MYRTLE BEACH — A new year-round gaming experience will reward one of its top players a trip to Myrtle Beach, among other cash and prizes, as part of a new partnership Visit Myrtle Beach has with the American Youth Cooperative for Esports.
Visit Myrtle Beach, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's tourism arm, announced the partnership Tuesday. The agreement, being pegged as the Golden Dragons initiative, includes the Myrtle Beach brand to be worn on soccer jerseys of the virtual games.
Esports is competitive, organized video gaming. In July, the formation of the American Youth Soccer Cooperative for Esports was announced. It was organized "to group esports leaders together to improve the industry," according to the announcement.
“Visit Myrtle Beach is thrilled to work with AYCE and Harena (Data) on this marketing program," said Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach chamber in a press release. "Our destination will be on the jerseys that will be sought after by youth soccer players from across the country. That will offer great exposure of our brand to the sporting community, which will in turn develop top-of-mind awareness of Myrtle Beach as a premier destination for tournaments and family vacations.”
The Golden Dragons program will reward young players with scholarships, jerseys, and a family vacation to Myrtle Beach, according to the release.
Bill Dever, chairman of AYCE, noted that Myrtle Beach is one of the nation’s first cities to adopt an esports initiative of this caliber and quality.
The initiative will be a regular, year-round gaming series that will let players earn points through qualifying tournaments, ahead of a season-capping competition that includes a $2,000 scholarship as a grand prize and $1,000 scholarship for the runner-up. Additionally, Golden Dragons jerseys will be awarded to the top 300 players, based on points.