Pac-12 First College Conference to Host, Televise eSports Competitions

Fortune: “Next year’s crop of Pac-12 college athletes will include officially-sanctioned gamers for the first time ever.”

“In an end-of-year announcement, the Pac-12 Conference said on Tuesday that it will be the first college athletic conference to host and televise eSports competitions during the 2016-2017 school year. Citing a ‘growing interest amongst Pac-12 students in competitive video gaming,’ conference officials approved a plan to sanction eSports teams from each Pac-12 university to compete next year in head-to-head match-ups as well as a tournament with a conference championship at stake.”

“The conference plans to broadcast competitions on the Pac-12 Network, the conference’s cable and satellite TV network.”

GeekWire: “The Pac-12 noted that its universities, which include schools up and down the West Coast like the University of Washington, Stanford, and USC, ‘are increasingly involved through passionate student groups competing in competitions with popular games.’ There have been separate eSports collegiate tournaments over the past few years, including ‘Heroes of the Dorm,’ which was broadcast on ESPN (a team from Pac-12 school Arizona State won the event).”

Says Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott: “eSports is a natural fit for many of our universities located in the technology and media hubs of the country. Pac-12 Networks’ commitment to innovation as well as its natural tie to our universities and established media platform make it the perfect organization to develop the framework for eSports intercollegiate competition.”

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