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PlayVS has partnered with Special Olympics North America offer esports to Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools.
The Los Angeles-based PlayVS focuses on bringing amateur esports to high schools and colleges. And now it will extend it to a new group of students with intellectual disabilities as part of its social inclusion initiatives.
The initiative will focus on the growth of Special Olympics unified esports, combining Special Olympics athletes (those with intellectual disabilities) and students without intellectual disabilities (unified partners) into inclusive esports teams. Special Olympics North America has half a million students participating in traditional sports competitions and has 8,000 Champion Unified Schools.
Through the strategic collaboration that formally begins this fall, PlayVS will serve as the official high school esports league operator for Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools in the United States.
PlayVS CEO Delane Parnell founded the company in January 2018 to better channel student athletes to esports and help change the culture of high schools so they could find the same kind of social acceptance they found. other athletes.
The company piloted a season with Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools, and Parnell said in a statement that the results and goals aligned perfectly with those of PlayVS.
During the 2020-2021 school year, PlayVS and Special Olympics North America conducted a successful Drivers’ League that included more than 40 unified teams from nine different states competing in the Rocket League. Going forward, PlayVS will provide the platform and support for a dedicated unified esports league at no cost to Special Olympics unified champion schools and students.
Social inclusion is one of PlayVS ‘top priorities. This association further reinforces the company’s commitment to diversity and the inclusion of all its users. Similar to the company’s Game Changers initiative, which empowers women in esports and motivates them to pursue careers in games and technology, the collaboration with Special Olympics North America seeks to provide a platform that gives access to esports to all. without exception, the company said.
Additionally, such a partnership will help advance the goal of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools which is to provide inclusive sports, activities and youth leadership opportunities for students of all abilities within the national network of partner schools.
Sixteen North American Special Olympics state programs have registered to participate in Spring 2022, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
PlayVS has raised $ 106 million to date and has 113 employees.
PlayVs claims that it has offered nearly a million scholarships since it began and has nearly 250,000 registered users at 30,000 schools across the country. The college user base grew nearly 500% from its freshman year to its sophomore, the company claims.
The company has partnered with 26 state high school associations. Titles offered include League of Legends, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Splatoon2, FIFA, Madden, and Smite. College leagues offer Fortnite, Madden, FIFA, and Overwatch. Youth League, for players ages 13-19, offers Fortnite and Overwatch.
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