LOS ANGELES (September 19, 2023) — PlayVS, the leading scholastic and amateur esports platform in North America, has renewed its partnerships with the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA), Georgia High School Association (GHSA), Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA), and Virginia High School League (VHSL) ahead of the 2023 Fall Season. Together with PlayVS, these organizations have brought the community, camaraderie, and competition of scholastic esports to nearly 50,000 students and 1,300 schools across the Southeast and look to reach even more with these renewals.
PlayVS’ publisher partners include 2K, Activision Blizzard, EA, Epic Games, Nintendo, and Psyonix. In tandem with the AAA, GHSA, KHSAA, and VHSL, PlayVS will provide schools with structured, competitive, and rewarding experiences across the most popular gaming titles, crowning official state champions in Rocket League, Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate, & Madden NFL & NBA 2K.
Esports is one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., given that 90% of teens play video games. The Southeast region is one of scholastic esports’ earliest adopters, with GHSA first partnering with PlayVS in 2018, followed by AAA, KHSAA, and VHSL in 2019. Since the start of the partnerships, esports adoption amongst the four Southeast states has exploded, with more than 120 state champions crowned and student participation levels surpassing Cross Country, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, and Volleyball in every state.
"As we extend our partnerships with the AAA, GHSA, KHSAA, and VHSL--some of our earliest supporters--we can take a moment to reflect on the incredible growth we’ve achieved in the Southeast and the positive impact we’ve created on so many students,” said Jon Chapman, CEO of PlayVS. “Our long-term partnerships are a testament to our commitment toward making esports, and their many benefits, accessible to every student.”
Esports create an incredibly positive impact on participants, helping foster character growth alongside socialization and STEM skills. They are co-educational, safe, and more inclusive than traditional sports while removing barriers to student engagement: About half (45%) of participants report that esports was their first experience participating in an extracurricular activity.
“Activities are a fundamental part of student development, and PlayVS provides students with another way to learn essential skills like teamwork and problem-solving amongst their peers,” said Lance Taylor, Executive Director, AAA. “Over the past four years, we have seen esports programs truly enrich students’ lives, not only through the camaraderie it fosters, but also career opportunities. We look forward to the continued partnership with PlayVS and can’t wait to see how we can continue to grow in the future.”
Information on PlayVS’ Fall 2023 high school season can be found here. Schools looking to compete with PlayVS have until September 22, 2023, to register.
PlayVS (pronounced Play Versus) is North America's leading high school esports platform. We are a single community where players come together to compete, fans gather to spectate, and coaches manage their programs. PlayVS is the official high school esports partner to the NFHS Network, the Special Olympics, and state and regional organizations in the U.S. and Canada to offer officially sanctioned high school esports leagues. To learn more about PlayVS, visit https://playvs.com/
The mission of the Arkansas Activities Association is to promote the value of participation in interscholastic activities in the AAA member schools and to provide services to the schools in a fair and impartial manner while assisting and supporting their efforts to develop thinking, productive and prepared individuals as they become positive, contributing citizens modeling the democratic principles of the state and nation.