NFL has announced that it will host the inaugural "Madden NFL 21 x HBCU Tournament" this month. The tournament will be free and available to all students at schools in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Students will begin the tournament by participating in qualifying games within their school's athletic conference. From there, four players will be selected from each conference and they will be placed a 16-player, single elimination bracket. The first place winner will earn $5,000, the second place finalist will earn $2,500 and the third place finisher will earn $1,500.
“This tournament is all about engaging student bodies across Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Rachel Hoagland, head of gaming and eSports at the NFL, said.
“We are committed to providing opportunities and fostering a welcoming environment for students who are passionate about games like Madden NFL 21. Throughout the year, we have collaborated with the four conferences on several initiatives and are looking forward to further enhancing our relationship. This tournament is a unique opportunity for students who are passionate about games like Madden NFL 21 to engage with the NFL and we are excited to work with Nerd Street Gamers.”
This tournament is part of the league's extended effort to strengthen its relationships with historically Black colleges and universities across the country. In their effort, the league has partnered with Nerd Street Gamers, a Philadelphia based company seeking to develop competitive gamers.
“We’re honored to lead operations for this inaugural tournament,” Nerd Street Gamers CEO John Fazio said.
“Our HBCU tournaments are pillars of progress that stand for the empowerment of equality and we’re proud to be aligned in the effort to make eSports more inclusive. Partnering with a prestigious organization like the NFL ensures that this opportunity will have a positive and lasting impact. I can’t wait for the competitions!”
The first round of qualifying games will begin on November 14. The 16 finalists will take part in a virtual tournament during Super Bowl week.