Xbox and Special Olympics have partnered together for the Gaming for Inclusion event, a virtual esports tournament aiming to further accessibility around games and sports.
Announced in an Xbox Wire blog post, Gaming for Inclusion will take place between September 12 and 18 on the Xbox Twitch channel and Special Olympics YouTube channel. The event will feature tournaments in Rocket League, Forza Motorsport 7, and Madden NFL 22. The NBA’s Jayson Tatum, NFL legend Jamaal Charles and several WWE Superstars will be there.
Xbox head of social impact Jenn Panattoni commented: “At Xbox, our goal is to make gaming inclusive and welcoming to all players so that everyone can experience the joys of gaming.”
“This tournament is a meaningful and important step in making esports more accessible and it empowers Special Olympics athletes with a new way to compete.”
The event is an extension of the relationship between Microsoft and Special Olympics, as the two have worked together on virtual events since 2018. Gaming for Inclusion will use Microsoft’s esports platform Smash.gg, which helps host and create live esport events.
Special Olympics will receive training on how to use Smash.gg to host local tournaments, which will then allow “for year-round gaming practice and competition in preparation for the next Gaming for Inclusion experience in 2022.”
The goal of Special Olympics is to provide sports training and athletic competition for Olympic-type sports, specifically for people with intellectual disabilities. It also aims to give “them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families.”
In other news, the BBC used Fortnite’s game engine to cover the 2020 Olympics. Unreal Engine was used to render studio shots to simulate Tokyo in real-time, while the actual studio was in Salford.