MTN DEW Real Change Challenge to Support HBCU Esports Tournament

Last Updated on December 29, 2023

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

MTN DEW® Invests in HBCU Gamers to Level the Playing Field with the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge

MTN DEW® is continuing their commitment to invest and uplift Black gamers at HBCUs around the country by launching the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge. With a focus on increasing Black representation in esports and gaming, the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge will support HBCU student gamers by sponsoring a nationwide HBCU esports tournament. Contestants will compete for an overall prize pool of $500,000, coaching and exposure to esports professionals, and a gaming contract with MTN DEW for up to one year.

Last year, MTN DEW launched the MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity Fund, a commitment from the brand to make tangible investment in Black entrepreneurs through a unique competition, providing winners with resources, programming and funding to turn their ideas into real businesses. Now in year two, MTN DEW is supporting Black gamers by partnering with the HBCU Esports League, which is owned by Cxmmunity Media, an organization dedicated to future-proofing diversity and equity in gaming, to create the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge, a nationwide Call of Duty tournament for HBCU student gamers.

“Unfortunately, Black representation within esports and the gaming industry is disproportionally low. MTN DEW recognizes the opportunity gap that Black gamers face as they explore gaming as a viable career path, and we're trying to close that gap with the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge…We are continuing our commitment to make a tangible investment in the Black gamers of tomorrow, as well as continuing our ongoing support of HBCUs, by rallying around them to showcase their skills and take their place in the gaming industry. MTN DEW is proud to fuel these competitors on their journey through the Real Change Challenge and provide much-needed resources and funding to empower the next generation.”

Pat O'Toole, Chief Marketing Officer, MTN DEW

The MTN DEW Real Change Challenge will invite HBCU students nationwide to sign up to compete for a total $500,000 prize pool. The Real Change Challenge will kick-off with 16 teams in a bracket style tournament, culminating in The Ultimate Game – a final showdown between the nation's top two HBCU teams. These two gaming juggernauts will face off for bragging rights and a first-place prize of $80,000. In addition, MTN DEW will identify four all-stars from the tournament, based on their individual performance and sportsmanship, as the Real Change Challenge All-Stars. Each All-Star will receive $50,000, along with a sponsorship from MTN DEW for up to one year, as well as mentorship and unrivaled exposure to esports pros.

“It is an honor to partner with MTN DEW on its Real Change Challenge and further our shared mission of future-proofing diversity and equity in gaming…As one of the first organizations to put a stake in the ground on getting more HBCU students engaged in esports, it's refreshing to see brands like MTN DEW leverage its resources and community ties to invest in driving more diversity within the industry. Together, we can pave the way for the next generation of Black gamers and innovators to have a seat at the table.”

Ryan Johnson, CEO of Cxmmunity Media.

To share the journey of the HBCU student gamers participating in the tournament, MTN DEW and the HBCU Esports League will broadcast all tournament matches highlighting the HBCU teams and their paths to the Real Change Challenge finale. Gaming fans can tune in to Cxmmunity's Twitch beginning November 9th to catch the tournament live!

The MTN DEW Real Change Challenge is now open for registration starting today, September 27th through October 28th. For HBCU gamers ready to join the tournament, they can sign up to register at For more information about MTN DEW and the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge, please visit

The MTN DEW Real Change Challenge complements the brand's parent company, PepsiCo's Racial Equality Journey Black Initiative, a more than $400 million set of commitments over five years, to increase Black managerial representation within its workforce, support Black-owned businesses, and create economic opportunity in those communities.

About MTN DEW 
MOUNTAIN DEW®, a product of PepsiCo North America Beverages, is the No. 1 flavored carbonated soft drink in the U.S. With its one-of-a-kind citrus taste, MOUNTAIN DEW exhilarates and quenches with every sip. In addition to the original MOUNTAIN DEW and DIET MOUNTAIN DEW®, the permanent DEW® product line includes MTN DEW® KICKSTART™, MOUNTAIN DEW® CODE RED®, MOUNTAIN DEW VOLTAGE®, MTN DEW® Zero Sugar, MTN DEW MAJOR MELON®, MTN DEW MAJOR MELON Zero Sugar, MTN DEW SPARK™ and MTN DEW SPARK Zero Sugar. For more information, check out, or follow on Twitter @mountaindew.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $79 billion in net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. 

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability and human capital at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit, and follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn @PepsiCo. 

Cxmmunity Media is a collaborative team of innovative thinkers and doers dedicated to future-proofing diversity and equity in gaming through strategic partnerships, philanthropy, and entertainment. Founded in 2019, Cxmmunity Media is on a mission to increase minority representation in the industry by investing in the education, economic advancement, and visibility of gamers of color. As a pathway to leveling the playing field for Black gamers, Cxmmunity Media created the HBCU Esports League, one of few Black-owned sports leagues, providing students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities a safe space to compete and monetize in esports.

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