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The Esports Association Wants to Support Your College Gaming Club.

TeSPA and Blizzard are out to create a nation-wide eSports club on your college campus with tons of membership benefits.

Ever wanted to join a gaming fraternity?

The eSports Association (TeSPA) announced a new initiative that involves sponsoring your college gaming club, with a membership that includes tons of amazing perks.  TeSPA has also brought along game development company, Blizzard, on board – adding unique unlocks for group members in games like Hearthstone, Star-Craft II, and even the unreleased Heroes of The Strom.

Much similar to Riot Games’ Collegiate Program – a similar campus oriented gaming club sponsorship for League of Legends – TeSPA hopes to broaden their module to include all games.

 
An event from the University of Texas Club

How it works

To qualify for a membership in this "gaming brotherhood," first, you must apply for a chapter in your university.  20 schools have already been anointed as members, with hundreds most likely already in the midst of their application process.  Once you’ve applied for your school, you must follow two rules: one, your group must be “gaming agnostic” – meaning, you must be open to ALL games (no JRPG or FPS-only groups) – and two, student members must pay annual dues of $10 every semester.  Which, considering the upwards of $500 a year it costs to join frat or sorority, is a pretty sweet deal.

Perks

To add the incentive of being an officially sponsored club, TeSPA has announced a plethora of scaling benefits your newly registered group can attain.  When you’re approved you will instantly receive the following to get you started:

  • Local chapter website.
  • Inclusion to the Associations’ mailing list.
  • How-to manual (which include sample documents, instructions, and a guide on how to maximize your group’s potential.)
  • Free official TeSPA member T-shirts for everyone in your club.

However, you must reach at least 25 members in order to have your website go public and to get your shirts.  But, once you gain more members, some even more benefits are “unlocked.”  For instance, 45 members gets you free social-media support, a large vinyl banner to display on campus, and inclusion in their Twitch streams – which can lead to revenue opportunities.  Swag packs, unlimited cables, a fully-funded pizza party, and even the chance to have a special guest of your choice flown out to you, are all potential awards based on membership numbers.  Yearly budgets of up $500 are also given out to groups with a thriving and active community.


Banner from UNC's official eSports Association Club

 eSports, the new collegiate intramural?

In a recent press release, TeSPA co-founder Adam Rosen stated:

“Our goal is to empower passionate students to bring their eSports dreams to life,” said Rosen. “By doing this, we hope to cultivate thriving eSports communities while fostering the next generation of entrepreneurial business leaders in the gaming industry.”    

TeSPA’s college sponsorship program really makes me wonder what kind of growth in eSports we could see down the line.  Can you imagine these schools traveling to each other’s campuses and having official, college sanctioned, tournaments?  “Yea, Penn State’s got a great StarCraft team this year, but we’ll beat them in the FPS round.”

Perhaps even in a few years, we’ll be seeing scholarships for eSport players for prestigious universities.  Who knows, but if you’ll excuse me, I think I might just apply to grad-school now so I can get in on this at my old school.

What are your thoughts on the matter?  Let me know below, and don’t forget to follow and troll me on the Tweets.

Published Feb. 11th 2014

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