Esports gets a major new toehold in America thanks to YMCA and LeagueSpot

The American esports landscape is about to shift in a major way thanks to an institution that’s been around for over 170 years. The YMCA has teamed with LeagueSpot, a Chicago-based tournament-engine platform. The two organizations will begin working on a national esports pilot program in the States.

In a perfect world, plans are for as many as possible of the YMCA’s 2,300-plus facilities to serve as hubs for esports fans across the country. Those facilities will host both esports leagues and tournaments in such games as Rocket League, Fortnite, NBA2K, Super Smash Bros., and FIFA.

Games have been played regionally in America YMCA centres for years. This will see players come together in Ys across the country.

With the pilot program, the YMCA and LeagueSpot hope to attract esports players between the ages of 11 and 17. Those on either side of that group—children, university students, and perhaps eventually middle-age executives and pensioners—will be targeted after the pilot program has established itself.

LeagueSpot bills itself as a platform and problem-solving operation that takes the guesswork out of creating esports tournaments, leagues, and other events.

The YMCA was founded in London, England in 1844 under the name Young Men’s Christian Association. Today, every YMCA operates under the guidance of the national organization of the country it is based in.

In America, the YMCA rebranded itself as the Y in 2010, and today bills itself as being “open to all, regardless of ability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background.”

Esports popularity is booming!

Announcing the news that YMCA has teamed with LeagueSpot on its Twitter account, LeagueSpot notes that while esports is booming in popularity, not everyone is able to get involved in a meaningful way.

“As professional esports grows in popularity, it has become a favourite pastime of many young people supplanting traditional sports like football and baseball as their spectator sport of choice,” the Twitter announcement read. “However, outside the professional level opportunities to participate in organized esports are inconsistent and unfocused. The Y’s entrance into esports provides youth with an opportunity to engage in constructive, structured play inside a safe environment with 175 years of experience of community building and service.”

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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