Esports

Eastern Conference Esports Grows to 57 Schools

The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has grown to 57 esports member institutions, double the number the sports association had last year. The latest universities to join were Syracuse and Seton Hall. ECAC is an inter-collegiate organization that sponsors championships, leagues, bowl games, tournaments and other competitions throughout the country.

This year the ECAC is sponsoring competition in nine different esports: Fortnite, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Hearthstone, FIFA, Rocket League, Madden NFL and Overwatch.

ECAC reported that it would sponsor women's leagues in addition to its co-ed leagues and alumni esports leagues for the first time this year. Also, by year's end, the Conference expected to name its first "ECAC Esports Grand Champion," a recognition bestowed on the school that can claim the best across-the-board success in all games over the course of the year.

The Conference runs two seasons of competition, one in fall (which began this year during the week of Sep. 30) and one in the spring. It also hosts the ECAC Esports Championships at HV Gamer Con in Albany in early April.

"We're thrilled with the continuing progress of ECAC Esports," said ECAC CEO, Dan Coonan, in a statement. "Our growth in just two and half years has been remarkable. We anticipate even bigger numbers for competition in our spring leagues. Our Esports Director, Lydia Fister, has done a spectacular job overseeing the logistics and managing the meteoric growth of this program."

"We look forward to capitalizing on this growth and working with our current partners as well as creating new relationships with endemic and non-endemic esports brands, as ECAC Esports and traditional sports platforms continue to expand and attract sponsors," added Ray Katz, chief operating officer of Collegiate Sports Management Group, which represents the ECAC for its commercial interests.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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