June 16, 2024
Stiegler EdTech / VESL x PlayVS
Image credit: Stiegler EdTech

US-based education provider Stiegler EdTech (SET) has announced a partnership with North American high school esports platform PlayVS.

The deal sees PlayVS be named Stiegler EdTech’s training and workforce development partner as the provider looks to use esports ‘as a bridge towards STEM and digital upskilling’. 

ESI London 2024

Per a release, the partnership will see SET provide high school students from more than 700 schools in North Carolina with digital upskilling tools. The pair aims to grow access to esports in order to create connections with colleges and corporations. The partnership’s goal is to bridge the gap between education and post-school career opportunities.

SET has run the Varsity Esports and STEM League (VESL) since 2022 and recently partnered with the State of North Carolina to expand its competitions statewide. North Carolina high school students are able to able to compete in the VESL for free and will be given the chance to learn STEM skills alongside the competition.

The VESL currently features competition in Rocket League, Madden, Super Smash Bros., Overwatch 2, VALORANT, and Fortnite, while the collaboration with PlayVS aims to provide newly onboarded high school access to four titles. So far, only Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Rocket League were named.

Gaining Stiegler EdTech as a partner sees PlayVS continue its transition into a sponsorship and partnership funding model. In August 2023, the company joined forces with esports apparel brand Emerge Apparel.

During an interview in November, Jon Chapman, PlayVS CEO, told Esports Insider that this pivot came as part of an effort to broaden student participation by removing enrolment fees for state and regional leagues. Previously, PlayVS had come under fire for its $64 per student fee which had rendered some students from lower-income high schools priced out from competing.

On the partnership with Stiegler EdTech, Chapman commented: “We’re thrilled to embark on this transformative journey with Stiegler EdTech. Esports has shown its power in enhancing student engagement, attendance, and overall mental wellness.

“Through the integration of our esports expertise with SET’s dedication to educational excellence, we can empower thousands of North Carolina students, fostering success not only in gaming but also in classrooms and future workplaces.”

Lee Jones

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