'Season Zero' of New Esports Conference Officially Begins Play Tonight
MANSFIELD, Mass. - After more than 10 months of planning and preparation, a new concept comes to life later today as the New England Collegiate Conference officially begins it's first season of esports play later tonight. The conference will sponsor regular season play and championships in five titles during it's initial semester of play, with more titles scheduled for the spring.
Esports becomes the 16th sport the NECC sponsors.
"We're excited about what we're doing," said NECC Commissioner Jacob VanRyn. "It's kind of surreal to have the official start date be here. We've worked very hard to get to this point and we've been blown away by the support that we've received along the way. The esports community is truly an awesome one. Every conversation we've had has been 'how can we help' or 'what can we do' on our end. We're excited to continue building this thing into what we think will be a great experience for our players."
The conference's league play will be broken down by day of the week. The schedule is as follows:
Monday - Madden
Tuesday - Valorant
Wednesday - Overwatch
Thursday - League of Legends
Friday - Rocket League
Postseason play will begin in early November and, due to the pandemic and how it has affected campus schedules, championship round action will take place prior to the Thanksgiving break. The NECC will crown a champion in each title it's sponsoring.
Regular season play begins tonight and the NECC will be professionally broadcasting two games each night on each of it's platforms: Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube. The NECC will feature two Madden games tonight featuring players from four different schools.
"We're fired up about the streaming element. We've been able to work with our members and create schedules where each team will be casted at least once each semester," said VanRyn. "We're committed to streaming as many postseason matches as we possibly can, and we think it will be something our member institutions and their fans enjoy. We hope it will help them continue to grow and develop their programs."
"It's hard to believe it's here," said the NECC's Director of Esports Caleb Glube. "To see this come to life is pretty awesome. To be a part of something that started as just a conversation almost a year ago and to develop it to this stage has been challenging but very rewarding. We're proud of what we're doing and, while we know there will be some kinks to iron out along the way, we couldn't be more excited to officially begin the season."
The NECC will officially release it's full list of participating schools and teams later this week as it finalizes rosters and schedules.
ABOUT NECC ESPORTS
The NECC announced its intention to sponsor esports in the fall of 2019. Recognizing the growing marketplace, the conference is committed to sponsoring esports in a manner that is similar to any of its other traditional sports. The NECC will begin play in the fall of 2020 and is planning on sponsoring regular season play and championships in a wide variety of titles.
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 16 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sport. Bay Path University, Becker College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College are the conference’s current members. For more information, please visit neccathletics.com