Big 10 Network and Riot Games Partner For eSports Season



 Big 10 Becomes 1st Conference With An eSports League (Photo: Riot/BTN)

Big 10 Becomes 1st Conference With An eSports League (Photo: Riot/BTN)

TNL Take: In my 3 different 2016 eSports Reviews, I made 5 predictions each or 15 total predictions for 2017.

In the first month of this year alone, 3 have come true with 1 maybe.

Now we can make that 5.

The Big 10 Network agreed to a deal with Riot Games to host a League of Legends season spanning 2 months with 12 schools like Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin participating (The Big 10 Network is a joint venture between the Big 10 Conference and Fox Entertainment Group).

These were the 5 predictions I made in the 2016 Collegiate eSports Review:

/01 The number of colleges offering scholarships will be 25+

/02 A conference will announce an eSports partnership

/03 A collegiate eSports tournament(s) will be broadcast on TV

/04 Major brands will sponsor in the college space

/05 Publishers will invest more

We can scratch 2 and 3 off the list.

What's even more interesting is that in addition to the Championship, 5 games will be broadcast on the Big 10 Network.

BTN League Of Legends Season Broadcast Schedule (Photo: Riot/BTN)

If you're laughing at the Big 10 Network, it's in 60M homes.

Here's how the format for the Big Ten League of Legends Season will work:

  • Schools will be split into BTN East and West
  • Best Of 3 round robin against other schools in their division
  • Once the round robin is finished, the Top 4 top will compete in a playoff with East vs. West in the Championship game
  • The BTN Winner will then play in the national League of Legends College Championship

Back in May of last year, the Pac-12 said they would enter eSports but no announcements have been made since then.

This is a big move in the Collegiate space and kudos to BTN for making this leap of faith with eSports.

It's not even the end of January and 2017 has seen even more growth per capita than 2016 across all of eSports.


Let's keep going.