MTN DEW® is doubling down on its commitment to uplift diverse gamers with the return of the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge in 2023. This year, the challenge focuses on promoting representation in esports and gaming, supporting HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) student gamers. The nationwide tournament will feature Mortal Kombat 1, the latest installment in the renowned Mortal Kombat franchise.
“Following the success of the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge last year we’re pleased to continue this initiative once again in 2023,” said JP Bittencourt, VP of Marketing, MTN DEW. “Mortal Kombat is one of the most iconic game franchises of all time, and being able to partner with them for the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge is truly an honor.”
Teaming up with Cxmmunity Media, a champion of diversity and equity in gaming and creators of the HBCU Esports League, the Real Change Challenge will be open to all current HBCU students. Contestants will compete for a share of the impressive $500,000 prize pool, coaching, and exposure to esports professionals. The tournament will kick-off October 2nd, 2023 with sign-ups open to all current HBCU students, now through September 8th at hbcuesports.co/realchange.
“Cxmmunity Media is proud to partner again with MTN DEW to further our mission of future-proofing diversity and equity in gaming,” says Ryan Johnson, CEO of Cxmmunity Media. “Access and representation are key factors in attracting and maintaining diverse talent in the gaming industry. We look forward to doing more programming with brands like MTN DEW to serve as a pipeline for more gamers of color to tap into the multi-billion-dollar gaming industry.”
To mark the launch of the Real Change Challenge, MTN DEW will collaborate with RDCWorld at Dream Con, a gaming and anime convention in Austin, TX. The event will celebrate the return of the challenge, featuring Mortal Kombat 11 Amateur and Celebrity tournaments, and The Faces of Real Change in Gaming panel, discussing representation in the esports industry.
“RDCWorld as a whole is very excited to be teaming up with MTN DEW to support the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge,” said Johnathan Newton, Chief Operating Officer of Dream Con. “A lot of people are unaware that our brand RDCWorld stands for “Real Dreams Change the World” and that’s a position we’ve maintained from day one that we would accomplish through entertainment. So, when MTN DEW hit us up and told us about its vision for the Real Change platform it really was a no brainer to team up! Gaming has had a huge impact on every part of our lives and as minorities we’ve personally felt the lack of representation in this space. That’s why RDCWorld is planning on being heavily involved in the creative process and we’re bringing our community and fans along for the ride.”
The tournament kicks off on October 2nd, with 64 players competing in a 1v1 bracket style format. The Live Championship in Atlanta on October 28th will see the top two players battling it out for the grand prize of $45,000. Fans can follow the journey of the HBCU gamers through broadcasts on Cxmmunity Media’s Twitch Channel.
For more information on the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge and how to participate, visit mountaindew.com/real-change and follow @MTNDEWGaming on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.