Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Inclusion event games attract Special Olympics athletes for the fun and competition of esports

Last weekend, the first Gaming for Inclusion esports experience came to an exciting end. The purpose of this virtual multi-day esports tournament, a partnership between Special Olympics and Microsoft, was to showcase the power of inclusion through games and connect people of all abilities across the United States. The event brought together more than 90 Special Olympics athletes from 16 states to host an action-packed, week-long esports competition. Forza Motorsport 7, Madden NFL22, When Rocket league..

“The game for inclusion was incredibly successful last weekend. Special Olympics Chief Information Technology Officer Prianka Nandy said:” We are virtual. I was impressed with everyone’s passion and commitment to outstanding sportsmanship within the competitive gaming space of. “

During the weekend, more than 550,000 viewers saw competitors fight it.In Rocket league In the tournament, Jackinash, Isaac Myers, Billy Saide and Evan Pixier became arena champions, while Chris Santa Claus and Colton Rice burned the track to win the gold medal. Forza Motorsport 7.. Finally, Madden NFL22 The trophy was lifted by Tommy Crocco after leaving everything on the field to win.

Of course, much more was done here, not just winning and losing. It was of utmost importance to create an environment in which Special Olympics athletes and their unified partners, athletes without intellectual disabilities, could enjoy themselves through friendly competition. This event was a great opportunity to connect people with the power of the game and build friendships that last longer than weekends.

“It’s clear that games and esports are a valuable way to connect, compete and enjoy with others. Many athletes leave the tournament with new friendships. More of this experience in the future. We want to give it to people, “said Jenn Panattoni, Head of Xbox Social Impact. “The game is for everyone, and the Gaming for Inclusion tournament is a step towards making esports more accessible and welcoming all players.”

An example of the unity of esports is the friendship between 16-year-old Stephanie Lopez in Chicago Ridge, Illinois and Reese Smith, 17, in Bartonville, Illinois. Stephanie was one of the first four athletes to participate in the Illinois esports competition, and Reese has been a unified partner in the Illinois esports program for over a year and is a face-to-face special Olympics. Illinois esports tournament.

Both Stephanie and Reese are passionate about Special Olympics esports programs. This program allows you to share your love for games and connect with people of all abilities in a virtual environment. “I’m looking forward to every day after school, joining the Discord server and getting lots of people to try fun games,” says Stephanie. “It fills my day with fun!”

Stephanie’s experience as a pioneer in Special Olympics esports also helped her become a member of the Special Olympics Unified Champion School Youth Revitalization Committee and a leader in her school and community.

Reese, on the other hand, is so enthusiastic about Special Olympics esports that he only demands a break from work on Wednesday night to be able to attend Special Olympics Game Nights in Illinois. He feels that competitive games are becoming more accessible and has great expectations for the future of familiar games... “I think various websites are starting to make registration easier to play,” Reese said. “I hope one day it will be easy enough for everyone to play.”

In a game for inclusion Rocket league At last weekend’s tournament, Stephanie paired with Microsoft Senior Program Manager Patrick McDonald. Patrick and Stephanie had the opportunity to get to know each other outside the tournament. Patrick and his wife invited Stephanie and her family to attend a professional wrestling event. tournament. Special Olympics and Microsoft want to connect people of all abilities through games. The story of Stephanie and Patrick shows that people of all abilities have already gained much from the connections they have made through esports.

Above all, Patrick was impressed with the effort and dedication Stephanie made to put himself out to win. “Stephanie is definitely a firecracker,” he said. “She lives to compete and trains and practices to get better. While we play, Stephanie rises two ranks in competitiveness and she gets there to get there. The work you put in is shown. “

Events like Gaming for Inclusion and competitors like Stephanie prove that everyone has a keen desire to compete and have fun. The game is for everyone. Microsoft is committed to creating an accessible gaming experience so that people of all abilities can compete. “We are thrilled with the results of the first Gaming for Inclusion tournament. The competition was fierce, but the teamwork between Special Olympics athletes and their unified partners was also fierce,” said Panatoni. increase. “When we partnered with Special Olympics, the goal of the tournament was to show the power of inclusion and provide Special Olympics athletes with a new way to compete.”

The Microsoft-Special Olympics partnership began in 2014, and the success of the first Gaming for Inclusion event not only proves that our relationship is stronger than ever, but also has more opportunities in the future. It proves that. “I would like to personally thank the Microsoft and Xbox teams and their volunteers for helping make this event possible,” Nandy said. “Through this experience, we were able to engage with athletes, help them build new friendships, and at the same time show the world what people with intellectual disabilities can do on and off the field.”