DANBURY, Conn. – The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) announced today the final team selections for its inaugural ECAC eSports Invitational at the Albany Capital Center.  The invitational is to be held in conjunction with an eSports Exhibition on Thursday March 1, 2018 as part of the 2018 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Basketball Championships Fan Fest.  The exhibition is a day-long event designed to educate college sports and recreation administrators about the rapidly expanding intercollegiate eSports opportunities for their institutions. The event will feature a series of panel discussions followed by a four-team eSports tournament on Riot Games’ League of Legends featuring ECAC and MAAC member schools.

In the tournament’s first match, two MAAC schools, also part of the ECAC’s Division I membership,  will bring their long history of fierce competition from the hardwood and athletic fields to the digital realm to battle on the Rift. The Canisius College Golden Griffins from Buffalo, NY will square off against the Siena College Saints from Loudonville, NY.  The second matchup will feature two ECAC powerhouses that have flourishing eSports programs.  The Stevenson University Mustangs from Owings Mills, MD will go toe to toe with the State University of New York at Canton Kangaroos located in Canton, NY. The winners of these matches will go on to compete in a championship matchup for the right to call themselves the first ECAC eSports Invitational Champion.

“SUNY Canton is thrilled to be participating in the ECAC’s first major eSports event,” said SUNY Canton Athletic Director Randy B. Sieminski. “This will be a great experience for our students to be involved in a first-class competition at a phenomenal venue surrounded by the added excitement of the NCAA Division I basketball conference playoffs. We can’t wait.”

“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.”

“Siena is excited to be part of this opportunity.  eSports is a way to engage students and perspective student and is a fast growing opportunity,” Vice President of Athletics John D’Argenio said. “This exhibition being sponsored by the MAAC and run by the ECAC is an opportunity to learn more about eSports and how it could benefit colleges and universities.”

The panels and all matches will be streamed live on the ECAC Network at ecacnetwork.com.

Tentative match times and opponents for the March 1 Invitational are:
Match 1: Canisius College vs Siena College at 6 p.m.
Match 2: SUNY Canton vs Stevenson University at 7:15 p.m.
Consolation Match 3 at 8:30 p.m.
Championship Match 4 at 9:45 p.m.

A full schedule of events and final match times will be forthcoming.

About the ECAC:
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.

About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference:
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.