The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), a nonprofit that serves higher education institutions across the U.S. and Canada, is not only keeping friendly game play going online amid coronavirus cancellations, but is also doing so for a good cause.
NACE will begin a series of open esports competitions Tuesday and also announced it has partnered with esports apparel company Founder Sport Group to create fundraising avenues for groups supporting those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus through its United We Play campaign.
“Our member institutions and students have all been greatly impacted by the coronavirus situation impacting both the United States and Canada,” said Michael Brooks, Executive Director of NACE, a membership association organized by and on behalf of its member institutions serving varsity college esports in North America. “While we have suspended regular season competition in light of the action many of our members were taking with campus closures and the suspension of competitive programs, we knew that we would also be negatively impacting those programs still able to compete remotely.
“This is a step for us as an association to keep a measure of competition active in this interim period while supporting a worthy cause.”
NACE competitions start Tuesday with singles matches in Fortnite and continue Thursday with duos. It will continue each Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, until April 9, leading to the week that regular competition is scheduled to resume.
Competition in Rocket League will take place on April 1 and April 8. NACE, a media partner at this October’s Academic Esports Conference and Expo, says it will send additional information on signups to member institutions.
NACE officials are encouraging students where possible to play remotely in these open competitions from their personal residences until campuses reopen. The resumption of regular competition is currently planned for April 13.