By Colin Rhoads
On January 29, 2021 Mizzou’s Esports program partnered with Leyline to raise awareness for the nonprofit’s mission. The charity event featured a showmatch between Ryerson University and Rutgers University’s Valorant teams hosted by Mizzou’s Eric Lopez. Leyline provided a $250 prize pool as well as the opportunity to stream directly from their Twitch channel. The stream went live that Friday. In Lopez’s words they “took [the] Mizzou esports typical production and adapted it with Leyline specific overlays provided to us.” Rutgers won the showmatch in two games but Ryerson put up a fight nonetheless.
Leyline is an up and coming non-profit organization that is sure to attract more attention in the upcoming years. This event was a huge success for Leyline as they “gained a lot of buzz and broke through a new base of viewers that watch collegiate esports” said Lopez speaking on the subject. Leyline could also use this event to present to potential partners and grow their community as they raise awareness for their organization and mission.
Leyline was founded in early 2020 by former Blizzard entertainment manager Jeremy Dela Rosa. They are dedicated to giving back to the community through gaming. Launching during the pandemic, Leyline was able to accelerate their growth by allowing employees across the globe to work from home. In addition, Leyline implemented an innovative program named BOINC, a software coming out of UC Berkeley. This software takes your spare computer processing power and donates it to research facilities. The processing power that anyone can donate can immensely accelerate scientific research. This method is very similar to the impactful Playstation3Folding@Home project, which obtained 115 scientific white papers. Leyline partners with companies such as NZXT, Geek Therapeutics, Xidax and IGDA in order to reward gamers for selfless acts such as donating or even giving blood.
Eric Lopez is the Broadcasting Lead for the Mizzou Esports program. He has led many streams on Mizzou Esports’s twitch channel, sometimes even independently. Lopez has plenty of experience leading a broadcast and is good friends with Leyline’s business development manager, Yugina Yun, making Lopez the perfect partner. For weeks in advance Lopez would “come early in the morning most weeks and tamper with audio, prepare a dual PC set up as well as coordinate with people from Leyline to make sure everything was perfect the night of…” Lopez also brought in two other casters, Jake May and Corbin Cox, to help him during the broadcasting.
By partnering with colleges across the globe, Leyline not only raises awareness for their mission and organization but also helps the collegiate esports scene grow.