Collegiate Sports Management Group has announced that it will host the first Collegiate Esports National Championship, April 29–May 2, 2021 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The championship tournament is expected to feature schools from CSMG partners including ECAC Esports, the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports and the High School Esports League.

Raleigh has been making a push into esports, hosting a Rainbow Six event in 2019 and hosting the East Coast Game Conference for more than a decade.

“We are delighted to be hosting the Collegiate Esports National Championship here in Raleigh, N.C.,” said Tori Collins, director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and co-chair of the Greater Raleigh Esports Local Organizing Committee. “Our area has a long tradition of hosting successful collegiate championships in traditional sports. To be able to celebrate and showcase our globally recognized esports ecosystem supported by local companies such as Epic Games, Ubisoft, Lenovo, Red Hat and others is a win-win for us. Our commitment to esports players’ health and wellness remains paramount, and we along with our local partners are confident we can deliver a world-class event for everyone involved in 2021.”

The collegiate championship event will also include a competition among former NFL players and a two-day HBCU Technology Career Fair. The career fair is aimed at bringing a brighter focus on the HBCU community and the students who attend HBCU schools in the Raleigh region. The local organizing committee, in partnership with Subnation, will also look to develop and produce a fan festival that celebrates the culture of gaming and lifestyle of esports.

“The Collegiate Esports National Championship will provide schools and colleges along the CSMG pipeline from high to school to junior college to four-year colleges to compete under one roof for the first true esports national championships,” said Neil Malvone, executive vice president of Collegiate Sports Management Group. “This gathering of gamers of all ages will be the highlight of the 2020-2021 collegiate esports season. Brands will be able to connect with the gaming community at our LAN event, through our linear partner, ESTV, and across multiple digital channels.