UK university esports body National Student Esports (NSE) and tournament organiser ESL have announced a new long-term partnership.
Specific initiatives between the two have not yet been announced, but are expected to be revealed over the course of the next academic year.
The partnership focuses on inspiring a future generation of esports pros, 'strengthening the connection between universities and the wider esports ecosystem' and 'enriching Higher Education students' path to professional careers within the esports industry'.
With less than 20% of NSE's members regularly participating in non-university competition, it is hoped that the partnership will help strengthen the UK competitive landscape from the ground up.
"Universities have always been a hub for the next generation of talent in any emerging industry and it's no different for esports" said NSE executive director Jon Tilbury.
"We're excited to work with ESL in creating opportunities for students whether they aspire to be a professional player, or working behind the scenes to produce some of the world's biggest tournaments."
"Universities have always been a hub for the next generation of talent in any emerging industry and it's no different for esports."
Jon Tilbury, NSE
Heather Dower, ESL's marketing and communication manager, added: "We are very excited to start working with NSE in such a positive and engaging way for university students.
"Working closely together is going to be crucial for future growth of the UK esports industry. We can't wait to share more details very soon!"
The partnership between ESL and NSE grew from a workshop spearheaded by Intel, which provided a platform to discuss the UK Government's support of esports. The previous Minister of State for the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Margot James - a supporter of esports, led the inquiry.
NSE - set up last year - runs the British University Esports Championship for uni students. ESL hosts a range of tournaments globally and in the UK, including the ESL Premiership, ESL One Birmingham and more.