Count NBC Universal among the multinational mega companies with an investment in eSports. The company's NBC Sports Group today announced that it is launching a 2-on-2 Rocket League tournament this summer, with a $100,000 prize pool at stake.
The tournament will be operated by competitive gaming platform FACEIT, which will also host online regional qualifying matches. Regional finals will then take place in-studio at NBC Sports' various regional networks, and the two-day Grand Finals event that will be covered by "a variety of NBC Universal and Comcast national and international platforms."
The regional finals will take place the first two weekends in August, with some NBC Sports regional networks covering the final hour of each competition. The Grand Finals will follow august 26 and 27, with NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) airing them live in the US, and Syfy covering the event in the UK, Germany, Australia, and some Latin America countries.
Rocket League already has a high-profile eSports tournament in the Rocket League Championship Series, a collaboration between Psyonix and Twitch which just finished its third season and is preparing for a fourth. While the RLCS has a larger prize pool ($291,000 was up for grabs in season three), it lacks the traditional media muscle of NBC Universal, with Twitch serving as the exclusive broadcaster.
Interestingly, NBC Sports is leaving its options open for which games it might cover in the future. The company's announcement referred to Rocket League as "the featured game for the property's debut season," suggesting it views its eSports tournament as not just a separate property, but one that could jump from game to game as needed.