The Big Ten Conference, the United States’ oldest Division I collegiate athletic group, has come together to birth the Big Esports Conference.
This new gathering boasts 16 members, set to launch their esports showdowns later this year, with a helping hand from the National Esports Collegiate Conference (NECC).
Born in 1896 from the vision of ten major universities, the Big Ten Conference has grown to be a stalwart in American collegiate sports, playing a role in 14 NCAA-sanctioned activities.
As for the maiden voyage of the Big Esports Conference, it’s primed for action in Overwatch 2, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and VALORANT. The inaugural season is a meaty 16 weeks long, climaxing in a LAN finals showdown during Spring 2024.
All 14 Big Ten Conference members are getting in on the esports action, alongside the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California, boosting the roster to a solid 16. Note, though, that these two newcomers will officially join the Big Ten Conference in 2024.
A crucial tidbit is that, although they share a name resemblance, this new venture isn’t officially tied to the Big Ten Conference.
In tandem with announcing the first season, the Big Esports Conference has buddied up with the NECC. These folks will be the gatekeepers, ensuring the tournament’s honesty and crafting the rules for the season. Plus, they’re providing the staffing muscle. All these esports tussles are going down on the LeagueOS competitive platform.
Big Ten Conference: Revolutionizing Collegiate Esports
Kevin Palmer, Assistant Director of Esports & Intramural Sports at the University of Michigan, dropped his two cents on this launch: “This is both an exciting and necessary step for the world of collegiate esports, as the number of institutions supporting esports rapidly grows in the traditional Division 1 world. This year will have bumps and setbacks, but with the support of the NECC and LeagueOS, and the resilience of the student and staff leadership of our member schools, we can’t wait to get started!”
With a diverse array of games on the docket and the collaborative support of established institutions like the Big Ten Conference and NECC, this venture promises a promising future for competitive gaming in the university arena.
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