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New esports association launches, looking to unify the collegiate scene

When it comes to getting colleges to recognize esports, any help is good help.

Riot Games

The National Association of Collegiate eSports announced its launch Wednesday in a press release, with the aim of helping legitimize esports at the college level.

NAC eSports is the only association of college and university sponsored eSports programs that promotes the education and development of students through intercollegiate eSports participation and the institutional commitment to support those initiatives. Members of the association are dedicated to legitimizing collegiate eSports and providing college students the opportunities to live their passion for competitive gaming, while pursuing a quality education.

- NAC eSports press release

NAC eSports only accepts applicants that have official esports organizations backed by their universities and the team’s university needs to be accredited by an authorized higher education accrediting agency.

The association has so far been backed by several schools, including League of Legends juggernauts Robert Morris University and Maryville University.

In the past, collegiate esports for League of Legends were solely run by Riot, starting in 2014. The company held the uLoL Campus Series, which grabbed schools from all over North America and pit them against each other. Schools with esports clubs and associations tend to be the ones on top, like RMU and University of British Columbia.

Riot has also worked with the Big Ten Network this year to create the Big Ten Invitational, which had two of the Big Ten schools, Ohio State and Michigan State play against each other at the gaming convention, PAX East.

There has also been the High School Starleague for younger players, but Riot has no involvement in that tournament.

More information about NAC eSports can be found on their website.