MANSFIELD, Mass. - Earlier today, the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) announced its intention to sponsor five esports titles during the upcoming fall semester. The conference will sponsor regular season and postseason action in the following five titles: Fortnite, League of Legends, Madden, Overwatch, and Valorant.
"We're excited about the titles that we'll be sponsoring during the upcoming semester," said NECC Commissioner Jacob VanRyn. "The response we've gotten from our teams has been overwhelmingly positive about the wide array of games that we'll be offering and crowning champions in."
The NECC will host a placement tournament in virtually all titles to begin each season. From this preseason tournament, the conference will create a full season schedule as it does with all the sports it currently sponsors. "Our scheduling component has been really well-received," said VanRyn. "We're excited to offer our players this element so that they know what day of the week, what time, and who they'll be playing. We do this in all of our other sports, and we're proud to offer it to our esports programs."
The NECC will crown a champion in each title it's sponsoring. Postseason play will begin in early November and championship round action will take place prior to the Thanksgiving break.
"Our original plan was to have our championships take place in early December, but with so many institutions sending their students home prior to the Thanksgiving holiday and not bringing them back to campus until second semester, we wanted to make sure that those schools that were offering on campus opportunities would be able to compete for a championship in person," said VanRyn.
The NECC's full schedule chart, along with dates and times can be found below.
The conference's league play will be broken down by day:
Monday - Madden
Tuesday - Valorant
Wednesday - Overwatch
Thursday - League of Legends
Friday - Fortnite
The conference tried to be receptive of the needs of its members, as well as schedules of other esports conferences. "We want schools and players to compete in as many leagues as makes sense for them," continued VanRyn. "At the end of the day, we want to provide a great experience for our players - an experience consistent with everything else we do within our conference. While we're aware there will be growing pains in our first year, we're extremely optimistic that our efforts in the space will be well-received and our players will have a first-class, highly-competitive experience."
Caleb Glube, the NECC's Director of Esports echoed VanRyn's thoughts. "We are extremely excited to be ramping up for the fall. As we start to see what the school year will look like, we know that for a lot of schools, esports will be an important part of that."
Earlier this summer, the NECC announced partnerships with ESTV and the NFL Alumni Association to help promote the league's esports efforts. The partnership with ESTV includes league and championship play on the channel. ESTV will not only be showing game play from the NECC throughout the upcoming year, the channel will also provide the content in an ‘on-demand’ stream that can be accessed at any time. ESTV currently can be seen in more than 200 million homes nationwide. The partnership with the NFLA is a partnership in which the two entities will work together in promotional efforts and opportunities for the league's players.
ABOUT NECC ESPORTS
The NECC announced its intention to sponsor esports in the fall of 2019. Recognizing the growing marketplace, the conference is committed to sponsoring esports in a manner that is similar to any of its other traditional sports. The NECC will begin play in the fall of 2020 and is planning on sponsoring regular season play and championships in a wide variety of titles. The conference will include members from a wide variety of schools at all levels, and aims to provide it's players with a highly-competitive and enjoyable experience.
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 16 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sport. Bay Path University, Becker College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College are the conference’s current members. For more information, please visit neccathletics.com
Please note that none of the game developers are sponsors or partners of the NECC