TeSPA and Blizzard Entertainment have announced a partnership that will bring unprecedented support to college gaming groups throughout North America. For the first time, college gaming groups will be able to unlock funding and other tangible benefits as their communities grow through the Membership Milestone program. As part of the partnership, Blizzard will back student groups in the TeSPA network by guaranteeing event funding, unique in-game rewards, and unrivaled promotion opportunities to active TeSPA chapters. This backing will help chapters strengthen their communities by providing vital resources needed to host local gaming competitions and viewing events. “TeSPA has been a positive force in the eSports community built from the ground up by a small group of dedicated fans,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “By partnering with TeSPA we hope to give back to the players in a very new way to add fuel to an already thriving collegiate scene.” The Membership Milestone program outlines structured benefits to student groups and provides critical materials needed to scale, including free access production equipment for events, a leadership and technical instruction manual, and customized banners for campus advertisement. The new program aims to establish the foundation of a vibrant eSports ecosystem that is supported from both the grassroots and professional level. “Our goal is to empower passionate students to bring their eSports dreams to life,” said TeSPA co-founder Adam Rosen. “By doing this, we hope to cultivate thriving eSports communities while fostering the next generation of entrepreneurial business leaders in the gaming industry.” TeSPA aims to establish campus chapters across all of North America, and is specifically targeting 75 of the most influential campuses to seed student gaming programs in 2014. Open recruitment for students looking to take advantage of TeSPA’s membership benefits has now begun. Students looking to join TeSPA with an existing group or to create a new group on their campus should apply at tespa.org/apply/. About TeSPA The eSports Association (TeSPA) is a network of the top student talent in eSports and gaming. The TeSPA network is composed of Local Chapters which develop eSports communities on their campuses by hosting events such as competitive gaming tournaments and social viewing events. TeSPA aspires to cultivate communities capable of producing professional-caliber eSports experiences at every university and high school in North America. TeSPA’s founders, Adam Rosen, Tyler Rosen, and Chris Kelly, are members of Blizzard Entertainment’s eSports team.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft ® and the Warcraft ®, StarCraft ®, and Diablo ® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ( www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes sixteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net ®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.