The NACE Starleague looks to transform collegiate esports as we know it.
NACE StarLeague is an ambitious collaboration between four separate collegiate companies looking to change the collegiate esports dynamic.
Why CSL formed a “super team”
As collegiate esports continues to grow, CSL realized they had a great opportunity on their hands to create something special. Despite big endemic companies like PlayVS, CSL, NACE, and eFuse actively investing in the space, CSL CEO Rob Johnson felt like collegiate growth has stalled.
Combining the efforts of four major players in collegiate esports is a transformative moment to create more access and opportunities for student-athletes and further elevate the sport in ways that were previously not possible. The new NACE Starleague and our partnership will not only advance the competitive experience for student-athletes and provide them with an ideal place to showcase their skills, it will also help colleges and universities navigate the space as program numbers soar across North America.CSL CEO Rob Johnson
Formerly of Nerd Street Gamers, Johnson has put on emphasis on the StarLeague’s goal to empower collegiate clubs and programs through localization. Whether its advocating on behalf of esports clubs or increasing the amount of high quality LANs to attend, Johnson believes that this partnership can have a truly positive impact on the scene.
While CSL was able to do some of things previously, partnering with NACE, Mainline, and NSG has noticeable benefits. NACE has a catalog of schools that provide the StarLeague with a starting point for filling competitive leagues. Mainline has worked to create whitelabel esports tournaments and has a significant amount of tournament dev ops experience while NSG and Localhost provide physical locations to compete in.
Is NACE StarLeague a good or bad thing for collegiate esports?
NACE StarLeague has a lot of promise on paper, but the collegiate community has seen this before. After Activision-Blizzard acquired Tespa, the beloved collegiate community support organization was disbanded and folded into Activision. CSL has seen some staff leave to create competitors at eFuse, Faceit, and Vindex and has faced stiff competition for eyeballs and competitors.
Despite the past, this is a chance for everyone to take a step forward and create something new for the community. One thing CSL has always tried to do is highlight collegiate communities. Whether it was a campus feature on San Jose State University or collaborating with LSU to host (virtually) the CSL Esports Grand Finals this year, CSL has worked to put college campus’ first.
This partnership is looking to add a lot of new things that individually the four organizers could not. One of those is developing esports “curriculum” to enhance career development for positions outside of competitive games. NACE is hoping this will be a long term partnership and is hoping to expand the partnership to more organizations if it makes sense.
The only way to fairly judge this new partnership is after it bears some fruit. Overall, investment into collegiate esports is positive, but it all comes down to execution. Signups for the league will be in August and game announcements will be available in the coming weeks. For more collegiate esports news and announcements stay tuned in to Esports.gg.