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On May 27, PlayVS announced an official scholastic partnership with Nintendo Games, which will see the addition of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 as high school varsity athletic programs during the 2021 fall season.

As of Sept. 20, these two titles will join Rocket League, League of Legends, SMITE, Madden and FIFA as part of the structured high school esports leagues that PlayVS supports. In addition, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will become a member of the roster for the Spring 2022 season.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 are high school varsity athletic programs

“We know there are many Nintendo fans with incredible gaming talent who are looking for more ways to explore competitive play and participate in tournaments,” Bill Trinen, Nintendo of America’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, said. “High school students from all around the country will be able to put their skills to the test in Nintendo Switch games in a competitive setting. And hopefully make some awesome memories along the way.”

PlayVS and Nintendo will provide hundreds of Nintendo Switch systems to select qualifying schools that compete during the upcoming school year. Three thousand qualifying schools will receive a 12-month Nintendo Switch Online individual membership, in addition to either the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU) or Splatoon 2 game. The competition format for SSBU consists of 1v1 and teams of three. Splatoon 2 will see students compete in teams of four.

PlayVS: structured high school leagues

“Partnering with Nintendo and offering our players a selection of titles from its legendary roster of games is something I’ve wanted to do since I started PlayVS,” Delane Parnell, Founder and CEO of PlayVS, said. “We take great pride in being able to offer competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to our community. This partnership ensures that high school students now have an official path to competitive play for these immensely popular games.”

PlayVS is an amateur esports infrastructure platform that operates structured leagues for high schools and colleges in all 50 states. It boasts partnerships with the NFHS, along with 23 state associations and regional leagues nationwide. Just like traditional high school sports programs, the esports equivalent offers many of the same aspects; from match days, coaching sessions and focused teamwork, to championship events with scholarship money as prizes.


Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.


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