MTN DEW and the HBCU Esports League, founded by Cxmmunity Media, have announced Howard University’s Cold Steel esports team as champions of the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge – a nationwide esports tournament where 16 Historically Black Colleges and Universities participated in a Call of Duty competition to win a total prize pool of $500,000, coaching and exposure to esports professionals.
The tournament, which kicked off November 9, 2022, culminated with a live event in Atlanta, the MTN DEW Ultimate Game, with a final showdown between the nation’s top four HBCU student teams where Howard University’s Cold Steel esports team was crowned champion and took home a first-place prize of $80,000.
For the final phase, MTN DEW will identify four all-stars from the tournament, based on their individual performance and sportsmanship, as the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge All-Stars. Each All-Star will receive $50,000, as well as mentorship and unrivaled exposure to esports pros.
“Unfortunately, Black representation within esports and the gaming industry is disproportionally low. MTN DEW recognizes the opportunity gap that Black gamers face as they explore gaming as a viable career path, and we’re trying to close that gap with the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge,” says Pat O’Toole, chief marketing officer, MTN DEW. “We are continuing our commitment to make a tangible investment in the Black gamers of tomorrow, as well as continuing our ongoing support of HBCUs, by rallying around them to showcase their skills and take their place in the gaming industry. MTN DEW is proud to fuel these competitors on their journey through the Real Change Challenge and provide much-needed resources and funding to empower the next generation.”
Cxmmunity Media and MTN DEW’s alliance is an example of impactful brand acts that are driving more inclusion and access within the gaming sector to level the playing field.