Collegiate Star League

Collegiate Star League

 

Have you ever wanted your favorite E-sport to become like Football, Baseball, or Basketball?  Think about how these sports work for a second we have High School, College, and then the Pro leagues for each respective sport. Imagine if E-sports could make a structure like this. Not all people are big sports fans but would still like to be a part of a team, so just imagine if across America for example, we had High Schools offering a League of Legends team, or CS:GO, and other games like Starcraft. This could be a way for our region to really start at a younger age playing on a team for fun and competing as well. Then, maybe someday, Collegiate E-sports becomes big enough for people to start earning scholarships to attend and play their favorite game for their respective school.  These things are possible and have already begun with an organization called the Collegiate Starleague. This entity has events that are only available to college students that are verified to go to the school they have selected.

 

One of the biggest examples of how this is becoming a success is the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC) hosted by Riot Games for League of Legends! According to the promo site from Riot they have “ 540 teams coming from over 300 universities across the U.S. and Canada”. This tournament also holds a pretty sizeable Scholarship prize pool. The total prize pool for this tournament is $360,000 in Scholarship money to help attend their school. This can also get some good players recognition for their play as well as some experience in competition with pressure and others counting on you. Tournaments like this could really help drive collegiate E-sports to be something to strive for, since before this, there was no incentive to playing games in college, but now we can still play our favorite game while striving for a goal.

 

The games do not stop at League of Legends though, the CSL has a laundry list of games they have tournaments and events for. So far we have the following games Starcraft 2, CS:GO, Hearthstone, DOTA 2, and League of Legends. With the recent addition of Archon mode to starcraft they are starting an Archon mode league for the different school, which is a nice change of pace for two reasons. One Archon mode has already shown that it can take off some of the edge that playing Starcraft brings to the table by having a friend to go through the game with you will make things better as well as provide a second prospective. Secondly and maybe the biggest thing it does, is allowing schools with a very small player base the ability to participate. I’m going to quote the rules here and show you what I mean by this helping smaller schools “Teams need (1) a coordinator and (2) a minimum of four unique players for the team league regular season and six unique players for the playoffs” – what this means is in order to play and actually be able to go into the playoff rounds you must have six players registered for your school. Whereas this is the requirement for the Archon mode league: “Teams need (1) a coordinator and (2) a minimum of two unique players for the Archon season” – this means that you only need two players for the whole thing! For a person like me, I have always wanted to compete, but in my first two years at my school I was the only person who either plays Starcraft (or admits to playing it anyhow) but now with the Archon mode I was able to just grab a friend and maybe I will be able to teach him up through this and we can have fun playing in the league now!

 

With all of these new opportunities for gamers everywhere hopefully someday we can see the level of excitement that you see in Korea for professional gaming brought over into other regions. This has already brought me new opportunities to meet people who share my passion across America’s universities and if things like this expand and more things come up, as well as all getting bigger, this can really breed a competitive and good atmosphere for people to attempt to break into the professional E-sports scene!