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Mid-American Conference, member schools announce partnership with ESports Collegiate Conference

The partnership will provide structure for MAC member schools to play esports at the varsity level.

Screenshot: YouTube (Mid-American Conference)

The Mid-American Conference and its member schools are taking a head-long dive into the future of competition, as the conference and its membership unveiled an esports partnership with the creation of an independent conference on Wednesday morning.

“The creation of Esports Collegiate represents the foresight of our presidents to establish a stand-alone competitive framework for collegiate esports competitors and enthusiasts,” MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher said via press release. “I look forward to this organization maturing and growing, facilitating excellent competitive opportunities, fostering teamwork, and providing even more reasons to attend an Esports Collegiate member institution.”

The newly-created conference, called the Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC), will begin operation in the 2020-21 academic year, and will feature all 12 MAC members as founding programs. ESC, though maintaining an affiliation with MAC members and the conference, will operate independently.

The ESC will feature two “seasons”, with the spring season set to feature Overwatch and League of Legends, while the fall season is currently “considering” games such as Fortnite, Madden, FIFA, Rocket League and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.

At the conclusion of each season, a champion will be crowned in each game title and will subsequently be an automatic qualifier to the appropriate national postseason tournament.

“I, along with my presidential colleagues are thrilled by the creation of the Esports Collegiate Conference,” Miami University president and president of the ESC Board of Directors Dr. Greg Crawford said via press release. “Esports has a growing presence on all of our campuses. Esports Collegiate will provide a framework for competition among peers, and afford another opportunity for student engagement.”

The ESC can be found on Twitter at @ESC_Conference, Instagram at esportscollegiate_ and on Facebook at @ESportCollegiate.