Local Esports Booming as Missouri High School Esports Association Becomes an Affiliate of NASEF

press release May 05, 2020
Missouri High School Esports Association Becomes NASEF Affiliate

North America Scholastic Esports Federation will help build Missouri schools and clubs leverage student interest in esports for career development, plus access scholarships and school grants in  nationwide tournaments

(Orange County, Calif., – May 5, 2020) – High school students are about to get an exciting boost to their education, as the Missouri High School Esports Association (MHSEA) becomes an official statewide affiliate of the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), the leading scholastic esports organization. MHSEA and its member schools will now have free access to a wide range of esports-based education resources ranging from classroom curriculum to after school club programs and esports tournaments.

MHSEA exists to support the growth of high school esports by providing schools with education about esports and equitable access for students to competitive leagues while promoting a safe and fun experience. MHSEA was built by gamers for gamers. Even with COVID-19 precautions and social restrictions that are affecting students’ ability to meet in person, esports practice and play and learning continue because they exist in an online platform.

NASEF is significantly different from other esports leagues in that it leverages massive student interest in video gaming for education on career and life skills. NASEF combines esports tournaments with intentional learning woven into coaching, mentorship, class materials, club organization and management, and more. Students learn about all areas of the esports ecosystem while participating in their favorite activity.

MHSEA has grown from nine schools in the fall to more than 50 now, and they’ll join more than 800 NASEF clubs from across North America. MHSEA leadership comes from several different schools in the state, ensuring broad understanding and adoption of the NASEF program. Board members include Tony Gragnani, Hickman High School, President; Nate Anderson, Wellington Napoleon High School, Vice President; Amy Harris, Mexico Schools, Treasurer; Jeramie Price, Ozark High School, Secretary; Jason Beffa, Farmington High School, League Manager.

“We are excited to become a NASEF affiliate. NASEF and MHSEA share the same purpose of providing education to schools and students through esports, as well as providing access to as many students as possible,” said Tony Gragnani, president of MHSEA and principal of Hickman High School. “The future is bright for Missouri High School Esports!”  

“NASEF programs are provided completely free; that’s our philanthropy,” said Gerald Solomon, founder of NASEF and executive director of the Samueli Foundation. “Every student has the ability to participate because there are no financial barriers. We’ve hired experienced educators – who are also gamers – to develop classroom curriculum and tools, as well as create fun afterschool programs. Independent researchers evaluate the programs and inform their evolution. Plus, our tournaments are run by experienced organizers from a leader in collegiate esports, the University of California, Irvine. Students in Missouri are fortunate to be part of this overarching organization with youth education and personal development at the heart of our interests. We welcome them to NASEF and are thrilled to see their growth!”

MHSEA plans a mix of regional esports tournaments in Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They’ll also participate in NASEF’s national events with scholarships and school grants up for grabs. Students can enter NASEF Beyond the Game challenges which encourage exploration of various career paths.

Learn more at Schools and community organizations across Missouri are invited to join MHSEA and NASEF and tap into their events and resources; contact [email protected].

About the North America Scholastic Esports Federation 

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. 


Media Contacts:

Claire LaBeaux
[email protected]

Tony Gragnani
[email protected]

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