Riot Games, the renowned developer behind League of Legends and VALORANT, has revealed an exciting three-year collegiate partnership with GGTech Entertainment for its North American esports ecosystem. The partnership designates GGTech as Riot Games’ official provider for its North American collegiate programme, encompassing the highly popular College League of Legends (CLOL) and the recently debuted College VALORANT competitive season. This move aims to bolster and centralise Riot’s college activations, providing a “one-stop-shop” for all related programmes while still allowing third parties to participate in the scholastic space.
League of Legends has enjoyed a strong presence in collegiate esports since 2015, with the inception of the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC). The introduction of the College League of Legends (CLOL) in 2018 further fueled its popularity, drawing an increasing number of universities into the fold. In 2023, the CLOL Championship witnessed 32 teams from various conferences competing for a substantial $190,000 prize pool.
College VALORANT, the newer addition to the collegiate scene, made its debut earlier this year. Both CLOL and College VALORANT were organised by the Riot Scholastic Association of America in collaboration with third-party operators.
Riot Games’ vision for the three-year partnership with GGTech Entertainment is to create a comprehensive hub for all college activations. This includes the integration of CLOL, College VALORANT, the college club programme, and other initiatives. The consolidation is set to enhance the overall college esports experience and create more opportunities for students and schools of varying sizes, investments, and competitive ranks.
Riot Games, however, clarified that the partnership will not result in any changes to the current scholastic community competition guidelines for League of Legends or VALORANT. The decision aims to maintain a level playing field for third-party operators, allowing them to remain engaged in the collegiate esports space.
GGTech Entertainment’s involvement in Riot Games’ North American collegiate operations comes as no surprise, given the esports company’s substantial role in Riot’s collegiate efforts in the LATAM and EMEA regions. Through its University Esports IP, GGTech has collaborated with Amazon to create a multi-title continental university championship that pits student teams from different European universities against each other. The company has been making strides in the industry, recently acquiring the UK-based university esports company NUEL and securing $12.4 million in investment.
The three-year partnership between Riot Games and GGTech Entertainment is scheduled to commence at the beginning of the 2023–24 school year. J.T. Vandenbree, Head of the Riot Scholastic Association of America, expressed excitement about the collaboration, emphasising that the goal is to elevate the college esports experience and foster increased collaboration with students and schools. With GGTech’s expertise and Riot’s continuous support, the collegiate esports landscape is poised for further growth and innovation.
Riot Games’ decision to team up with GGTech Entertainment for a three-year collegiate partnership marks a significant development in the North American esports ecosystem. By consolidating their college activations, Riot aims to provide a seamless and enhanced experience for students and universities participating in College League of Legends and College VALORANT. With GGTech’s proven track record in the industry and Riot’s commitment to promoting fair competition, this partnership promises to foster an even more thriving and competitive collegiate esports environment, unlocking new opportunities for aspiring student-athletes and gaming enthusiasts alike.