Welcome to EBS University (EBSU), a two-day virtual conference on the business of collegiate esports, held March 23-24. EBSU will go inside topics such as sponsorships, scholarships, recruitment, team operations, funding, platforms, streaming, production, facilities management, oversight and more. You’ll learn valuable insights, network with industry peers, and walk away with techniques to build, grow and monetize your collegiate esports programs.
Kurt Melcher is the Executive Director of Esports at Intersport, a Chicago-based Marketing and Media Solutions Company. Previously an athletic administrator for 15 years, Melcher recognizes the core educational elements involved in traditional sports and believes the same hold true for esports. Through his efforts and vision, Robert Morris University became the first university to recognize esports as part of the athletic department and offer athletic scholarships to gamers, helping to legitimize the world of collegiate esports. Most recently, Melcher and Intersport’s Esports Group was contracted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to further its exploration of the collegiate esports landscape. A prominent esports evangelist, Mr. Melcher has been featured in a number of prominent news sources including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time Magazine, ESPN, NPR, HBO Real Sports and in the documentary film All Work All Play.
Duran was in the esports space before the term “esports” was coined. Originally a StarCraft player Duran started his career by organising tournaments on his university campus which quickly expanded to form a league across all UC schools. The rapid growth and demand from students helped to forge Collegiate Starleague (CSL) which Duran co-founded in 2009. As the CEO of CSL Duran was responsible for onboarding universities and creating leagues and tournaments across multiple games in order to appeal to every competitive gamer. For over a decade Duran has been committed to developing the collegiate esports scene helping college campuses across North America to establish teams. Over 1,800 house teams have been formed across a number of games and platforms and now over $1 million is given away each year in scholarships. Duran now embarks on his next move heading up the newly formed collegiate esports division of FACEIT, the leading competitive gaming platform that is committed to evolving the grassroots competitive ecosystem. Duran will grow the new team and form collegiate programs for FACEIT’s partners helping them to build new international communities.