Two Kansas City esports organizations are uniting behind one jersey to help make the rapidly expanding online gaming community more accessible to students in Title 1 schools across Missouri.
“Esports brings kids together who might not otherwise have the chance to be a part of a broader community,” said Mason Mullenioux, CEO of Generation Esports (GenE), the largest and longest-running competitive gaming organization for high school students in the United States — created by the founders of Kansas City-based High School Esports League (HSEL).
The new partnership between GenE and the Kansas City Pioneers — a lifestyle brand and the metro’s premier esports team — ceremoniously hits play 6 p.m. Saturday with an “Among Us” stream live on Twitch, featuring Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Click here to watch the Twitch stream.
Throughout the stream, Lucas and Dr. Dred Scott, the president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, are expected to discuss crime prevention in Kansas City, Boys & Girls Clubs initiatives, and how esports aligns with those efforts.
“Among Us” became a popular social deduction game in 2020. Players take on one of two roles: crewmate or impostor. Crewmates aim to complete tasks and identify impostors while impostors try to eliminate crewmates before crewmates complete their assigned tasks.
Saturday’s stream is also expected to include Marcus Denmon, Kansas City native and professional basketball player for the Shanghai Sharks; Nehemiah Odior, director of programs and partnerships at GenE; and local teens from the Boys & Girls Club.
Through the partnership, both esports organizations plan to advocate for greater youth access to esports, their leaders said.
“Gaming is changing the fabric of our culture, and our goal is to help kids understand that esports is a viable career path, whether it’s becoming a pro gamer, content creator, designer, game developer, tournament organizer, or another opportunity that matches their skillset,” said Mark Josey, CEO of the Kansas City Pioneers. “The opportunity to work with Generation Esports to reach and impact thousands of high school and college students in building communities and tournaments while engaging directly is exactly where we want to align. We want to make sure that simply having access to esports isn’t a barrier to entry.”
Founded in 2019, the Pioneers compete in top-tier esports at some of the highest levels in Valorant, Rocket League, Halo, Rainbow Six Siege, Madden NFL, and Call of Duty.
Click here to read more about the KC Pioneers’ momentum in 2021.
Its counterpart, GenE has donated $500,000 in scholarships across the country for esports-related programs, Mullenioux said, noting High School Esports League alone features 3,000 partnered schools and 80,000 participating students. The organization also offers STEM.org accredited programs.
Click here to learn more about Generation Esports.