Maryland’s least well-known champion will get another season to defend its Big Ten title.
The Big Ten Network and Riot Games on Wednesday announced a new two-year partnership to launch "BTN League of Legends" seasons in 2018 and 2019, featuring teams from all 14 Big Ten schools competing in the world's most played PC video game.
The Terps defeated Illinois in the inaugural league championship in March — the first live esports match in BTN history — and advanced to the quarterfinals of the League of Legends College Championship.
After not participating last season, Nebraska and Penn State will field teams for 2018 and 2019. Riot Games, which developed “League of Legends,” is funding scholarships for all 14 schools, with each team receiving $35,000 to be evenly distributed among its roster.
“After spending the past two years learning, participating and beginning to understand the esports landscape, we are now at a point where we can take an exciting step forward,” BTN vice president of marketing Erin Harvego said in a release.
Ove 100 million users each month play “League of Legends,” a multiplayer team game in which players summon and control one of the many champions available for battle in a fantastical world. This season’s College League of Legends competition will feature more than 300 university teams, including more than 30 programs that offer scholarships.