CPS teams up with UC Esports Lab for 2nd annual tournament

Unveiling tomorrow’s champions

Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) recently teamed up with the UC Esports Lab to present the second annual Esports Tournament Showcase.

Inside the University of Cincinnati's 1819 Innovation Hub, a state-of-the-art esports lab equipped with cutting-edge gaming equipment and amenities was an ideal backdrop for students to put their skills to the test. Nearly 40 students from six participating CPS schools gathered to compete in two tournaments: Rocket League and Super Smash Bros.

Two students play a video game in a computer lab.

CPS students Tnellas White, eighth grade at Walnut Hills High School, and Daisie Perez, 10th grade at Oyler School, brought their A-game to the Esports Tournament Showcase. Photo/CPS

The tournament was a testament to the expanding interest and enthusiasm surrounding esports within the Cincinnati educational community.

"We are thrilled to be hosting our second annual tournament in partnership with CPS," said Patty Moser, director of events, experience, esports and engagement. "Esports provides an innovative platform for students to engage with their peers, develop critical thinking skills and showcase their talents in a competitive yet inclusive environment. Given the strong allure of the sport among STEM students, it was a natural step for us to engage with CPS."

Participating CPS schools, including Aiken High School, Gamble Montessori High School, Oyler School, Riverview East Academy, Western Hills University High School and Walnut Hills High School, were proudly represented at the tournament. 

The second annual Esports tournament celebrated talent, diversity and the boundless potential of Cincinnati's student population.

Patty Moser Director of events, experience and esports in the 1819 Innovation Hub

"Our CPS Strong Partnership with the University of Cincinnati is just that — strong! The growth of this valued partnership has allowed our athletics team to provide incredible opportunities for our students and staff,” CPS Athletics Manager Josh Hardin said. "We're grateful to Patty Moser and her team for exposing our student-athletes to a high-level collegiate gaming arena, collaborating with UC students and staff, and hosting our CPS Esports Tournament Showcase. We look forward to continuing to provide innovative, real-world STEM educational opportunities for our students in alignment with our partners at the 1819 Innovation Hub."

The choice of games for the tournament, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros., reflects the broad appeal and accessibility of esports. Rocket League, a high-octane fusion of soccer and vehicular madness, demands precision, teamwork and lightning-fast reflexes. Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros., a beloved classic in the world of gaming, is a test of strategic prowess and lightning-fast button mashing.

Students seated around a television screen play a video game.

CPS students compete during the Esports Tournament Showcase. Photo/CPS

In addition to the thrill of competition, esports presents an opportunity for students to forge lasting friendships, cultivate teamwork and hone their problem-solving abilities. Beyond the confines of the tournament, esports serves as a gateway to valuable skills such as strategic thinking, collaboration and adaptability, all of which are essential in today's rapidly evolving world.

"The second annual esports tournament celebrated talent, diversity and the boundless potential of Cincinnati's student population. CPS is not only preparing its students for the challenges of tomorrow but also fostering a sense of community and belonging that extends far beyond the gaming arena. Our collaboration underscores our and CPS's progressive dedication to nurturing these passions among students," Moser said.

Featured image at top: CPS students inside the UC Esports Lab. Photo/CPS

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