Twitch to help organize esports league, provide scholarships for students at historically Black colleges

Twitch, the popular streaming platform, announced a new partnership with Cxmmunity, a nonprofit focused on increasing minority participation within esports and the gaming industry, to create an esports league for students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU).

The purpose of the partnership is to provide opportunities for HBCU students to compete within an organized esports league and gain access to educational and scholarship support through the Twitch Student program.

Twitch said on July 30 that it aims to generate unique opportunities for scholarship recipients to develop skills around content creation and streaming, and to hopefully connect HBCU students with market leaders to increase Black talent in the $150B esports industry.

“Growing up we’re often taught you get good grades so that you can get into a good college, graduate from that college and find a good job,” said Chris Peay, co-founder of Cxmmunity, in a statement. “Very seldom do we talk about entrepreneurship within the esports and video game industry.”

“As a graduate of an HBCU and knowing first hand how we’re underrepresented and just lack the access to get into gaming, I’m excited to be working with Twitch to fulfill our mission in increasing the participation of minorities within these industries and close the digital divide,” he said.

Data from the International Game Developers Association shows that 83% of black teens play video games, but 68% of video game creators are of European/Caucasian descent. In comparison, 14% of creators are Latinx, Western Asian and African-American.

“Hopefully, this will be the beginning of HBCUs embracing gaming as more than a childish past time that distracts or isolates students,” said Asante Gadson, HBCU League commissioner. “But instead, as another avenue for them to build community, stay connected and even potentially represent their institutions.”