The HBCU Esports League has announced a partnership with soft drink brand Mountain Dew to launch the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge.
Both parties will work together to shine a spotlight on student gamers at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), with a focus on increasing black representation in esports.
Moreover, students will compete for an overall prize pool of $500,000 (~£469,000), as well as coaching and exposure to esports professionals. According to the official website, the Real Change Challenge will be a Call of Duty tournament. Top performers will also get the chance to sign a gaming contract with Mountain Dew for up to one year.
The Real Change Challenge will kick off with 16 teams in a bracket-style tournament, concluding at The Ultimate Game. The final showdown will feature the top two HBCU teams battling it out for the first-place prize of $80,000 (~£75,000).
In addition, Mountain Dew will identify four all-stars from the tournament, based on their individual performance and will name them the Real Change Challenge All-Stars. Each All-Star will receive $50,000 (~£46,900), along with a sponsorship deal for up to one year, as well as mentorship and exposure to esports pros.
To share the journey of the HBCU students participating in the event, Mountain Dew and the HBCU Esports League will broadcast all tournament matches on Cxmmunity’s Twitch channel.
Ryan Johnson, CEO of Cxmmunity Media, commented: “It is an honour to partner with MTN DEW on its Real Change Challenge and further our shared mission of future-proofing diversity and equity in gaming.
“As one of the first organisations to put a stake in the ground on getting more HBCU students engaged in esports, it’s refreshing to see brands like MTN DEW leverage its resources and community ties to invest in driving more diversity within the industry. Together, we can pave the way for the next generation of Black gamers and innovators to have a seat at the table.”
The HBCU Esports League was created by esports nonprofit Cxmmunity.