No. 25 Boise State and Oregon face off in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, but a different kind of showdown will take place Friday between the Broncos and Ducks.
The League of Legends teams from both schools will compete in a best-of-three online series at 9 p.m. ET the day before the bowl game, the teams announced Thursday. It will be the first matchup of FBS esports teams to take place in conjunction with a bowl game.
"We're always trying to do cool, new, interesting things," Boise State director of esports Chris Haskell said. "This has been fun for us."
The match came together a bit too late for the teams to travel for a LAN meeting, but Haskell said he hopes to do so with his team for future bowls or similar events.
"We floated the idea out there Monday to the Boise State athletics department," Haskell said. "They said the same thing: It'd be awesome if you could travel. We thought the same thing; we wish we'd thought of it a week earlier."
The teams hope a regional rivalry and the hype surrounding the bowl game, one of the first of this postseason, will drive viewership. The game will be aired on Boise State's Twitch channel, Haskell said.
It might serve as an easy entry point for college esports competition, too.
"It seemed just for me and us a no-brainer," he said. "When people connect with their tribes, it doesn't matter what the competition is. They want to be on the right side of the win, even if they don't understand what a gank is."