KING is proud to announce that in partnership with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’s Innovation Grant we will be starting an eSports league with 4 middle schools in Harlem. Laureus’ Innovation Grant supports first-time, outside the box ideas and helping turn them into a reality. This is KING’s first global grant.
It is not news to us that kids love to play video games. We have seen thousands of Fortnite dance moves at our programs to prove it. With the rise of eSports the popularity of youth playing video games is bound to increase. This got us thinking: how we could insert a positive influence and a positive structure to the mix? How could we connect with the kids that go home from school each day and sit on their couch to play video games alone? We asked ourselves why can’t eSports be structured the same as a traditional basketball, soccer, or swim team? From these questions the idea of creating an eSports league was born. Kids would be on their school team, be coached, have practices, compete in games against other schools and have the opportunity to learn the life-skills that come along with playing team sports: teamwork, goal setting, dedication, respecting differences, measurable happiness, among others.
The exciting part of starting a fresh new program is the ability to put our KING twist on it. The kids will not only receive coaching in the eSports games (NBA 2K, FIFA) but then will transfer the skills in the video game onto the court and field. Each practice will have a physically active component that will get the kids moving and connect them to the video games in a new and unique way. Our intent is that students that may have never had the confidence to play traditional sports will have a new outlet to try it through this hybrid program model.
What our CEO Matt Murphy has to say about it….
“As a team full of athletes and coaches, our instincts and core belief is that kids should be on the field, in the gym, and in the park. With that said, there is an undeniable wave of new technologies and social norms that are changing the definition of ‘sport’. As an organization, we feel a responsibility to lean into the future while holding strong to what makes sports truly an incredible vehicle for youth development — a sense of belonging, new experiences, a positive coach, being physically active, and the lessons learned through winning and losing. We’re excited to take our proven sports-based model and engage students that may not ever have the confidence or opportunity to be a student-athlete.
Not doing it alone!
We are excited to be partnering with the New York Excelsior Group to help us combine the eSports world with the KING world. NYXL participates in the professional Overwatch league amongst 11 other teams spread across the world. They bring a wealth of knowledge in the eSports environment and will be critical in helping us launch this successful program. Over the past few months NYXL has hosted pop-up shops in Brooklyn that have featured high schools from all over the tri-state coming to compete in eSports. The group has a focused mission in 2019 to get more high school kids educated on the opportunities eSports has including a rise in college scholarships and job skill knowledge. We are excited to be working with a group that sees a clear future of eSports and a way to get kids involved in a focused, positive way.