The Overwatch League regular season is set to begin on January 10, but elsewhere, the Overwatch collegiate esports scene continues to roll on strong. In fact, Blizzard and Tespa are getting ready to name an Overwatch collegiate champion, but now it looks like the folks at the Fiesta Bowl want a piece of the action.
On Thursday morning, Blizzard announced a partnership with the Fiesta Bowl organization and introduced the Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Championship. Marking the first official partnership between a game publisher and a college football bowl organization, this partnership will bring the top four collegiate Overwatch teams to Arizona, where they will battle it out to become the first Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Champions. Those teams are UC Berkeley (winners of last year's Tespa Overwatch Collegiate Series), the University of Toronto, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego, who are the last four teams standing out of a field of 318 schools. The winning team will receive college scholarships for each of their six players.
"With the explosive growth of esports, we identified this opportunity to broaden our footprint and get involved right at our sweet spot – intercollegiate competition," said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy via press release. "Partnering with Blizzard Entertainment once again puts us at the top of the college game, in a slightly different arena. Now is a perfect time to become a part of a new frontier for college gaming. These are highly-talented and dedicated students showcasing their skills."
The Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Championship will take place on Saturday, February 17 from Arizona State University. To help usher in the inaugural event, Arizona State and the University of Arizona will play one another in a friendly exhibition match.