Chicago Park District to co-host its first esports tournament

During the 2018-19 school year, about 200 U.S. colleges and universities offered $16 million in esports scholarships, according to recent studies.

SHARE Chicago Park District to co-host its first esports tournament
This picture taken on November 13, 2020 shows Dragon Gou, who played under the moniker “Dragku” for the Chiefs eSports Club, playing video games at his home in Sydney. - Despite a global boom, the closure of one of the southern hemisphere’s biggest eSports leagues has left its players in Australia and across Oceania facing an uncertain future. Photo by ANDREW LEESON/AFP via Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 0

In recent years, despite debate over video games’ validity as an actual sport, interest in online gaming has skyrocketed.

Getty Images

The Chicago Park District aims to co-launch its first ever esports video game tournament.

The NBA2K21 tournament — a free, online-based program — is scheduled to take place at noon Dec. 22.

The event aims to connect teens — 13 to 17 years old — on a virtual platform during the COVID-19 pandemic, where they can compete in a single-elimination, 32-player bracket.

The tournament will be played on both PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 along with Xbox One consoles.

Each participant must be a Chicago resident and have access to an Xbox or PlayStation console, a copy of NBA 2K 2021, a stable internet connection and access to Zoom, the video conferencing website.

Chicago-based video gaming experience company I Play Games!, the tournament’s co-host, was founded by Kevin Fair, a Morgan Park High School graduate.

Here are the registration links for each console:

The public can view the tournament via Twitch.

The program, which will include 64 slots for participants, plans to incorporate I Play Games’ virtual workshops focusing on exposing students to careers in esports, competitive gaming, how to successfully host a tournament, and college esports scholarships.

Despite debate over video games’ validity as an actual sport, interest in online gaming has skyrocketed as the genre is now considered a lucrative career path where gamers earn college scholarships and make millions of dollars.

In 2018, the Illinois High School Association recognized video gaming as an emerging high school sport. And Chicago’s Robert Morris University launched a varsity esports program in 2014.

About 200 U.S. colleges offered $16 million in esports scholarships during the 2018-19 school year — three times the amount offered in 2015, according to recent studies.

The Latest
The 21-year-old was found in the basement bathroom of a home in the 200 block of West 105th Street with a gunshot wound to the head.
Xherdan Shaqiri gave the Fire a 3-2 lead in the 89th minute, but it lasted only two minutes as Patryk Klimala scored to keep the Fire in search of their first victory since March 19.
The Sox’ sputtering offense had 10 hits but went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position
The male, whose age was unknown, was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.