Van Wagner are celebrating a newer side of the National Collegiate Athletic Association: esports.
It’s a historic March Madness already, with unknown underdogs like Oral Roberts University making a name for themselves. But the GCN and Wagner are working with the NCAA to let esports programs get their shine as well, committing to the most expansive gaming tournaments in collegiate history.
To announce the new series of multi-conference, multi-game tournaments, the GCN, Van Wagner and NCAA have revealed a 10-conference Fortnite tournament to take place in May 2021. Dissatisfied with 10 kills on the board in Tomato Town, the organizations are promoting Fortnite action from the America East Conference to the Sun Belt Conference.
May 2021 NCAA Fortnite tournament: date, format, registration
The Fortnite event should set the tone for future titles. The tournament will be held in May 2021, with all students from each of the 10 conferences eligible to create teams and compete. The winner and runner-up from each conference’s tournament will then compete in a Championship Tournament, earning cash and scholarship prizes.
The 10 conferences invited to the Fortnite tournament are the America East Conference, Big South Conference, Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Southland Conference, Sun Belt Conference, West Coast Conference, Western Athletic Conference, and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Teams at each conference can begin signing up on April 21, 2021, although more details are expected to come up before that date.
As explained by Van Wagner’s Senior Vice President Mark Donley in a press release, this series presents an enormous competitive opportunity for students: “This is an exciting opportunity to connect the 110 member schools of our participating partner NCAA conferences to provide an opportunity to compete in national tournaments.”
Noting that this means over 1.4 million students are capable of competing, the GCN and Van Wagner have also revealed some sense of the series’ future.
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After the May 2021 event, more tournaments are tentatively planned for the fall and winter (and into 2022). These future events are likely to include different game titles, thereby offering an opportunity to different students enrolled in the partnered universities.