Mountain Dew and the HBCU Esports League have joined forces to introduce the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge.

In order to increase black representation in esports, both parties will collaborate to highlight student gamers at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Students will also compete for coaching and exposure to esports professionals, as well as a total prize pool of $500,000 (£469,000). The Real Change Challenge will feature a Call of Duty tournament, per the official website. Top performers will also have the opportunity to sign a one-year gaming contract with Mountain Dew.

The Real Change Challenge will begin with a bracket-style tournament featuring 16 teams and end at The Ultimate Game. The top two HBCU teams will compete in the championship match for the top prize of $80,000 (£75,000).

In addition, Mountain Dew will choose four tournament all-stars based on each player’s performance, and they will be known as the Real Change Challenge All-Stars. Each All-Star will receive $50,000 (£46,900), a sponsorship agreement lasting up to a year, mentorship, and access to esports professionals.

All tournament games will be broadcast on Cxmmunity’s Twitch channel by Mountain Dew and the HBCU Esports League so that viewers can follow the journey of the HBCU students who are taking part in the event.

Ryan Johnson, CEO of Cxmmunity Media, commented: “It is an honour to partner with MTN DEW on its Real Change Challenge and further our shared mission of future-proofing diversity and equity in gaming.

“As one of the first organisations to put a stake in the ground on getting more HBCU students engaged in esports, it’s refreshing to see brands like MTN DEW leverage its resources and community ties to invest in driving more diversity within the industry. Together, we can pave the way for the next generation of Black gamers and innovators to have a seat at the table.”

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