DANBURY, Conn. – The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has announced today that it will host an eSports exhibition event sponsored by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Thursday, March 1 at the Albany Capital Center in Albany, N.Y. in conjunction with the 2018 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships.

The Exhibition will consist of two parts. First at 3 p.m., there will be a series of panel discussions. eSports experts and consultants will serve as panelists for discussion topics addressing the most common questions confronted by schools contemplating adding eSports.  Panelists will focus on how to add an eSports program, why institutions should add eSports, along with the costs and the benefits associated with bringing these programs on campus.

The second half of the eSports exhibition will consist of a tournament played on Riot Games’ League of Legends. Starting at 6 p.m., ECAC teams will compete for bragging rights. The exhibition will be streamed live on the ECAC Network at ecacnetwork.com.

“We are thrilled to be establishing a foothold in the eSports world, and kicking that off with this eSports exhibition conducted in conjunction with the MAAC,” said ECAC President/CEO Dan Coonan.  “We believe the ECAC is very well suited to offer leagues, championships and other competitions in eSports in the same manner that the Conference has served to add value to intercollegiate athletics for the last 80 years; that is precisely what we do best.”

“We are excited to partner with the ECAC and MAAC for the eSports exhibition.  The industry is growing exponentially and the opportunity to host a gaming event at any level has always been our goal,” said Albany Capital Center General Manager Doug McClaine. “This is a great step for future business for Albany and the Capital Center”

“As institutions like Canisius work to attract and engage undergraduate students, understanding the growth of eSports among our target demographic is vital,” Canisius Athletic Director Bill Maher said.  “With competition often structured in a team format, it is only natural that structure of intercollegiate athletics at the campus and conference level would be seen as a parallel.  The discussions on campus with interested students have led us to some very interesting conversations, and have been the genesis for the steps we have taken to organize our Golden Griffin eSports teams.”

“I believe the ECAC eSports exhibition will give schools who are contemplating adding an eSports program a unique opportunity to see firsthand how traditional and live eSports overlap in the college environment,” notes MAAC eSports Consultant Kiernan Ensor.  “College eSports is a growing industry and traditional sports conferences need to study how to use these contests to better meet the growing demand coming from college campuses.”

The ECAC will unveil its eSports Championship initiative this spring hosting contests in both Riot Games’ League of Legends and EA Sports FIFA.
For further information, including invitation to the event, please contact Dan Coonan at dcoonan@ecac.org or Kiernan Ensor at kiernan.ensor@maac.org.


Established in 1938, the ECAC is the nation’s largest Conference, ranging in location from Maine to Georgia, and westerly to Missouri. The ECAC hosts numerous championships in men’s and women’s sports across Divisions I, II and III, offering opportunities for thousands of student-athletes. For more information, visit www.ecacsports.com.

With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is in its 37th year of competition during the 2017-18 academic year. Current Conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter’s University, and Siena College.

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