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MTN DEW is continuing its promise to help level the playing field, plus elevate and highlight Black gamers in the process.
MTN Dew launched its Real Change Opportunity Fund in 2021, “a commitment from the brand to make tangible investment in Black entrepreneurs through a unique competition” and providing winners with the resources, programming, and funding to start their businesses.
In the second year of the initiative, the soft drink company is shifting the focus to the world of video games by supporting Black gamers and the HBCU Esports League owned by Cxmmunity with the creation of the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge. The goal is to “increase Black representation in esports and gaming” by supporting HBCU gamers by sponsoring a nationwide HBCU esports tournament.
MTN DEW Is Giving Away The Ultimate Prize
Black HBCU gamers will go head-to-head in a nationwide Call of Duty tournament for the ultimate grand prize of “$500,000, coaching and exposure to esports professionals, and a gaming contract with MTN DEW for up to one year,” a press release announced.
“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. 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’ journey through the Real Change Challenge and provide much-needed resources and funding to empower the next generation.”
“It is an honor to partner with MTN DEW on its Real Change Challenge and further our shared mission of future-proofing diversity and equity in gaming,” says Ryan Johnson, CEO of Cxmmunity Media. “As one of the first organizations 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.”
Here Is The Lowdown On The Tournament
The MTN DEW Real Change Challenge will invite HBCU students nationwide to sign up to compete for a total $500,000 prize pool. The Real Change Challenge will kick off with 16 teams in a bracket-style tournament, culminating in The Ultimate Game – a final showdown between the nation’s top two HBCU teams. These two gaming juggernauts will face off for bragging rights and a first-place prize of $80,000. In addition, MTN DEW will identify four all-stars from the tournament, based on their individual performance and sportsmanship, as the Real Change Challenge All-Stars. Each All-Star will receive $50,000, along with a sponsorship from MTN DEW for up to one year, as well as mentorship and unrivaled exposure to esports pros.
To learn about the gamers participating in the tournament, MTN DEW and the HBCU Esports will ” broadcast all tournament matches highlighting the HBCU teams and their paths to the Real Change Challenge finale.” Fans can catch all of the action live on Cxmmunity’s Twitch channel beginning Nov. 9.
Here’s How You Can Sign Up
Registration for The MTN DEW Real Change Challenge is now open and closes on Oct. 28. You can head here if you’re an HBCU gamer and feel you have the skills to compete. For more information on the tournament, you can also go here.
Photo: MTN DEW Real Change Challenge