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UMD to Sponsor Esports Tournament Finals This Weekend

Virtual Hosting Part of Effort to Elevate Esports at Maryland

By Maryland Today Staff

Students playing esports

The student group UMCP Gaming hosted the 2019 Harvest Moon LAN (local area network) event at the Computer Science Instructional Center. This weekend, the university is virtually hosting a major competition bringing together collegiate teams across the U.S. and Canada.

Photo courtesy of UMCP Gaming

The University of Maryland is continuing to level up its support of esports, the global video game competition phenomenon, by sponsoring a major tournament championship.

UMD is partnering with Playfly Sports Properties and CSL Esports to virtually host the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) Starleague’s fall 2021 Grand Finals on Dec. 4 and 5. The competition between 10 college and university teams from across the U.S. and Canada in Call of Duty, CSGO, Overwatch, League of Legends and Rocket League will be broadcast on the CSL Esports Twitch channel.

NACE Starleague, a joint effort of CSL Esports, NACE, Nerd Street and Mainline, is the largest collegiate esports league in North America. It featured nearly 10,000 students participating on more than 1,700 teams this semester—a 25% jump from before the pandemic.

Two UMD teams competed in earlier rounds of NACE Starleague’s CSGO and League of Legends competitions last month. They’re part of a growing grassroots movement to expand esports at Maryland, and you can learn more about it in Terp magazine’s Fall 2021 cover story, “Pressing Play.”

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.