Blizzard esports initiative will support your college gaming club

Blizzard has announced a new partnership with The esports Association (TeSPA) that will reward and support bigger, more active college gaming groups.

The Membership Milestone program will back groups in the TeSPA network with event funding, promotion opportunities, and unique in-game rewards for Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and Heroes of the Storm . The bigger the gaming group gets, the more rewards Blizzard will fund.

Blizzard doesn’t at all suggest that gaming groups should play Blizzard games. To the contrary, the only other membership requirement in addition to an annual $ 10 fee is that the group must remain “game agnostic,” meaning it is open to building an inclusive community for all gamers.

However, the Membership Milestone program follows Riot Games’ Collegiate Program, which launched last year. The Collegiate Program promotes League of Legends, and, according to Riot, already has hundreds of clubs in universities across North America.

“TeSPA has been a positive force in the esports community built from the ground up by a small group of dedicated fans,” CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Mike Morhaime said in a press release. “By partnering with TeSPA we hope to give back to the players in a very new way to add fuel to an already thriving collegiate scene.”

As soon as a group is created, it will get a local chapter website, member T-shirt, a how-to manual for growing the chapter, and mailing list tool. Not that exciting to start with, but it gets better as the group grows.

At 40 members, you’ll get access to a partnered Twitch stream. At 65, you’ll get $ 300 to sponsor one event a year, and be able to rent equipment like power cords and ethernet cables. At 80 members, the program will cover a pizza party and more equipment. With 200 members, the yearly budget increases to $ 500, adds gaming peripherals, and more.

You can find the full list of rewards on TeSPA’s website.

Gamespot’s Site Mashup