Recreational esports league platform NXT UP Esports launched Wednesday and opened registration for its first league effort. The platform founded by former TSM Director of Partnerships Luke Zelon is aimed at young players, with the goal of providing an organized league structure, weekly practices, and teaching “best practices from professional esports teams and leagues” combined with a “traditional sports structure.”
Its inaugural effort, the Fall 2020 League, will feature League of Legends and is open to players 13-15 years old ranked Iron, Bronze, and Silver in the game. The cost of entry into the league is $229 USD, with a portion of the fee used to fund the NXT UP Esports Scholarship Program, a program to help college students interested in gaming or esports adjacent career paths with financial resources. Applications for the scholarship program open in January 2021 for the following school year.
NXT UP Esports has also partnered with highlight capturing app GaZoom to give players a way to capture and share their top moments from practices and games.
Prior to launching NXT UP, Zelon served as the director of partnerships at TSM, handled partnerships for Major League Soccer team the Los Angeles Football Club, and did business development work at esports-focused marketing agency Catalyst Sports & Media.
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