OC esports federation supported by OCDE is honored as a public-private partnership

An esports league that started in Orange County before expanding into a national federation has been honored as a model public-private partnership by the Orange County Business Council.

Funded by the Samueli Foundation, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation powered up in 2017 with support from OCDE, UC Irvine and other partners seeking to promote communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills through gaming.

Staff poses with awardOn Wednesday evening it was among several initiatives celebrated at OCBC’s ninth annual Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards, earning honorable mention in the category for public-private partnerships.

“It might have seemed like a novelty at first, infusing e-sports with education and learning, but with support from our collaborating partners we have been able to offer something that has depth and complexity,” said NASEF Chief Education Officer Tom Turner, who is also an executive director in OCDE’s Educational Services division. “We are thrilled to have this recognition.”

The Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards program annually highlights local government agencies that implement innovative policies and programs that “that cut through red tape and open the door for business growth and success.” Wednesday evening’s ceremony was held at the Center Club in Costa Mesa.

NASEF, which had 350 schools participate in 2019, also announced this week that it would partner with Riot Games to make League of Legends the featured game of its winter tournament.

Participation in the federation is free. High schools and organizations that serve teens can activate a NASEF club to compete in tournaments and gain access to workshops, clinics and creative challenges.

For more information, visit www.esportsfed.org.