North America Scholastic Esports Federation Shifts from Competition to Community to offer Free Online Esports-Related Activities and Learning for Students at Home Due to School Closures

NASEF taps its network of esports and learning professionals for daily online streams to give students social connections and fun learning opportunities in a safe, moderated environment

(Orange County, CA – March 15, 2020) – The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) is launching free daily “Community Club” sessions for students beginning Monday, March 16 and continuing daily as needed. NASEF is tapping the collective expertise of its education, gaming, and social partners to present quality ongoing programming. The interactive online gatherings will provide fun activities, socialization with friends (without physical contact), development of game skills, and insights into the careers and lives of professionals working in the esports industry.

Students and families can participate in the “Community Club” streams Monday – Friday at NASEF’s Twitch Channel: https://www.twitch.tv/esportsfed. All streams will be monitored by UCI vetted professionals with experience working with teenage youth to ensure a positive and encouraging environment.

The schedule of activities and other details can be found at www.esportsfed.org/learning/community-club, which will be updated frequently. The “Community Club” sessions are planned to run through March 27, but that will be extended if needed based on school closures.

Gerald Solomon, founder of NASEF and executive director of the Samueli Foundation, said, “Given the present challenges and disruptions, we are eager to direct our philanthropy to provide the support that students and communities need even more today. While schools are closed, we’re shifting our focus from ‘competition to community’ for the benefit of students. NASEF will leverage its connection of play and passion and learning to ensure that our youth can continue to engage in esports-related activities, from esports play to Beyond the Game Challenges, in safe and meaningful ways.”

For the past two years, NASEF has leveraged massive youth interest in esports to teach students STEM-based skills along with career options related to esports and extending to other industries. Students enjoy participating in NASEF’s popular esports tournaments and concurrently develop industry-needed skills like shoutcasting, marketing, event planning, artwork and design, data analytics, computer science  and technology, and more.

NASEF is a non-profit organization, and its programs are always provided free of charge to students and participating educators, whether through schools, the local library, or community groups like the YMCA and other youth development organizations.

To accomplish this shift to meet the needs of our educational system, NASEF is tapping its network of experts including Connected Camps professional esports coaches, UCI Esports (the leading collegiate esports program), Orange County Dept. of Education, plus educators and scholastic esports fellows from across the country. Popular esports influencers and streamers are also joining the line-up. (Esports professionals, streamers, and others who’d like to share their talents to build into the future of esports are invited to contact NASEF to discuss a presentation slot in the program: info@esportsfed.org.)

Sample topics for the Community Club activities include:

  • Minecraft Let’s Play + Community Agreements: While creating a new world on Minecraft, students will discuss (in chat) how to create a set of community agreements that make NASEF clubs stronger and more inclusive.
  • Tilt Management: Learn what separates a casual player from a professional esport athlete, and see how to train the mind to perform like the pros.
  • Tournament Design: What is the perfect tournament? Students will work together to select a game title, identify a tournament format, and put the finishing touches to create an event their peers love!
  • Beyond the Game challenges: Receive guidance for participation in these challenges that offer a chance to win scholarships while practicing esports career skills.
  • Community Game Night: Students will join the fun of an after-school esports club, online! Students may join NASEF coaches and interns in quick online matches of trivia, Pictionary, and other party games.

In addition to the free daily Community Club streams, NASEF will also offer educators a free online Professional Development (PD) opportunity so that they can explore the possibilities of scholastic esports.

“Many teachers who are interested in scholastic esports haven’t had time to explore the options and understand how engaging this is for students, the incredible learning opportunity esports present, and the number of free resources available from NASEF,” said Tom Turner, chief education officer of NASEF. “Certainly, teachers are going to be working to keep their students on track during the school closures, but without full classrooms to lead in-person, educators may also have an opportunity to explore other tools for their use to keep students engaged, today and in the future.”

About the North America Scholastic Esports Federation

The North America Scholastic Esports Federation is working to ensure that ALL students possess the knowledge and skills needed to be society’s game changers: educated, productive, and empathetic individuals. NASEF is on a mission to provide opportunities for ALL students to use scholastic esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. The Federation’s core values are intertwined through all aspects of education and play: learning, opportunity, community, diversity, and respect.

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Claire LaBeaux
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