HBCU Esports Alliance (HEA) & CSL College Partner to Bring Esports Competitions and Other Services to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

HEA’s ‘The Yard’ & CSL College are creating leagues, conferences, tournaments, events, and sponsor involvement as well as building esports curriculum, recruiting programs, intramurals, and additional monetization support for HBCUs.

Tuesday September 22, 2020 – Philadelphia, PA USA

More than two years in the making, a strategic partnership that will help catapult many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) into the esports ecosystem is officially announced. The HBCU Esports Alliance (HEA) and CSL College are partnering this Fall to bring esports participation and other academic opportunities to the full array of HBCU schools. The partnership includes full support for both the administrations as well as the students attending the involved institutions.

Initiatives include competitive participation offerings through tournament events, invitationals, leagues, and intramurals. The HBCU Esports Alliance and Collegiate StarLeague partnership also provides advisory support for administrations as they build curriculum and academic programming, career development, recruiting strategies and more to help HBCU students learn about the job opportunities that exist in gaming and esports.

Christened ‘The Yard’ to commemorate the rich legacy of HBCU campus life, the HEA is working closely with a number of HBCU school administrators to provide an understanding of the esports realm, the vast opportunities within it, as well as bring both casual and serious competitive engagement for their students.

The Yard: HBCU Esports Alliance was formed by Dr. Marc Williams, the Global Scholar Practitioner at Florida Memorial University (an HBCU in Miami, FL) who will serve as the Commissioner of the League, along with Rod Chappell, the League’s Associate Commissioner and the CEO of HBCU Direct (Atlanta, GA). Dr. Williams and Mr. Chappell work closely with a number of other senior HBCU administrators in both academic and athletic realms, recognizing the many engagement and participation opportunities esports creates for the schools and their students.

Announced just last week, CSL College is now a division of Playfly Sports, a full-service sports marketing company, establishing an industry-leading presence in the collegiate, amateur and semi-pro esports market. In combination with the additional acquisition and rebranding of OUTFRONT Media Sports LLC, a leading company managing exclusive college and high school multi-media rights, Playfly Sports will concentrate on enhancing the amateur esports-athlete experience and increasing opportunities for participation on high school and college campuses nationwide. 

“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”, said Wim Stocks, Chairman of CSL College & WorldGaming Network. “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 as well as 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 are thrilled to partner with CSL. It is the first and world’s largest year-round competitive league for college students. CSL has awarded over $1 million in scholarships to student gamers from around the world over the past 11 years,” said Dr. Marc Williams, Commissioner of HEA and Global Scholar Practitioner at Florida Memorial University.  “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.”

About CSL College (Collegiate StarLeague)

CSL College is the world’s largest collegiate gaming league with a presence at all 65 Power Five Conference Schools. CSL College has experienced an exceptional boom with the rise in popularity of the esports industry seeing a compound annual growth of approximately 38-40% in all categories. It has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarship money to student gamers from around the world and has over 1,800 registered schools with over 11,000 College and University teams. WorldGaming Network (“WGN”), it’s sibling business, is a leading gaming platform that facilitates tournaments, leagues and gaming ladders for the amateur, semi-pro, and competitive gaming community both online and in live venues.

For more information on CSL College, please visit www.cstarleague.com. or follow CSL on Twitter.

About The Yard: HBCU Esports Alliance

HBCU Esports Alliance (HEA) is a diversity and inclusion initiative designed to significantly increase the participation of HBCU students, alumni and fans in the $150B+ gaming and $1.5B+ esports industries. Built as a replicable model for on-campus or virtual HBCU campuses, HEA’s “The Yard” will feature four distinct pillars (Competition, Education, Research and Pipeline) that will drive continued access to current and future aspects in gaming and esports. The Initiative will live at the intersection of HBCU campus life including esports, traditional sports, music, entertainment, fashion and more. Through its robust network of supporting alliance partners, HEA will offer great experiences for its HBCU member schools while developing the next generation of HBCU leaders and entrepreneurs through esports.

For more information on HBCU Esports Alliance, please visit www.hbcuesportsyard.com or follow @hbcuesportsyard

About Playfly Sports

Playfly Sports (playfly.com) is a full-service sports marketing company providing top tier management of multimedia rights for teams, schools, athletics departments, and other properties.  Playfly Sports is also the home of CSL and WGN, the leaders in college and amateur esports with all esports activities on all Power Five campuses and all four major professional sports leagues as partners.  For more information visit www.playfly.com.

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