Riot Games Launches uLOL to Develop College eSports

The creator of League of Legends, Riot Games, announced uLOL or University League of Legends. As expected amongst colleage students gaming and in particular League of Legends has a huge following. Universities have caught onto this fact and the sheer number of students that identify themselves as a “Gamer” too.

A recent survey went on to highlight that out of 1200 respondents a massive 72% identified as a Gamer.  This market and percentage is something the colleges simply can’t ignore and with US declaring eSports as an official sport the market will continue to grow.

As of 2016 six different private schools in the USA have developed scholarships based around League of Legends and other major MMO / MOBA / Online Games. Director of Business Development and Publishing at Riot Games, Sean Haran, says that uLOL is designed with college players in mind.

Why uLOL?

Riot was continously receiving requests from colleage clubs in regards to help and assistance required to make their college tournaments more official and formal. Out of those requests uLoL was developed.

Although Haran, from Riot Games, said it wasn’t about creating the most competitive eSports league but instead about authenticity and giving students a chance to form communities and express themselves.

While this continues to paint a pretty picture it should come at no surprise that Riot Games would be actively finding new ways to bring more players in to their game and with the added bonus of college groups this is a perfect way to do it. Not only will Riot games benefit from a growth in eSports it will also benefit from a larger player base and the increase revenue that is a result of that.

uLOL Campus Series is Formed

The uLOL Campus Series was formed after the two successful years of the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC) and is now a tournament that is run all year round. Out of 500 schools 32 will eventually qualify for the 2016 Campus series event where teams will play off for the chance to win scholarship money.

For the first time ever fans and players around the world will be able to watch the best collegiate League of Legends teams in the U.S. and Canada battle it out each week. With 18 broadcasted matches this season, there’s never been a more exciting time to get involved. The broadcasting of eSports and League of Legends will only further develop eSports and attract new players the games.

ulol-tournament

What’s the uLOL format?

In November, over 500 hundred college teams participated in the open qualifier. Out of that the top teams in NA, eight from each region, are ready to battle it for their spot in the playoffs. Although the 2016 is completed the 2017 season will commence around January next year.

Each week, teams will play against another school from their region in a best of two. For every game won, teams will earn one point. If a team wins both games in the best of two they’ll earn a bonus point.

The four teams with the most points in each conference will earn their spot in the playoffs in March.

Which Universities are Onboard?

The University of California already has over 2000 members in its club and was one of the first announce publicly that it would be launching a League of Legends scholarship program. Since then Chicago’s Robert Morris University has introduced scholarships for five games including League of Legends.

Not only can teams compete for $100,000 in scholarships provided by Riot Games, Robert Morris University are also offering tuition scholarships. Players can earn up to 50% tuition and another 50% towards room and board.

Similar to other established sports with large colleague leagues, such as Football, uLOL will help develop and mature players using professional programs and tournaments and provide aspiring gamers with pathways to become professional players. ULoL has 300 clubs in North America, and it’s growing every day.

The truth is that if you’ve ever wanted to be a pro gamer or at least have the opportunity to develop into one then the time has never been better. 10 years ago a career in gaming was merely a dream for most but as online gaming grows and now that US government has recognised eSports players as professional athletes Universities around the world will begin to see gaming as a legitimate career path for their students.

Will you be playing in next years Campus Series?

August 10, 2016 admin

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