On Thursday, Twitch and Verizon announced the companies are teaming up to create the first esports league for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As part of the agreement, will promote the league and sponsor events, including the HBCU Esports League Verizon Celebrity Pro-Am, which took place on March 20th.
This news comes after Twitch partnered with Cxmmunity Gaming last year. Cxmmunity Gaming is a nonprofit organization created to promote and foster the participation of people of color in esports and the gaming industry.
There was a laundry list of celebrities and influencers who participated in the tournament on March 20th. Some of the individuals who were participants include hip hop artist Big K.R.I.T., NFL quarterback Josh Johnson, NFL running back Tarik Cohen, WNBA players Aerial Powers and Allisha Gray, NBA players Iman Shumpert and Juwan Morgan, streamer The Black Hokage, and Team Liquid players Alixxa and AmandaTheJedi, XSET co-owner Erin Ashley Simon, FaZe Clan’s FaZe Bizzle, and FaZe Faxuty.
HBCUs are higher education institutions founded before the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. There are currently 101 HBCUs in the United States, making up three percent of the nation’s colleges and universities.