As collegiate leagues wrestle with how to continue fall sports amid the coronavirus, one is embracing a new kind of competition: gaming.
On Thursday, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced a new partnership with Blaze Fire Games, which will include a new MEAC esports league, alongside other career opportunities in gaming and technology.
“There’s really no time like the present to focus on this esports industry because of these changing times we are living in due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Blaze Fire Games CEO and co-founder Isiah Reese said in a statement.
Blaze Fire Games will host online tournaments for games like Rocket League and Super Smash Bro, open to students, alumni and university staff at MEAC’s 11 member institutions. They can also take virtual classes on esports and competitive gaming.
“As esports becomes increasingly viable from a financial and cultural standpoint, we are ecstatic that the MEAC can partner with Blaze Fire Games to expand digital access and educational opportunities,” MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas said in a statement. “The future is here, and it is vital to the MEAC to be a part of esports moving forward.”