Maryland meets Illinois in BTN League of Legends College Season Championship
On Monday, March 27 at 6 p.m. ET, BTN will air the first live esports match in network history when Maryland takes on Illinois in the BTN League of Legends Championship. The match will be held at the NA LCS Battle Theater in Los Angeles and can be seen on BTN2Go.
Over the course of the inaugural season, 12 clubs from Big Ten universities were separated into BTN East and West divisions to compete against each other in the most played PC video game in the world. Not including Monday’s championship, seven matches have been streamed across BTN2Go, Facebook and Twitch garnering more than 2 million unique viewers.
“Given that this pilot program was uncharted territory across the college sports television landscape, we are extremely pleased with the results and we learned a great deal in the process,” said Erin Harvego, BTN Vice President of Marketing. “We are also thrilled with the visibility this provided to so many hardworking students and club members and hope to be able to showcase their talents in the future.”
Monday’s BTN League of Legends champion will go on to compete in the League of Legends College Championship, which features the eight best college teams from across the continent to determine the overall League of Legends college champion. Both teams have several STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) students with nearly 70 percent of the combined rosters studying in these academic fields.
The West champion, Illinois, defeated Purdue and Minnesota after going 4-1 during division play. Maryland went 4-1 in the East but advanced by knocking off Ohio State, which stunned top-seeded and unbeaten Michigan in the division semifinal.
“Illinois and Maryland feature some of the most passionate, skilled and studious college League of Legends players and we expect an entertaining match when they meet in Los Angeles,” Michael Sherman, college esports lead at Riot Games said. “If you love video games and love college sports, BTN’s broadcast should give you a look at the competitive nature of League of Legends.”
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 from more than 200 university clubs across the U.S. and Canada, are striving to reach the 8-team League of Legends College Championship.