College eSports Sites Broken Down

There are four major websites competing to host the best college esports tournaments-

  1. CSL (Collegiate Star League)
  2. AVGL (American Video Game League)
  3. Tespa
  4. NACE (National Association of Collegiate Esports)

CSL (Collegiate Star League)

“The Home of the Best College Esports”

“Collegiate Starleague is the world’s first collegiate gaming organization. We have been hosting collegiate competitions since 2009 and have grown to over 900 universities and 30,000 players actively competing in our league. We now run leagues across multiple titles and platforms and have awarded over $400,000 in scholarships to deserving college gamers.”

From https://cstarleague.com/about

CSL began in 2009 for a college StarCraft Tournament. They soon expanded to host League of Legends and CS:GO tournaments. Today CSL runs tournaments/leagues for nearly every major collegiate esport.

Past and Current Tournaments CSL:

  • Starcraft
  • League of Legends
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive
  • Dota 2
  • Hearthstone
  • Rocket League
  • Fortnite
  • Overwatch
  • Quake Champions
  • Super Smash Brothers
  • Vainglory
  • NBA 2k
  • Madden

CSL’s tournament format can differ greatly between games. Some tournaments have monetary prizes, some scholarship, and some are just for good competition/practice. Every CSL tournament other than Super Smash Brothers does not have any $ entry fees as of April 2019. CSL supports tournaments for colleges from both the United States and Canada.

AVGL (American Video Game League)

“Your Home for College Gaming”

“The American Video Game League (AVGL) is the leading college esports organizer. The AVGL hosts leagues, ladders, and tournaments on some of the biggest stages in esports. Competitions take place online and in-person and are broadcasted live.”

From https://www.linkedin.com/company/american-video-game-league/

AVGL started six years after CSL in 2015. Like CSL. AVGL has both online and in-person competitions for college esports athletes. The major way AVGL differs from CSL is that they host many short one-day or weekend long tournaments, while a lot of CSL tournaments are summer, a semester, or year long. It also focuses on a smaller number of game titles. Despite the name AVGL supports colleges from Canada as well as the U.S.

Past and Current Tournaments AVGL:

  • League of Legends
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive
  • Fortnite
  • Apex Legends
  • Rocket League
  • Dota 2

Tespa

“Tespa is a network of college clubs founded to promote gaming culture and host the best college esports events and competitions. Together, our members are growing collegiate esports across North America both on campus and inside packed arenas.”

From https://tespa.org/about

Tespa’s website is broken into two sections-the standard Tepsa website focused on club building and Tespa Compete which focuses on tournaments.

Tespa invites esports clubs and teams from around the country to become “chapters”. Chapters are given a guide and general advice on how to run an esports organization on a college campus. They also provide support for running specific events such as hosting a tournament, LAN party, or viewing party. With Tespa’s partnership with blizzard they’re also able to offer in-game rewards through being a Tespa member. Tespa was founded in 2013.

Tespa compete operates more like CSL and AVGL where they host online and in-person tournaments for schools in the U.S. and Canada. Tespa only offers tournaments with scholarship prizes, it does not offer any tournaments pure monetary prizes like CSL and AVGL do.

Past and Current Tournaments Tespa:

  • Hearthstone
  • Overwatch
  • Starcraft 2
  • Rocket League
  • League of Legends (Appears it won’t be supported again)
  • World of Warcraft (Appears it won’t be supported again)
  • Heroes of the Storm (Appears it won’t be supported again)

National Association of Collegiate Esports

“The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) is a nonprofit membership association organized by and on behalf of our member institutions.”

“NACE is a member driven organization that focuses on the positive development of esports programs at the collegiate level, and advocates for members to create varsity programs that include scholarships for its participants and a strong institutional commitment to the sport. NACE is the only association of college and university sponsored esports programs that promotes the education and development of students through intercollegiate esports.”

From https://nacesports.org/about/

Formed in the summer of 2016 NACE has tried to better organize the college esports landscape. They are looking to be the governing body for esports kind of like NCAA is for traditional sports.  NACE has membership fees of $3,000 a year. The previous three sites are free to use. NACE offers partners with some other websites berecruited and eteamsponsor. They also host national conventions with leaders in college esports.

Aside from being a governing body NACE host tournaments for specific games.

Past and Current Tournaments NACE:

  • Smite
  • Paladins
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive

High School

HSEL (High School Esports League)

To provide an organized high school level esports league, in a comfortable environment with healthy competition.  We believe that esports should be available to every student as a legitimate varsity level sport in high schools across the nation. We want to connect high school gamers and clubs across the country, expanding the world of high school esports.

From: https://www.highschoolesportsleague.com/

The high school esports league provides high schools with assistance in starting esports teams and runs tournaments for them.  HSEL offers a “High School Partnership Program” for $10 a month per student that includes tournaments, lan parties, twitch, and management assistance.

Past and Current Tournaments HSEL:

  • League of Legends
  • Hearthstone
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Overwatch
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive
  • Super Smash Bros
  • Fortnite
  • Dragon Ball Fighterz

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