Big Ten Network launches BTN League of Legends College Season
CHICAGO, Ill. – BTN and Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends, today announced the launch of the official BTN League of Legends season. The new pilot program, in which clubs from Big Ten Universities take part in a season-long competition, will result in one school being crowned the BTN League of Legends Champion in the most played PC video game in the world.
Clubs from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers and Wisconsin will all play in the inaugural season, which will kick on off Jan. 30 on BTN2Go and watch.lolesports.com. The Big Ten Network will also televise the BTN League of Legends championship on March 27.
The new season-long competition follows in the footsteps of last year’s BTN Invitational, an exhibition League of Legends match featuring Michigan State and Ohio State.
“We are thrilled to be taking the next step into esports with the season-long BTN League of Legends competition,” said Erin Harvego, BTN Vice President of Marketing. “We are confident that, together with Riot, we can build a successful platform for future esports intercollegiate competition. We hope to learn a lot in this pilot season.”
Teams will compete in the BTN East and West, playing a best-of-3 round robin against division foes. At the end of the round robin, the top four teams from each division will compete in a single elimination playoff bracket and the East and West champions will face each other in the BTN League of Legends Championship.
The BTN League of Legends Champion will then compete in the League of Legends College Championship, which features the best collegiate teams from across the continent to determine the overall League of Legends collegiate champion.
“The Big Ten Universities are not only historical leaders in college athletics, they are home to some of our biggest and most passionate college League of Legends communities,” said Riot’s Michael Sherman, who leads the competitive college program for League of Legends. “We’re thrilled to see the growth in popularity of professional League of Legends, and now we want to give collegiate fans at the Big Ten Universities the same opportunity to share their passion in BTN League of Legends.”
This will be the first time Riot Games has partnered with a national collegiate network for an official season-long competition. League of Legends is a fast-paced, team-oriented (5-v-5) online game of skill and strategy with more than 100 million monthly active players worldwide. The game has become especially popular on college campuses, where players have been showing their dedication and drive in the Campus Series, a season-long competition featuring more than 200 university clubs, including more than a dozen programs that offer scholarships, playing across the U.S. and Canada.
A joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Networks, BTN is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With more than 1,500 events across all platforms, the 24/7 network is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans and alumni across the country, allowing them to see their favorite teams, regardless of where they live. BTN2Go is the digital extension of the Big Ten Network, delivering live games and on-demand programming to Big Ten Network customers via the web, smartphones, and tablets. Events include football, men’s and women’s basketball games; dozens of Big Ten Olympic sports and championship events; studio shows; and classic games. Original programming highlights activities and accomplishments of some of the nation’s finest universities. The groundbreaking Student U initiative provides real-world experience for students interested in careers in sports television. The network is in more than 60 million homes across the United States and Canada, including carriage by all the major video distributors, such as DIRECTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse, Charter Communications, Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, and approximately 300 additional video providers across North America. For additional information, go to www.btn.com.
About League of Legends:
League of Legends is a fast-paced, team-oriented online game where two teams of five compete in intense 5v5 battles that require strategic thinking, lightning reflexes, and coordinated team-play. Over 100 million people play League of Legends each month, making LoL the most-played PC video game in the world. To learn more, watch this video. Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, will host the League of Legends College Championship, an 8-team playoff in 2017.