In the spring of 2019, rumors began to circulate that TESPA, the collegiate tournament arm of Blizzard, was looking to create something special in the realm of intercollegiate competition. Specifically, they were looking to create an invitational tournament that celebrated what they deemed as the BEST varsity collegiate programs in the nation. In August, applications were tendered by more than 100 universities looking to be identified as model programs were the of selection. In the end, 12 schools were selected. Boise State was atop the list.
The selection criteria was important, as lots of universities had programs, machines, students, and scholarships. But, what blizzard wanted to develop was different. They wanted to highlight programs that had MORE than just highly-competitive teams. They wanted to select varsity programs that also made gaming computer time and space available to clubs and non-scholarship students. Believe it or not, some universities who claim to be big in Esports don’t let their general student body near their equipment.
In addition to scholarships, space, and support, Blizzard was also interested in what schools provided by way of development of talents and specific skills. Boise State was at the top of the list again, with the state-of-the-art, envy-inspiring production facility that trains students in the media side of the game.
Having been selected, the students and staff have patiently waited for release of the invitational schedule, which includes the original 12 selected and an additional four teams that have qualified through regional tournaments. Now we enter the Round Robin phase, where each team plays all others in their own bracket. Boise State Western Conference Schedule is as follows.
- Utah, Oct. 5th @ 2:00pm MDT
- UC–Irvine, Oct. 5th @ 4:00pm MDT
- Academy of Art University, Oct. 12th @ 2:00pm MDT
- Cal , Oct. 12th @ 4:00pm MDT
- UT-Dallas, Oct. 19th @ 2:00pm MDT
- Grand View University, Oct. 19th @ 4:00pm MDT
- University of North Texas, Oct. 26th @ 2:00pm MDT
Following the regular-season round Robin, teams will be seated in a playoff bracket. This process will be similarly staged in the spring, leading to the national championship.