Esports Expert Mark Deppe Chosen as Inaugural Commissioner of North America Scholastic Esports Federation

press release Aug 14, 2018
Esports Expert Mark Deppe Chosen as Commissioner of NASEF

UCI Esports Director Brings Intricate Understanding of the Esports World to the Expanding High School Education-Focused Organization


(Orange County, CA – August 14, 2018) – Mark Deppe has been named as Inaugural Commissioner of the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF). Deppe will guide successful activation of new NASEF high school esports Clubs and teams and oversee esports tournaments between high schoolers across the United States and its territories, Canada, and Mexico.

As the North America Scholastic Esports Federation expands across the continent, educators and parents are learning about a whole new world of how to connect learning and video gaming. Esports enthusiasts are finding a new environment where they can play their favorite games and learn important STEM-based career skills at the same time. This unique blend of play and learning demands a creative, intelligent, experienced leader, and Mark Deppe fits the bill perfectly.

Deppe led the effort to create the world-renowned esports program at UC Irvine. He has helped UCI break six world records and recently led the League of Legends team to a 2018 Collegiate Championship. Working closely with student leaders, administrators, faculty, and industry partners, Deppe built a business plan that is both cost-neutral to the University and that broadly approaches the world of esports through the five pillars of Competition, Research, Community, Entertainment, and Careers.

“High school students have so much potential! They can be trusted to learn in new ways, in order to tackle the unique challenges of today’s world,” said Deppe. “Through scholastic esports, NASEF is providing a fun environment where students learn how to be both empathetic and driven, characteristics needed to take on challenges and find creative solutions.”

“We are 100 percent focused on educating today’s youth in a way that is relevant to their lives and their futures,” said Gerald Solomon, Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation and Founder of NASEF. “We know that we must provide an authentic experience for students to fully engage in this esports-centric learning. With demonstrated success in building a world-renowned collegiate program that develops players as both students and gamers, Mark is the perfect person to direct the work of the only state credentialed Scholastic Esports program in the nation.”

Deppe will continue his role as Director of the Esports Program at UC Irvine (traveling this week with the UCI Esports League of Legends team as they represent North America in the International College Cup in XI’an, China).

"I am honored and thrilled to serve as commissioner of NASEF in its inaugural season.  It is exciting to be part of an organization with the ambitious goal of providing opportunities for all high school students to develop the skills needed to be society's game changers," he said.


About the North America Scholastic Esports Federation

In August, NASEF will host a webinar and a stream to help students, parents, educators, and administrators learn how to start a Club and join the Federation to become part of its credentialed learning and esports systems. Details are available on the calendar at

The North America Scholastic Esports Federation is working to ensure that ALL students possess the knowledge and skills needed to be society’s game changers: educated, productive, and empathetic individuals. NASEF is on a mission to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. The Federation’s core values are intertwined through all aspects of education and play: learning, opportunity, community, diversity, and respect. 

Under the Samueli Foundation’s leadership, the Federation is led by partners from the Orange County Department of Education, OC STEM Initiative, Connected Camps, Connected Learning Lab, UCI Esports, UCI Henry Samueli School of Engineering, and the UCI Bren School of Information & Computer Science. 

Learn more at the NASEF website. Members of the press can find videos, infographics, and leadership profiles in the online press room. Join online conversations on Twitter @NASEFgg for esports updates and @NASEFedu for our education news, on Facebook and Instagram, and see matches streamed live on our Twitch channel. 

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