Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED) company, today announced it has partnered with the American Video Game League (AVGL), a BoomTV company, to launch Autumn Anarchy, a first-of-its kind college esports tournament. Autumn Anarchy will invite more than 500 gamers nationwide to compete in qualifying tournaments for the popular gaming title, Fortnite, as millions of fans tune in to watch the action. The tournament winners will receive $10,000 in scholarship prize money and gain entry into “Code Red,” one of the largest influencer esports events in the industry.
Esports, competitive online video gaming, bring together gamers from around the world, as different leagues and teams play against each other in popular video games. Fans tune in through streaming platforms, such as Twitch, to watch their favorite gamers compete in real-time. Esports have gained massive popularity in the past few years, with viewership of games further increasing as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many to remain in their homes in an effort to social distance.
“Colleges and universities worked hard to ensure students’ academic journeys went uninterrupted in light of COVID-19 campus closures. It has been far more difficult for schools to continue fostering social engagement amongst students when so many are at home,” said Lisa Malat, President of Barnes & Noble College. “Esports provide a phenomenal opportunity for students to come together, regardless of where they may be in the Fall. In partnering with the AVGL to create Autumn Anarchy, we can help drive connection and engagement amongst student gamers, and also drive further attention for college esports communities, which continue to grow with the addition of teams and even majors at institutions nationwide. We are very excited for the Autumn Anarchy tournament to begin, and look forward to seeing which gamers come out on top.”
Beginning in early September, Barnes & Noble College’s digital and in-store media channels will serve as the exclusive access point for student gamers to sign up for the Fortnite tournament via a dedicated email or QR Code sign featured at the front entrance of more than 150 participating Barnes & Noble College campus stores. An online qualifying tournament hosted on AVGL.org will kick off in September, and the top college teams will move forward to compete in an online championship livestreamed on Twitch in October. The winners of Autumn Anarchy will win $10,000 in scholarship prize money and gain entry into Code Red, the largest influencer esports event in the industry, where top talent such as Ninja, Shroud, NickEh and others compete with amateur gamers.
“We are thrilled to join Barnes & Noble College in providing college gamers with the opportunity to connect and compete during these challenging times,” said Victor Suski, General Manager of the AVGL. “Our virtual college hubs offer the most simple, automated approach to developing esports events, content, and communities. The combination of AVGL technology, Code Red and Barnes & Noble College provides unprecedented reach for partners and experiences for college gamers.”
With an audience of millions of college esports fans and the participation of elite influencers, Autumn Anarchy provides the unique opportunity for brands to drive awareness and excitement amongst a growing demographic. Brands will have an opportunity to sponsor this Fall 2020 collegiate esports initiative with custom branded integrations throughout the tournament. The branded sponsorships will reach millions of Gen Z college esports fans and players nationwide, allowing brands to secure a spot in the heart of the action of this exciting pop-culture phenomenon and tap into the intersection of college, gaming influencers and esports. For more information about partnership opportunities, please contact Lori Cohn at [email protected]
About Barnes & Noble Education
Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED) is a leading solutions provider for the education industry, driving affordability, access and achievement at hundreds of academic institutions nationwide and ensuring millions of students are equipped for success in the classroom and beyond. Through its family of brands, BNED offers campus retail services and academic solutions, a digital direct-to-student learning ecosystem, wholesale capabilities and more. BNED is a company serving all who work to elevate their lives through education, supporting students, faculty and institutions as they make tomorrow a better, more inclusive and smarter world. For more information, visit www.bned.com.
About the American Video Game League
The AVGL is a leading youth and collegiate esports organization that supports over 1,000 academic institutions. The AVGL enables the growth of gaming communities through events, content, software tools, and scholarships.
The AVGL is owned by BoomTV, a leading esports entertainment platform serving 75k+ gaming influencers and communities. BoomTV offers the most automated solution to creating esports events and content. BoomTV is renowned for its influencer relationships and Code Red events, where fans get to play alongside the industry’s best players.