HBCU Esports Alliance and CSL College Partner Up

by in Collegiate Esports | Sep, 22nd 2020

Esports is for everyone. Well, esports should be for everyone. Sadly, not everyone gets the same opportunities or chances to get in the wonderful world of esports. However, that’s slowly changing. In particular, the HBCU Esports Alliance (HEA) is working with CSL College to bring esports and services attached to the scene to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Recruitment services, intramurals, and an esports curriculum are coming to HBCUs, and that’s exciting! Everyone should be able to show off their skills, and HBCU’s have been left out. This is a partnership for two years in the making, and we’re glad to see it. Get ready for The Yard: HBCU Esports Alliance!

Esports Is For Everyone

The HEA and CSL College partnership will launch the historically black colleges into the esports scene, and we couldn’t be happier. Don’t think that just because the schools don’t have esports systems in place, there aren’t stars waiting. There are 100% going to be exceptional fighting game players, Fortnite/CoD stars just waiting for their chance to shine on a bigger stage.

This team-up kicks off in the fall and has a variety of initiatives attached to it. Tournaments, invitationals, leagues, and intramurals will be on the way courtesy. We’ve talked about the Collegiate StarLeague here on Esports Talk before. They constantly work to help grow esports at the academic level. This will extend to their work with the HBCU Esports Alliance, to help support and administrate this new system.

Wim Stocks, CSL College & WorldGaming Network’s chairman, spoke about the announcement. “The CSL College team is honored to be officially launching this great partnership with the HEA’s The Yard platform after more than two years of research and a broad set of discussions with HBCU school administrators, officials, sponsors, students and benefactors.”

Stocks added, “The great legacy and culture of HBCUs are wholly inspiring, our goals include bringing support to help build esports opportunities and engagement that benefit the schools and students. This includes competitive play and helping students understand and prepare for the many career paths and roles involved in the business of esports and gaming. This fall, we are excited to get our first set of competitive events up and operating with HEA’s The Yard and a variety of the HBCU schools and programs.”

We’re excited for an esports curriculum and academic programming, as well as the career development sections. These are all very important for up-and-coming esports stars. There are more opportunities in esports than merely being a player. This partnership will educate students on possible roles and careers they can fill. It will extend into gaming as a whole, and not just esports.

This has been christened as The Yard to commemorate the rich legacy of HBCU campus life. The HEA will work with HBCU administrators to help educate them on what esports is, opportunities held within, and bring casual and serious competition to the various student bodies.

Dr. Marc Williams, global scholar practitioner at Florida Memorial University, formed The Yard: HBCU Esports Alliance. Dr. Williams will serve as the league’s commissioner, along with Rod Chappell, the league’s associate commissioner, and CEO of HBCU Direct in Atlanta.

“We are thrilled to partner with CSL. It is the first and world’s largest year-round competitive league for college students,” said Dr. Williams in a press release. “CSL has awarded over $1 million in scholarships to student gamers from around the world over the past 11 years.”

Dr. Williams added, “CSL is activating with over 1,800 campuses and is the ideal partner for HEA and HBCUs. Having the most respected collegiate tournament and educational esports organization positions HEA and HBCUs for great success and will help HBCUs view esports as a key vehicle to reach educational goals for its students. HBCUs are mostly interested in providing education, increasing enrollment, and creating pathways that will prepare students to be successful esports executives in high-tech careers at the intersection of STEAM. We are confident CSL is the best partner to help us achieve these bold, but achievable goals.”

The big takeaway for us is that esports belong to all of us. Some schools certainly feel out of the loop. In particular, these are HBCU’s, and that’s all going to change this fall. CSL is doing excellent work for the esports scene, helping more schools than ever take part. To see the HBCU Esports Alliance work with them is heartwarming.


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