Collegiate esports tournament organiser CSL Esports has announced a partnership with U.S sports conferences America East Conference (AEC) and West Coast Conference (WCC), as well as Canadian collegiate sports brand U SPORTS.
As a result, CSL Esports will help establish competitive esports infrastructures for each of the properties. This includes all three entities participating in the NACE Starleague, a North American collegiate esports ecosystem.
Alongside its participation in the NACE Starleague, the properties will also be supported by CSL Esports to develop ‘critical components’ that will formalise esports within the entities. The company will help the conferences form teams, leagues and schedules, as well as create in-person and virtual events.
Speaking to Esports Insider, Rob Johnson, CSL Esports’s CEO, commented: “Each of [the properties’] commissioners see the growth in esports. They were looking for a partner that they could trust in order to help guide them for the next few years of what is going to be very fast-paced growth.”
The agreement will also see CSL Esports help drive revenue-generating opportunities through sponsorship sales and advertising. Moreover, all three properties will be assisted by the collegiate firm to grow and expand its esports programmes, esports curriculum, career pathways and community engagement.
Johnson added: “We expect a lot of other conferences and commissioners that we are talking to today, to also jump onto this. We have a place for them to play and compete, we have a place for them to find sustainable ways to either build facilities through us or our partners, and to be able to integrate curriculum.”
According to the release, the partnership looks to further the collegiate efforts of Playfly Sports, CSL Esports’s apartment company.
Dick White, U SPORTS Interim CEO, added: “We are excited to form this unique partnership with CSL Esports and launch an initiative that is the first of its kind in our history.
“U SPORTS Gaming will expand the programming offered by our members beyond traditional sports competition, while also creating additional opportunities for engagement on campus beyond our 14,000 student-athletes in a rapidly-growing and cutting-edge industry.”
Esports Insider says: CSL Esports continues to enhance the collegiate esports ecosystem in North America. The company’s partnership with three properties within the traditional sporting collegiate infrastructure should provide greater esports opportunities within associated schools. Moreover, the entities’ inclusion in the NACE Starleague should provide a greater competitive esports structure for the schools.