ESL and Big Ten Network Partner for Third BTN League of Legends Esports Competition

Regular Season Broadcasts Kicks off on Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. ET with Penn State vs. Michigan State

LOS ANGELES — February 15, 2019 — ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and the Big Ten Network today announced they will partner to stream the BTN League of Legends Season, an online competition series as part of Riot Games’ College League of Legends Season. Matches begin on Feb. 16, and culminate in the BTN League of Legends Championship Tournament, beginning on March 28.

Teams from each of the 14 Big Ten schools will compete in the BTN League of Legends Season, with the competition being streamed on Caffeine TV, Twitch and YouTube. Two matches will be streamed each Saturday while five teams will go head-to-head in offline competitions throughout the duration of the regular season for a total of seven matches every week.

“We see collegiate esports playing a crucial role in both the player and fan ecosystems and this marks the second program on the ESL Collegiate platform,” said Craig Levine, Global Chief Strategy Officer, ESL. “The ultimate goal of these collegiate partnerships is to expand awareness of esports on college campuses as well as establish a consistent structure for collegiate esports competitions, akin to traditional sports.”

The streams kick off on February 16 and will run through March 16, followed by the Championship Tournament on March 28 through March 31. While all of the Big Ten teams will be invited to participate in the Championship Tournament, the top two teams will have a chance to compete in Riot Games’ League of Legends College Championship (LoLCC). The first-place team will earn a seed directly into the LoLCC and the second-place team will be admitted to LoLCC Play-In Tournament with the top two esports teams from BIG EAST.

“We are delighted to partner with ESL on the third season of the BTN League of Legends competitions,” said Erin Harvego, Vice President of Marketing, BTN. “By partnering with industry esports leaders like ESL and Riot, BTN is able to provide the highest level of content, promotion and visibility for collegiate esports competition.”

Participating schools include the University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin.  

For more information about the ESL Collegiate Spring Season, including the Big Ten Network League of Legends Regular Season and Big Ten Network League of Legends Championship Tournament, please visit us on Twitter at

Regular Season Streaming Schedule:

  • Week 1 Feb. 16th 3 p.m. ET
    • East – Penn State vs Michigan State
    • West –  Illinois vs Northwestern 
      Estimated start: 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Week 2 Feb. 23rd 3 p.m. ET
    • East –  University of Maryland vs Ohio State
    • West –  University of Wisconsin vs University of Iowa
      Estimated start: 4:30 p.m. ET

  • Week 3 March 2nd 3 p.m. ET
    • East – Michigan State University vs University of Michigan
    • West – University of Nebraska vs Northwestern
      Estimated start: 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Week 4 March 9th 3 p.m. ET
    • Schedule and timing TBD
  • Week 5 March 16th 3 p.m. ET
    • Scheduling and timing TBD

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