The American Youth Cooperative for Esports (AYCE) and analytics firm Harena Data have partnered with tourism board Visit Myrtle Beach to launch an esports recruitment initiative.
The ‘Golden Dragons’ programme will reward young American players with scholarships, jerseys, and a family vacation to Myrtle Beach, a popular tourist destination in South Carolina.
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Bill Dever, Chairman of AYCE, commented in a release: “Myrtle Beach is one of the nation’s first cities to adopt an esports initiative of this calibre and quality. We’re honoured that Visit Myrtle Beach chose AYCE as its primary community aggregator for esports and are thrilled to help them flourish. The future of esports is bright in Myrtle Beach.”
The Golden Dragons initiative will be a ‘regular, year-round gaming series’ that will let players earn points through qualifying tournaments, ahead of a season-capping competition that includes a $2,000 (~£1500) scholarship as a grand prize and $1,000 (~£750) scholarship for the runner-up. Additionally, Golden Dragons jerseys will be awarded to the top 300 players, based on points.
The companies did not specify which game or games will be used in the competition, although AYCE – which is composed of numerous state soccer organisations – supports more than 150 competitive games according to Harena Data’s GYO Score platform. Players who stream their gameplay via Twitch can also request to have their match featured on new streaming channel studioGYO powered by MetaMedia.
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Karen Riordan, President and CEO of Visit Myrtle Beach, added: “Visit Myrtle Beach is thrilled to work with AYCE and Harena on this marketing program. Our destination will be on the jerseys that will be sought after by youth soccer players from across the country. That will offer great exposure of our brand to the sporting community, which will in turn develop top-of-mind awareness of Myrtle Beach as a premier destination for tournaments and family vacations.”
Esports Insider says: The unique hook here is the participation of Visit Myrtle Beach to help build some association between the city and esports. We’ll see whether that’s part of a larger push to help turn the tourist locale into an esports destination.