Xbox News: Special Olympics and Xbox Level Up for Another Gaming for Inclusion Esports Event

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Three Special Olympics players will get hands-on leadership training as part of the second annual esports event so that they can become shoutcasters for the broadcast.

Special Olympics has been working to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities around the world since 1968. They do this by using sports to help people accept each other. This is Xbox’s second year working with Special Olympics on the Gaming for Inclusion games event. We are proud to show how powerful it is to include everyone through gaming.

Following a successful first event in 2021, Gaming for Inclusion 2022 will bring together Unified partners and Special Olympics athletes to play Rocket League on Xbox and PC with the goal of beating Special Olympics celebrity fans. NFL legend Jamaal Charles, TikTok influencer and content maker vaultboy, and WWE Superstars will be among those featured in a Celebrity Showcase on September 17.

People can compete for something much more important than first place in the Gaming for Inclusion e-sports competition, which lasts for several days. People of all skill levels from Canada and the US will be able to find each other and have fun at the event.

The tournament is part of Xbox’s bigger plan to make gaming more open and friendly to everyone, so that everyone can enjoy the fun of gaming. Giving Special Olympics athletes a new way to participate is also a meaningful and important step toward making e-sports more open to everyone.

The GM of Strategic Brand Partnerships at Microsoft, Jeff Hansen, said, “We are proud to work with Special Olympics International again on the 2nd annual Gaming for Inclusion event this September.” This year, Microsoft is giving Special Olympics athletes the chance to join in ways other than sports by giving them hands-on training as on-air talent to host and shoutcast during the tournament’s broadcast on the official Xbox Twitch channel. Microsoft wants to help the Special Olympics reach their goal of being a movement led by players and bringing attention to people with intellectual disabilities in areas like sports and leadership.

Three Special Olympics athletes—José Moreno from Special Olympics Illinois, Amber Gertsch from Special Olympics Utah, and Ben Gregory from Special Olympics Indiana—will have the chance to lead at Gaming for Inclusion this year. They will be esports shoutcasters and hosts for the Celebrity Showcase.

Each athlete will be sent to Redmond, Washington, for two days of intensive training on Microsoft’s campus. There, they will learn from some of the best gaming players how to be a shoutcaster. In these sessions, Special Olympics athletes will learn how to break down a game, commentate on a video, and talk to other athletes and celebrities.

“I am grateful to Special Olympics and Microsoft for giving me this amazing chance to lead by being a shoutcaster at this year’s Gaming for Inclusion event,” Mr. Moreno, who is also a Athlete Leader for Special Olympics Illinois, said. “Games bring people together and are a fun way for people of all abilities to meet with each other around the world.” I have met new people through video games. We all love them, and anyone can play.

Each Rocket League ranking will have a winner chosen by tournaments that are set up like brackets. Microsoft’s esports platform Start.gg will be used to run all of the games. Spectators can live stream the events on the official Xbox Twitch channel and the Special Olympics YouTube channel.

  • The Rocket League tournament is on September 10.
  • On September 17, there will be a celebrity show with competition winners.

“From the start of the first Gaming for Inclusion virtual experience, we saw players with and without intellectual disabilities make connections and become friends,” said Prianka Nandy, Chief Information and Technology Officer at Special Olympics. “Right away, both Special Olympics and Microsoft knew that this event would go on and get bigger and better because it shows how powerful inclusion can be.” Thanks to our wonderful friends at Microsoft, we are giving some of our athletes a one-of-a-kind chance to learn from the best in the business and become announcers for our Celebrity Showcase this year.

Don’t forget to tune in to the Celebrity Showcase on September 17 on the official Xbox Twitch channel and the Special Olympics YouTube channel to see who comes out on top! You can learn more about Special Olympics by following them across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, their official blog on Medium, and SpecialOlympics.org.

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