ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship ended in glory

The first ever ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship just ran its course in Houston Texas. The college-based competition featured 22 qualifying teams from 20 different school across the country. Five winners from competitions in Overwatch, Street Fighter V, Hearthstone, StarCraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm earned themselves a valiant prize – specifically, they won a scholarship from their respective universities.


© Blizzard Entertainment

The finals of the CEC or Collegiate Esports Championship semi-finals and finals were part of the Comicpalooza at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. As for the lucky and talented winners, they can look forward to roughly $48.000 dollars in prize scholarship money for themselves.

The winners of the Overwatch Championship are from Harrisburg University, the winners of the Hearthstone competition are from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the winners of the StarCraft 2 Team Brawl are from the University of California – Berkeley, and the winners of the Heroes of the Storm competition are from Rutgers University.


© Blizzard Entertainment

Not just the winners of each competition received prize money though – let’s take the Hearthstone Championship for example. While the first place winners received $9.000 per player, the second placed team received $5.000 in scholarships per player, the 3rd and 4th placed teams receive $2.500 per person, 5th to 8th place receive $1.300 per person, 9th through 16th place receive $650 per person, and the remaining spots – 17th through to 36th – each receive a brand new Asus Tablet per person.

All in all, those are some pretty attractive prizes – and these are just for the Hearthstone section of the competition. Naturally, the other esports each had  their own sets of prizes, scholarship rewards and incentives.

Also, naturally, the whole thing was live streamed on Twitch, on the official Blizzard Twitch channel. If you didn’t catch the competition and want to instead, well, catch-up, a full recap of the event will be shown a little over a week from now, on May 22nd, at 7pm on ESPN2. That’s right – as per Blizzard’s agreement with Disney (and thus the ESPN TV channels), the recap of this championship will be shown on TV.


© Blizzard Entertainment

A few years ago, most aspects of this whole spectacle would have been unthinkable – not only would esports competitions never have been broadcast on TV, but the very idea of college scholarships being bound to someone’s esports skills would have been completely impossible – now, this competition is only one of many initiatives where exactly that is the case. There are several esports scholarships available across the country, though usually they are awarded rather than won via a competition.

As a matter of fact, most of those scholarships are a little different from the ones that were up for grabs here. They tend to be awarded to individual players based on their application, rather than to entire teams, and usually significantly fewer people benefit from them than was the case here – dozens of lucky and skilled players managed to get a reward for their abilities at the CEC this year… and hopefully, this will have only been the first of many years of this exact competition!