New York (Jan. 22, 2021) – Van Wagner and eight of its NCAA conference partners are launching the Collegiate Esports Invitational. Any enrolled student in a member school of the America East Conference, Big South Conference, Big West Conference, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Southland Conference, Sun Belt Conference, West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference are eligible to compete in the game title, “Rocket League”.
Van Wagner is partnering with leading esports tournament software and management company, Mainline, for the online-only event which will feature each conference playing host to a single-elimination qualifying tournament from February 2 – 5. The two finalists from each conference will advance to the Collegiate Esports Invitational Championship tournament February 6 – 7 making up the 16-team championship bracket. Registration opens January 21 and closes February 1 online at the official tournament website: vanwagner.mainline.gg.
Van Wagner’s official Twitch channel (twitch.tv/vanwagneresports) will carry the finals of each conference tournament as well as the entire Collegiate Esports Invitational Championship bracket. Rocket League expert Trevor Hannah, a.k.a. DudeWithTheNose, leads the event’s team of shoutcasters. Van Wagner has teamed with Mainline for the remote production for all matches of the tournament, which are being played on Playstation, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox. Mainline has played an integral role in managing tournaments of this scale for other major Division 1 conferences as well as ESPN’s inaugural esports championship in 2019.
“This initiative is the result of almost a year of planning with our internal team as well as several of our NCAA conference partners,” stated Van Wagner Executive Vice President Mike Palisi, “This is the first of several esports tournaments that we will look to execute annually as our industry and the priorities of our partners continue to evolve. We are excited to work with Mainline on our 1st event which will be open to any of the 1.2 million students enrolled in the 88 member schools of our participating conferences and allow for deeper student engagement from our Conference partners and our corporate clients.”
All of the participating conferences are partnered with Van Wagner, which exclusively manages their respective multimedia rights. Van Wagner will be securing corporate sponsorships for these events as part of year-round efforts with each respective conference.
Mainline’s white-labeled tournament software enables Van Wagner to brand the tournament and feature its exclusive conference marks and intellectual property rights. The tournament’s site provides brands an opportunity to connect with student participants through a new esports vertical.
“Rocket League is a great title to kick off this tournament and we’re excited to bring our expertise in partnership with Van Wagner to a tournament that players have come to know and expect from our team and partners,” said Mainline chief executive officer, Chris Buckner.
About Van Wagner:
Van Wagner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Van Wagner Group LLC that creates, advises, and sells on behalf of world-class teams, leagues, brands, properties, and colleges. An innovator in the sports and media business, Van Wagner is a global leader in high-impact broadcast visible signage throughout the MLB, NBA, NCAA, and the highest levels of international soccer, sponsorships sales, premium ticketing, college multi-media rights, and in-venue content production at the world’s biggest sporting events. www.vanwagner.com
Mainline is an esports tournament software and management company focused on providing customers with their own esports offerings. Houston, Texas-based Mainline helps colleges and brands manage, monetize and market their esports programs and tournaments. For more information, visit mainline.gg and twitter.com/mainlineesports.
Mark Donley for Van Wagner
Eric Herrera for Mainline