Big Ten Working With Riot Games To Expand Esports Competition Through '19
The Big Ten has extended its deal with Riot Games for two more years (through '19) as it is "pushing deeper into competitive video gaming ... to expand competition between campuses across the Midwest," according to Eben Novy-Williams of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The partnership "builds on a pilot version launched last year," in which clubs at 12 schools competed in Riot’s "League of Legends" game. Matches were "broadcast and streamed live via the Big Ten Network. BTN will "handle production for the league, including negotiations for a digital streaming partner." Riot will continue to "fund scholarships through the schools, a $35,000 payment per institution to be divvied up among its gamers" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/10). ESPN.com's Jacob Wolf noted the league now "includes all 14 Big Ten schools." Penn State and Nebraska "did not participate" in the inaugural '17 season. The '18 season is "set to start" toward the end of this month (ESPN.com, 1/10).
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