Jul 29 2015 - 9:45 am

An Ohio student group is planning one of the biggest-ever collegiate esports tournaments

When you think about places esports are happening, the Midwest is far down on the list
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When you think about places esports are happening, the Midwest is far down on the list. But a band of college students is trying to change that by throwing one of the largest collegiate tournaments of the year this Fall.

The student group calls itself "AllMid," a pun that references both the middle lane on a MOBA map, and the fact that the group is one of the largest esports organizations in the Midwest. Founded by students from four schools, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State, Miami University, and the University of Cincinnati, AllMid is now taking its game to the next level with a tournament weekend it hopes brings in over 500 players.

College esports have been growing in recent years. Colleges like Robert Morris University, are launching their own varsity esports teams. And developers are running tournaments for collegiate teams. Riot Games' North American Collegiate Championship, for instance, combines several college leagues into one super tournament.

October's AllMid tournament, the AllMid Collegiate Invitational, appears the first joint tournament thrown with full backing of a college, in this case the University of Cincinnati. As AllMid states, it coordinated with multiple campus groups, including the College of Information Technology and the Athletics Department, to make its tournament a reality.

The AllMid Collegiate Invitational will take place in October at the University of Cincinnati's Fifth Third Arena, often called simply "The Shoe" due to a former name. Teams can sign up for Hearthstone, Smash Bros. Melee, and League of Legends tournaments. The Invitational will have a prize pool of more than $7,000. 

Ohio has a serious pedigree when it comes to traditional sports, with seven major league sports teams. It's no surprise  to see college students wanting to add esports to their state's sporting heritage—and it looks like they've got a chance at succeeding.

Image via Riot Games

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