EA, LEARFIELD Celebrate Return of College Football With LevelNext
Today, LEARFIELD, a media, data and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics, and Electronic Arts announced the LevelNext collegiate esports league will play host to a national competition featuring EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL 23. Registration for the 2022 LevelNext Madden National Championship is now open to college students at more than 2,500 schools nationwide.
Kicking off on September 17, college students across the country will go head-to-head in five weeks of Madden NFL 23 competition. The LevelNext Madden National Championship, which comprises a regular season, playoffs, last chance qualifier, and championship, will hold the final four matchups the week of October 17. During the live broadcast finals on October 20, the top collegiate player will be crowned the 2022 LevelNext Madden National Champion on behalf of his or her university. The LevelNext Madden National Championship is free to enter and features a cash prize pool of $150,000, $50,000 of which will be awarded directly to 20 campus esports programs through a Twitter competition.
“College esports continues to grow in interest and at scale, and we’re proud to bring EA SPORTS Madden NFL 23 into our popular fall LevelNext competition,” said Rick Barakat, LEARFIELD Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Media & Partnerships Group. “We value the collaboration with EA on LevelNext – our third year since co-launching the league, now widely known as home to the national college championship for Madden and other EA titles.”
“The LevelNext Madden National Championship reaches fans around the country through its unique ability to pair the love of football with esports engagement at the college level,” said Andrew Echanique, Madden NFL Competitive Gaming Commissioner. “Madden continues to showcase its ability to grow the sport as we just had our most successful viewership year in history last season. We look forward to building upon this momentum in partnership with LEARFIELD.”
To enhance the college esports experience, the LevelNext Madden National Championship will feature shoutcasters, celebrity guests, and institutional radio play-by-play announcers. The LevelNext social channels across Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok will also add interactive broadcast elements to enhance the viewer experience via competitive updates, highlights, and player exchanges. This year’s winner of the LevelNext Madden National Championship will be guaranteed a seat in EA’s Madden Championship Series Last Chance Qualifier.
LevelNext competitions are free to register and available to all students currently attending a four-year accredited university. It is the largest intercollegiate esports league and home to the national college championship for Madden. Launched in October 2020, LevelNext combines official athletic marks and promotion, sports broadcast production and content value, cash prizes to players and esports clubs, and engaging competition to deliver excitement to millions of college esports fans. This easy-to-follow, centralized structure is primed to accelerate esports growth by unifying competitive play for all college students and enabling them to officially represent their schools on the road to a national championship. Each year, LevelNext features at least one of EA’s competitive gaming franchises.
All national and weekly programming for the LevelNext Madden Championship will be broadcast on LevelNext’s official Twitch channel, with additional outlets and locations to be later announced.