Philly kids will get an inside look into a big and growing industry – and a chance to show off their skills – after the city’s Parks and Recreation department teamed up with a local esports company.
Nerd Street Gamers is adding esports programming to the Parks department’s summer camps and eventually after-school sessions, the company said in a news statement Wednesday.
Before those programs kick off, Nerd Street will open a six-week NBA 2K21 tournament for 256 Philly kids ages 13 and up. Kids who join will get three free months of a Nerd Street + Digital subscription, where they can sign up for other esports tournaments or find others to game with.
For the first planned game tournament, kids will be in teams of 2. The matches will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Xbox One on Tuesdays and PlayStation 4 on Thursdays. Registration for the tournament is on Nerd Street’s site and closes Feb. 15.
Most contestants will be competing at home, but there are options for kids without consoles or without internet access to play at the city’s access centers, a Parks and Recreation spokesperson said.
Future tournaments are planned for Rocket League, Madden 21 and FIFA 21.
Contestants can sign up to be affiliated with their neighborhood rec center or independently. The department is inviting some young people who already participate in programs, but other young residents are also welcome.
“As esports continues to become more popular amongst different demographics, it is more