FAQ: HSEL and NASEF Joining Forces

High School Esports League (HSEL) and Middle School Esports League (MSEL), powered by Generation Esports (GenE), the national leader in delivering competitive esports, is joining forces with the leader in scholastic esports, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), to become the preeminent providers of K12 scholastic and competitive esports.

Read all the details of this exciting announcement in the press release.

Following are answers to questions that we anticipate our members might have. We're excited about the future of scholastic esports as we work together to leverage this unique platform for play and learning. 

Why did NASEF and HSEL choose to work together?

There are a number of reasons for this alliance. First and foremost, both organizations are committed to students first. The values (of individual contributors and collectively as groups)and moral compasses are well-aligned. Practically, HSEL runs competitions better than NASEF, and NASEF offers a robust scholastic component that will benefit HSEL members. It is a win-win for all, especially our respective students. And lastly, the combination of HSEL and NASEF leapfrogs us collectively in numbers, reach, and capacity; that will open doors for sponsorships and funding from many more sources which in turn will benefit students.

 

What does this mean for NASEF Clubs and Affiliates?

NASEF will continue to operate as a sovereign nonprofit entity, and will continue to provide its curriculum free to educational and youth development organizations, as well as competitions such as Minecraft and other traditional esports titles as in the past. This relationship with HSEL offers an exponential opportunity for NASEF students to expand their esports competitive play as well as esports relationships. NASEF’s current model will continue and expand with increased opportunities for those who want it.

What does this mean for HSEL schools?

HSEL will continue to operate seasonal tournaments for its partnered schools, offering the same selection of competitive games for students to compete in. What this venture does is provide new opportunities for schools and teachers by opening up access to the state credentialed courses, learning materials, and curricula that NASEF is known for. This relationship between HSEL and NASEF combines the best of both the competitive and educational worlds.

NASEF went through one transition, and now another, how can we trust in NASEF’s future and stability?

This question is precisely why NASEF is working with HSEL. NASEF’s bridge funding from  the Samueli Foundation was meant only to be short term to spin it out as a separate nonprofit entity. HSEL recognizes the value of what NASEF’s scholastic approach and state credentialed curriculum means to the field of gaming and esports and has agreed to support NASEF’s work. And likewise, NASEF recognizes the value of what HSEL’s competitive program can do to enhance the experience for NASEF students. The commitment between the two is a long term one to transform the field of middle and high school esports.

Additionally, NASEF is continuing to build deep partnerships within the esports and education communities, gaining support as a non-profit, tapping into grants and Federal and local education funds, and more. This diverse base will ensure our sustainability and impact for the long term. 

NASEF’s number one commitment has always been what is best for the students. As esports programs continue to grow, more students with diverse interests want to play different titles. This alliance provides a pathway to a gameplay environment that is similarly focused on youth development, will incorporate NASEF’s Code of Conduct, and will simplify the process of participating in a variety game-based and Beyond the Game tournaments and challenges. 

What does this mean for the school, club and affiliate role?

NASEF will continue to operate as a sovereign nonprofit entity and will continue to provide its curriculum free as it has since its inception. The operational structure of NASEF with its committees, Club format, affiliate structure will not only continue, but will thrive and grow with the ability for NASEF and HSEL clubs and students to cross-pollinate academically and competitively. We are looking deep within our structures to identify opportunities to streamline participation in the myriad of learning and gameplay options across both organizations. As always, we will rely on input from our membership to shape those changes.   

Will NASEF Clubs and students now have to pay to compete?

No, NASEF will continue to offer free tournaments and challenges. This alliance offered with HSEL is an exponential opportunity for NASEF students to expand their esports competitive play as well as esports relationships. 

Do you see NASEF Clubs, schools or Affiliates having to pay for what has been traditionally free with NASEF?

No, NASEF will continue to operate as a sovereign nonprofit entity, and will continue to provide its curriculum free as well as its Beyond the Game Challenges, and it will hold free national competitions as it has since its inception. What this alliance offers with HSEL is an exponential opportunity for NASEF students to expand their esports competitive play as well as esports relationships. NASEF’s current model will continue and now with increased opportunities for those who want it.

What will the governance structure of NASEF look like going forward?

NASEF will continue to operate as a sovereign nonprofit entity. NASEF and HSEL both have bright, creative staff who share a passion for combined play and learning. While the organizations will maintain their respective governance structures, they will also leverage their combined strengths through collaborative activities to maximize their impact on students through scholastic esports. 

What will happen with NASEF staff?

The bridge funding from the Samueli Foundation ends soon. This relationship with HSEL ensures and secures funding commitments for NASEF’s work going forward. The core staff and leadership of NASEF will continue. NASEF is building deep partnerships within the esports and education communities, gaining support as a non-profit, tapping into grants and Federal and local education funds, and more. This diverse base will ensure our sustainability and impact for the long term. With HSEL’s recent acquisition of Series A funding, other current NASEF staff will be working with NASEF and HSEL to find positions that are mutually agreeable for all. Both parties are committed to that outcome.

How will this affect the Club/Affiliate relationship with NASEF? Who do we go to for support and help?

NASEF will continue to operate as a sovereign nonprofit entity with its core team in place. As NASEF and HSEL clubs, teams, and students explore the new programming and competitions offered, they will be able to tap into new options and build new supporting relationships to grow their local programs as desired. 

Do I have to play in HSEL if I am part of NASEF, or do I have to participate in NASEF if I am part of HSEL?

No, each entity retains its independence in this relationship. This is about expanding opportunities for everyone. Neither HSEL nor NASEF are prescriptive. You have complete discretion to continue and choose as you wish. This alliance provides though for significant expanded opportunities on many levels.

Will NASEF continue to offer free coaching through Connected Camps?

From the inception of NASEF, UCI’s Connected Camps program was independently funded and supported. It is our intention to continue to search for funding to support this effort.

Are the two groups merging? 

No, each entity will retain its sovereignty and independence. 

Will Varsity Esports Foundation and NASEF blend or continue on separate missions? 

VEF and NASEF, both being nonprofits and both dedicated to student development, will be working collaboratively to optimize their work for the benefit of students. 

Will everyone in HSEL have to join NASEF? 

The alliance does not require any cross engagement. Yet to the extent a student, Club, team or community see value in doing so, such an opportunity will be available. The alliance being created offers significant opportunities to all that did and would not exist but for this relationship. 

Will affiliates still be able to customize district portals to community standards? 

The goal of the relationship is to broaden opportunity and increase options and flexibility. This is definitely one of the objectives.

Will curriculum resources still be free to schools? 

NASEF will continue to operate as it has from its inception providing its curriculum at no cost.

Does partnering with HSEL mean that NASEF clubs will have access to more competition? 

Yes, absolutely. One of the objectives is to provide each entity with a broader and deeper set of opportunities. 

Will NASEF tournaments become HSEL tournaments?

Each entity will continue to operate as sovereign entities. As such each will provide its students with not only its customary opportunities, but the alliance will allow for each other, if they choose, to take advantage of the other’s programming. 

Our organization/parents can’t afford fees for our students to participate. Will they lose out on esports? 

NASEF will continue as it has from its inception. NASEF is dedicated to providing opportunity for underserved and disenfranchised students.

How will this change affect NASEF international partners? 

U.S. and international partners will now have access to additional programs. As NASEF and HSEL leverage each other’s resources, our partners will only benefit.