The Seven-Person Team Wins the Second Annual Intra-District eSports Tournament that Reinforced S.T.E.A.M. and 21st Century Learning Skills

DOWNEY, Calif., (December 17, 2019) – Downey Unified, in partnership with the Carrot Group, announced Warren High School as the winners of the second annual Overwatch Downey Unified High School eSports Championship. This is the second year in a row Warren High School has won this tournament which is the only intra-district high school level eSports tournament that integrates workforce development and career exploration into the program.

The winning team was announced after the final match on Dec. 9, 2019, at the Downey Civic Theatre where the top teams from Downey and Warren high schools faced off for the grand prize. The final match was the culmination of a six-week program, managed by HighSchool.GG, where students formed seven-member teams and competed against the other teams within each school. There were ten from Downey High School and 9 teams from Warren High School competing in the newly formed Downey Unified eSports League. Students from Columbus High School were also part of the competing teams at each school.

The Downey Unified eSports League (DUEL) is part of Downey Unified’s MADE Initiative, a College and Career Readiness program headed by Director, John Harris. The goal of MADE is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to achieve their post-secondary educational and career goals, all while being supported with the learning environment to do so.

“We are thrilled for Warren High School and I am proud of how our students worked together over the course of this six-week tournament to ultimately triumph during the championship match,” stated Harris. “This tournament embodies everything we are trying to do with our students to align with our district’s vision to ensure they are college and career ready, globally competitive, and citizens of strong character. As this is still the first and only high school eSports program in the region with an integrated career exploration and workforce development component, we are proud to provide this innovative program to help our students learn and grow.”

The objective of DUEL is to demonstrate to students how their interest in video gaming could turn into prospective career opportunities, all while addressing a positive approach to healthy competition including teamwork, leadership, resilience and problem solving. All participating students have partaken in an off-campus Workforce Development session from educational partners such as Survios, Positive Coaching Alliance, West Hills College Coalinga as well as leading game designers. Also, all students who participated in DUEL are eligible to enroll in two free online Game Design courses, each worth three transferable graded college credits, offered by West Hills College Coalinga.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this impactful eSports Tournament and are excited for Warren High School,” said Alan Zack, President of Carrot Group. “We applaud all the competing teams from the three schools. Through this Tournament, the students learned how to collaborate, problem-solve, critically think, and most importantly, turn their passion into a career.”

Each member of the winning team received a grand prize package which included a trophy, a video gaming accessories package from industry leading SteelSeries and a championship ring from Jostens. These students will also be meeting with top game designers as well as receiving an all-expense paid trip to a one-week Game Design Bootcamp. Additionally, Warren High School received a trophy that will be showcased in the main office and a $1,000 gift certificate towards computer supplies.

About the Downey Unified School District

The Downey Unified School District provides a comprehensive curriculum supporting three high schools, four middle schools, 13 elementary schools and one adult school. The district is committed to developing all students to be self-motivated learners and productive, responsible and compassionate members of an ever-changing global society. Our highly qualified staff foster meaningful relationships with students, parents, and the community while providing a relevant and rigorous curriculum in facilities that advance teaching and learning. It is the vision of Downey Unified to have all students graduate with a 21st Century education that ensures they are college and career ready, globally competitive and citizens of strong character. Learn more at www.dusd.net/.

About Carrot Group

Carrot Group is the leading organization engaging, cultivating, and celebrating young innovators to solve real-world problems using science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. The highly creative and fully customizable programs drive impact and spark a passion for discovery. Carrot Group designs various programs for preschool children to college students and through the belief that the power of competition inspires learning, creativity, and innovation. The critically acclaimed programs reward dynamic thinking, perseverance, cooperation, imagination, and ingenuity. Learn more at www.gocarrotgo.com.