Press Release - University of California, Berkeley and Riot Games Launch Scholarship and Intramural Esports League Partnership

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University of California, Berkeley and Riot Games Launch Scholarship and Intramural Esports League Partnership


SAN FRANCISCO – April 25, 2018 – The University of California, Berkeley and Riot Games today announced a new partnership between the leading public University and the developer of League of Legends, the world’s most-played PC game. As part of UC Berkeley’s latest efforts to expand holistic program opportunities for the Cal Esports community, the University will launch the inaugural League of Legends Intramural Esports league this fall, as well as new scholarships for student-athletes playing on the Cal Esports League of Legends competitive team. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with Riot Games, as our esports program has been gaining incredible momentum,” said Stephen Sutton, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UC Berkeley. “Just last week, we announced we’re creating UC Berkeley’s first esports community center. We’re pleased to add another dimension through a new intramural league and scholarships. We’re looking forward to advancing the potential of our students and of collegiate esports with this partnership between Cal and an industry giant like Riot Games.” 

For Riot Games, this is the start of a dynamic collaboration with a major university. “We’re excited by UC Berkeley's holistic support for gaming, from the Cal Esports Community Center and Women In Gaming initiative, to scholarship and Intramural League of Legends programs,” said Matt Birris, Riot’s program lead for collegiate in North America. “This program sets a standard for how a top university can use gaming to create a breadth of opportunities across its entire community.”

The recently announced UC Berkeley esports community center will open in the campus’s Foothill complex in fall 2018. The University’s unique esports approach will provide support for educational and professional development programs for esports athletes and incorporates multiple aspects of the student experience, focusing on five overarching pillars: community, competition, social responsibility, wellness, and lifelong learning.

Centering on inclusivity and community, a new Women in Gaming initiative will be headed by two female leaders among Cal’s student gamers.

“We want to empower the current and next generations of female gamers,” said Tiffy Tsay, one of the student co-leaders. “We’d like to encourage more female gamers to join the University’s esports community — and know they have support among like-minded students.”

For the Cal Esports and Cal Rec Sports communities, the activities mark a new chapter in their campus history. 

“Recreational Sports is committed to providing facilities, programs, and services that support the well-being of today’s student. Our ability to transcend and diversify traditional programming creates greater opportunities for our students to participate, connect and create inclusive experiences,” said Brigitte Lossing, Director of Rec Sports. “Our overall aim is to reach those who would not otherwise engage in traditional campus recreation programs.”

About UC Berkeley and Cal Esports

The University of California, Berkeley is the world’s premier public university dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus in Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay, now has more than 1,500 full-time and 500 part-time faculty members dispersed among more than 130 academic departments and more than 80 interdisciplinary research units. 

Cal Esports includes more than 90 collegiate student-athletes on 10 competitive teams, who represent UC Berkeley at national and international competitions. The campus also has a wide variety of active clubs and student groups on campus, from casual play to game design, that engage the gaming community. 

About Riot Games 

Riot Games was founded in 2006 by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill with the intent to change the way video games are made and supported for players. In 2009, Riot released its debut title League of Legends to worldwide acclaim. The game has since gone on to become the most played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports. Players are the foundation of our community and it’s for them we continue to evolve and improve the League of Legends experience. Riot Games is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and has 23 offices worldwide.

Media Contacts:

Adam Ratliff, UC Berkeley 
(510) 365-4475 

Justin Kranzl, Riot Games

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