American postsecondary institutions reach out to gamers with ESports Collegiate Conference

Get ready to play for fun without being overregulated

Always dreamed of playing ESports competitively in a postsecondary setting, but without the long list of rules that govern players on university and college-sanctioned teams?

Today, schools south of the border playing in the Mid-American Conference announced a new initiative aimed at gamers. A dozen institutions have banded together to launch the standalone Esports Collegiate Conference, which will also be open to schools not under the MAC umbrella.

The rules for the ECC will be less stringent than the MAC’s, in that pros (including those with money-winning resumes) will be allowed to complete alongside amateurs. Game publishers will set the rules for the league, which will launch this fall. Expect to see competition in League of Legends and Overwatch to start, with other titles to be considered.

The ultimate goal of the Esports Collegiate Conference is to allow schools to attract gamers without making them feel like they are being overregulated to the point where competition isn’t fun.

“There’s boatloads of kids out there that want to do this—well, they’re doing it already,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said at a news conference broadcast from Columbus, Ohio. “And so to have some level of organization that provides for regular competitive opportunities that are well-run, on a regular basis, we think will give our schools a leg up in terms of attracting these students to their campuses.”

Participating colleges and universities will help set up and monitor teams. There’s no decision yet on whether scholarships or other financial incentives will be part of the initiative.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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