CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has partnered with esports league provider PlayVS to offer competitive gaming opportunities for its 12 member institutions.
PlayVS will serve as the conference's official esports provider for select gaming titles, such as Fortnite, Rocket League, and League of Legends, and will begin offering competitive gaming seasons this fall.
"We're thrilled to be partnering with PlayVS, who has committed to creating opportunities for exposure while providing resources and access within the esports industry for our students, membership and the HBCU community," said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. "The move into esports aligns with the educational experience in STEM and overall strategic plan that remains consistent with efforts to continuously grow our brand and advance our students."
PlayVS will provide participating CIAA schools access to esports gaming events and leagues, including a newly launched HBCU Esports League, that offer students an opportunity to compete for championships as well as earn scholarship money and merchandise. Additionally, the CIAA will collaborate with PlayVS on educational and career initiatives, for its students, within the esports and gaming industry.
"PlayVS is excited to be partnering with CIAA during this pivotal moment," said PlayVS CEO and Founder Delane Parnell. "We're committed to leaning on one of our core principles and going all-in on cultivating the HBCU esports ecosystem that focuses not only on scholastic league-based competition, but also on building a solid foundation for their future careers, all while developing a sense of community."
The partnership with PlayVS is the initial step for the CIAA towards launching its own conference league within the esports ecosystem.