The Seven-Person Freshmen Team Wins First Intra-District eSports Tournament in Los Angeles County that Reinforced S.T.E.A.M. and 21 Century Learning Skills

DOWNEY, Calif (December 5, 2018) – Downey Unified, in partnership with the Carrot Group, today announced that an all-freshmen team from Warren High School won the Overwatch Downey Unified High School eSports Tournament: A MADE Community Initiative, the first intra-district high school level eSports tournament in Los Angeles County and the only eSports Tournament to build workforce development into the program.

The winners were announced after the sold-out final match on December 4, 2018 at the Downey Civic Theatre where the top teams from Downey and Warren High Schools competed against each other for the grand prize. The final match, held in partnership with Financial Partners Credit Union and SteelSeries, 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 10 teams from Downey High School and 8 teams from Warren High School competing in the Tournament. The teams played Overwatch developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment.

The Tournament 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 proud of how the students worked hard during the season and came together as a team to win,” stated Harris. “This Tournament embodies everything we are trying to do with our students such as ensure they are college and career ready, globally competitive, and citizens of strong character. We are proud to bring innovative programs such as this one to help our students learn and grow.”

This Tournament showed students how their interest in video gaming could turn into prospective career opportunities within science, technology, arts, engineering, and math (STEAM) fields, all while addressing a positive approach to healthy competition including teamwork, leadership, resilience, and problem solving. All participating students attended a facilitated on-campus Workforce Development session from educational partners: UCode, Positive Coaching Alliance, West Hills College Coalinga, and leading game designers. Participating students are also eligible to enroll in two free online Game Design courses, each worth three graded college credits, offered by West Hills College Coalinga starting in January 2019.

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

Each member of the winning team received a grand prize package including video gaming accessories from SteelSeries, a meeting with leading game designers, and an all-expenses paid trip to a one-week Game Design Bootcamp where they are each eligible to receive an additional two graded college credits on their college transcript. Additionally, the winning high school also received a trophy 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.

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 programs for preschool children to college students through the belief that the power of competition inspires innovation, learning, and creativity. The critically acclaimed innovation challenges, conferences, esports, and tours reward dynamic thinking, perseverance, cooperation, imagination, and ingenuity. Learn more at www.gocarrotgo.com.