The eSports Association (TeSPA) and Blizzard Entertainment have announced an exciting new partnership bringing unprecedented support to collegiate eSports throughout North America. The newly created Membership Milestone program offers great incentives to collegiate eSports teams and clubs, anything from t-shirts to in-game rewards to free equipment upgrades and even monetary event sponsorship. All this guaranteed directly by Blizzard.

The program, which scales based on chapter size, has the intention to strengthen eSports communities and to offer the critical materials to establish, scale and grow collegiate clubs. “Our goal is to empower passionate students and to bring their eSports dreams to life” said TeSPA co-founder Adam Rosen as part of the February 6th announcement, “by doing this, we hope to cultivate thriving eSports communities while fostering the next generation of entrepreneurial business leaders in the gaming industry”. TeSPA also announced that they aim to establish campus chapters across all of North America this year, with a specific focus on 75 influential campuses.

TeSPA_LogoFor small clubs, the rewards are great and offer a great opportunity for any college student interested in starting a club. To qualify for the benefits, a club must be an inclusive community for all gamers or “game agnostic” as TeSPA calls it and each student member must pay annual dues of $10 each academic year, no different than the price of most standard collegiate clubs. However, for this small investment, Blizzard and TeSPA will offer free of charge offer 1-2 equipment rentals a year, cash sponsored events, use of a partnered Twitch.tv stream, promotional tools and at 300 members will even fly out a special guest to an event.

This also comes as great news to numerous viewers of TeSPA’s flagship competition, the Collegiate Starleague (CSL). It is without a doubt that the Milestone program will bring new schools, new players and better games to the already massive North American tournament. Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard says they hope to “give back to the player in a very new way and add fuel to an already thriving collegiate scene”.
Let’s hope that with this new fuel the fire that is collegiate eSports will grow larger, burn brighter and foster new stars for years to come.

To see a full list of the benefits of the new program visit http://tespa.org/benefits/ and to apply to register your collegiate club visit http://tespa.org/apply/.