The partnership will bring esports to the Special Olympics after a successful pilot program.

PlayVS, a US-based national platform for high school and collegiate esports, has announced a new partnership with Special Olympics North America that will bring esports to the Special Olympics for the first time. 

PlayVS and Special Olympics Unified

The new partnership will focus on the building of Special Olympics Unified esports, a group of inclusive teams which combines students with intellectual disabilities (Special Olympics athletes) and students without intellectual disabilities–called Unified partners. The partnership will also see PlayVS become the official high school esports league organizer for the Special Olympics in the United States.

“We are thrilled to partner with PlayVS, who is a clear leader in the space of interscholastic high school esports,” Tony Wyllie, president and managing director for Special Olympics North America, said in the official press release. “This collaboration will create a fully inclusive space for students to flourish, make friends, and feel a new sense of school pride.”

Partnership Thanks to a Successful Pilot

During the 2020-21 school year, PlayVS and Special Olympics North America ran a successful pilot Rocket League competition. The event featured over 40 Unified teams from nine different states. Because of that pilot’s success, PlayVS will provide the platform for a new Special Olympics Unified esports league. This new league will be run at no cost to participating schools or students. 

“Partnering with Special Olympics North America and being able to provide esports to a whole new group of students speaks true to our core vision at PlayVS,” Delane Parnell, founder and CEO of PlayVS, said in the release. “Our pilot season together proved to be mutually beneficial for us all and marked the beginning of a great new relationship.”

Special Olympics North America programs in sixteen states have registered to participate in the Spring 2022 program, including: 

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest gaming news and updates.

Jason

Jason "BigManFanelli" Fanelli

| Twitter: @BigManFanelli

Jason Fanelli is a freelance journalist hailing from Philadelphia, with bylines at GameSpot, IGN, The Hollywood Reporter, and more. He also hosts the Cheesesteaks and Controllers Podcast for Fox Sports Radio Philadelphia, one of the only esports/video games-focused podcasts airing on live radio in a major market.