Mizzou Esports officially announced a partnership with the KC Pioneers on August 26 in an effort to provide students the opportunity to gain experience in the esports industry. Founded in 2019, the KC Pioneers are a professional esports team based in Kansas City with squads competing for Rocket League, Valorant, Madden, and Halo. Mizzou Esports has competitive teams for Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, and VALORANT.
“We’re building something right here in the Midwest,” said Pioneers CEO Mark Josey. “And then secondly…what does it look and sound like to find talent to cultivate relationships with folks that have an interest at the collegiate level and the high school level has been something that’s been really important to us.”
Josey and Mizzou Esports GM Kevin Reape believe that this partnership will prove beneficial for both programs while providing more opportunities for students in the Midwest, which are at a premium compared to the coastal regions. Reape hopes that linking with the Pioneers will boost Mizzou Esports’ reputation and make them a “school for gamers.”
“So I think we would be willing to work with anybody that wanted to get into this space,” he said. “I think we’re gonna see more and more professional organizations develop amateur organizations and then… a massive increase in high school and collegiate [opportunities] as well.”