Illinois High School Esports Association Taps Strong National Network as it Becomes a NASEF Affiliate

The new relationship enables IHSEA to offer significant learning opportunities related to esports while expanding tournament play through the North America Scholastic Esports Federation

(Orange County, Calif., – August 4, 2020) – Esports are booming, and students in Illinois are excited to not just play the games, but to pursue related careers. To support this thirst for competition and education, the Illinois High School Esports Association (IHSEA) has just become an affiliate of the North America Scholastic Esports Federation. NASEF will provide free programs, curriculum, and expertise to help scholastic esports grow and thrive in Illinois.

NASEF leverages massive student interest in team-based competitive video gaming, offering meaningful career and STEM education alongside tournaments. Students learn about possible career pathways, enter Beyond the Game creative and analytic challenges, manage clubs and events and fundraising – and yes, compete in tournaments.

“IHSEA is fortunate to become an affiliate of NASEF,” said Todd McFarlin, technology teacher at Chicago Public Schools and co-founder of IHSEA. “We’ve been running local tournaments with great success, but we know that we’ll be far more effective at implementing the scholastic components with NASEF’s guidance. Plus, we’re excited to get to know other students, schools, and districts from around the country and to tap into their experience.”

“We’ve seen that participating in esports helps create leaders within schools and the community,” said Amy Whitlock, World Language Teacher at Oswego East High School and co-founder of IHSEA. “NASEF will give us free resources to help build student knowledge and skills in the esports environment they love. That’s awesome!”

The IHSEA vision is to create and foster competitive esports programs in all Illinois high schools by providing assistance, organizing tournaments, and presenting information to schools and advisers. These programs cultivate talents in potentially underserved populations and provide a pathway to college scholarships and careers in the gaming industry. 

“We’re thrilled to have IHSEA in the NASEF family. There is so much potential for esports to reach students and impact their lives through blended play and learning. We’re excited to facilitate the implementation of our scholastic foundation and see the growth across Illinois in the coming years,” said Gerald Solomon, founder of NASEF and executive director of the Samueli Foundation.

Learn more at the NASEF website or the IHSEA site. Schools  across Illinois are invited to join IHSEA and NASEF and tap into their events and resources; contact Todd McFarlin, ihsea.org@gmail.com.

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.

Learn more at www.nasef.org. See matches streamed live on our Twitch channel, and join online conversations on Twitter @NASEFedu, or on Facebook and Instagram

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Media Contacts:

Claire LaBeaux, claire@nasef.org      Todd McFarlin, ihsea.org@gmail.com