Renegades and an association of dairy farmers in Michigan are partnering to produce a Collegiate Rocket League event.
Renegades has announced a new collegiate initiative with some surprising partners that should make Rocket League fans very happy. The Rocket League Midwest Collegiate Invitiational will be produced by Renegades production company Gametime in partnership with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.
“We are always focused on driving the growth of the esports ecosystem — from high school and college events, to amateur and professional competitions,” said Chris Roumayeh, GameTime VP of Operations. “To partner with Milk Means More on this invitational is a dynamic opportunity, and we are super excited for these universities to battle it out in Rocket League to see who will be crowned the champion.”
Why is a dairy association interested in Rocket League esports?
The esports ecosystem in Rocket League has been quietly thriving under the leadership of Psyonix for the past few years. This is also true of the collegiate Rocket League scene, which while it does not have the most robust scene, has certainly seen an uptick in interest the past few years. In fact, according to the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) more than 170 US colleges have varsity esports programs and are now offering $16 million per year in scholarships. That number may pale in comparison to traditional sports, but it is growing. Various people are trying to solve some of the pain points in collegiate esports, especially in revenue and upside for the players as well, such as ESPORTSU’s NIL deals.
This is true of the high school scene, as well. Since it was accepted by the National Federation of State High School associations in 2018, more than 8,600 schools have started esports programs.
“Milk Means More is very excited to venture into the world of esports,” said Melissa Gerharter, United Dairy Industry of Michigan Executive Director, Health and Wellness. “We feel it’s important that all athletes fuel their bodies with the proper nutrition to help take their performance to the next level. We look forward to both this event and strengthening our partnership even further with GameTime Sports.”
How will the Midwest Collegiate Invitational work?
This new tournament will consist of three phases: Open Qualifiers, league play, and the Championship.
Here’s a full rundown of the event structure:
Open Qualifiers | February 27 | Online
- Double Elimination Bracket
- Top four teams qualify for the four-week league and will join the the 12 invited collegiate esports teams:
- Indiana University
- Kent State University
- Michigan Technological University
- Northwood University
- Oakland University
- The Ohio State University
- Sault College
- Siena Heights University
- St. Clair College
- University of Akron
- University of Michigan
- University of Waterloo
League Play Format | March 6
- 16 teams split into two groups of 8
- Round Robin within 4 weeks (2 matches a week)
- Scheduling similar to CRL League Play, schedule between teams within the week or played on the scheduled stream days by GameTime
- Top 3 from each group qualify for the in person championships
Championship | April 9 | GameTime
- Double Elimination
- Prize Pool total: $5.000
- 1st – $2,250
- 2nd – $1,250
- 3rd – $750
- 4th – $400
- 5th – $175
- 6th – $175 + Trophy/Medals
While a $5,000 prize pool may not move the needle in terms of the wider esports community, this still represents a significant opportunity for collegiate Rocket League players.
For more on the collegiate esports and Rocket League scenes, keep it locked here to esports.gg.