Learfield IMG College has announced partnerships with operations company Esports Engine, tournament software and management company Mainline, and Endeavor for its Level Next collegiate league.
Level Next was first announced back in October after Learfield IMG College secured a multi-year partnership with EA to launch the competition.
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According to the firm, the project is regarded as ‘the largest intercollegiate esports league’ and is open to students attending a four-year accredited university. As such, Learfield IMG College has appointed a trio of companies as principal partners to be responsible for the overall operation and supporting elements of the competition.
“Level Next provides the esports player and overall student community the best of college fandom in an easy-to-follow, centralised format,” commented Rick Barakat Learfield IMG College EVP/Managing Director – Media and Partnerships Group. “We’re bullish on esports and the tremendous value we know it can deliver to sponsors and to schools. With EA and alongside Mainline, Esports Engine and Endeavor, we’re confident we’re delivering an exceptional experience for these students, while further authenticating and legitimising the college esports community.”
In cooperation with EA and Endeavor, Engine Media has been named Learfield IMG College’s broadcast and production partner for Level Next. Meanwhile, Mainline will be the competition’s official esports tournament operator.
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“We are extremely excited to work with Learfield IMG College and bring the Level Next esports experience to life,” stated Esports Engine CEO Adam Apicella. “Collegiate esports leagues are vital to driving the industry forward and continues our mission of facilitating a more accessible, open, and inclusive esports ecosystem. We’re proud to be part of this endeavour through the Fall Champions Series.”
Level Next commenced earlier this month with its Madden NFL 21 Fall Champions Series and boasts a cash prize pool of $150,000 (~£115,000).
As a result of Learfield IMG College’s partnership with Engine Media, the firm is expected to deliver over 70 hours of Fall Champions Series content, including ‘red zone’ coverage, matches of the week and additional shoulder content.
Esports Insider says: Learfield IMG College and EA are looking to bolster the collegiate esports ecosystem with Level Next and the introduction of Esports Engine, Mainline and Endeavor sets them on the right path in achieving that goal. Additionally, Level Next’s partnership with Engine Media will help enhance the competition from a content perspective, which will hopefully lead to increased viewership and interest.