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College League of Legends

College League of Legends takes some of the biggest colleges in North America and pits them against each other in some fascinating match-ups that give a distinctly different feel to those you get in the likes of the NA LCS or any other major LOL league.

There is much more of a bond between players in college teams, especially from schools with fraternities, often due to them living with each other and spending all their time together. Many professional LOL teams will likely do the same, but it doesn’t engender the same feel or intensity.

2018 College League of Legends Season

Nearly 300 teams registered for the 2018 season, up from 246 in 2017. The first stage sees the teams split into North, East, South and West Conferences, where they will compete in a Swiss System format compete in Bo3 matches from 15th January to 25th February. Those that are 6-0 and 5-1 in their conferences advance to the conference playoffs. Separate from this are the Big Ten Network Conference and the Peach Belt Conference.

Big Ten Network and Peach Belt Conferences

All 14 universities in the Big Ten are down for the 2018 tournament. They are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin and last year’s winners Maryland. Teams compete in a seven-week round robin Bo3, with the top eight advancing to the playoffs. The Peach Belt Conference will feature a six-week round robin, with the top eight also advancing to the playoffs.

Conference Playoffs

All the conference playoffs are three-round, single-elimination brackets. The top teams from each of the North, East, South and West conference playoffs will all advance to the College Championships. The second place from these conferences will go to the championship play-ins, along with the first and second place teams from the Big Ten and Peach Belt conference playoffs.

Play-In Stages and the Championship

The Play-In stages will feature two groups of four teams, who will play a Bo3 round robin. The top two from each group advance to the College Championship. The Championship, which is the pinnacle of College LOL, will take place in Los Angeles in June. Eight teams will compete for the top prize in College LOL, although there won’t be any player-specific prize money, as college athletes are strictly amateur by rules from the NCAA, the governing body for college sports in the USA.

College LoL Scholarships

Although the players can’t win money, many colleges are starting to offer scholarships to top LOL eSports players. Riot has given the big colleges, including all of those in the Big Ten conference, $35,000 to be evenly distributed among its roster. With tuition fees at these colleges varying from anywhere between $15,000 and $50,000 it won’t cover the entire cost, as a normal athletic scholarship would, but its better than nothing for competing in a game that you love.

Many players, especially those leaving college soon, can use this as a showcase for their LOL skills, with the hope of being signed by a professional team. With changes to the NA LCS meaning teams are franchised in the USA, many teams may begin to look at home-grown talent for their rosters, rather than going overseas and towards the Far East. The NA also has an academy league for its teams, meaning there are more spots than ever to get on a professional NA LCS team.

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