Nintendo and PlayVS have announced a new partnership to bring Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 to high school varsity athletics in the US and Canada. Starting in the fall of 2021, the two Nintendo Switch games will be officially recognized varsity athletics in participating schools. The season will kick off on September 20th, and schools will compete against one another online. In spring 2022, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will also be added to the program. PlayVS will provide hundreds of Nintendo Switch consoles to qualifying schools, and 3,000 schools will receive either a copy of Splatoon 2 or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with a 12-month individual Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
In a press release, Nintendo of America senior director of product marketing Bill Trinen commented on the collaboration.
"We know there are many Nintendo fans with incredible gaming talent who are looking for more ways to explore competitive play and participate in tournaments," said Trinen. "Working with a community-focused organization like PlayVS is an important next step as Nintendo expands our support for competitive play and helps more players explore gaming in a competitive space. High school students from all around the country will be able to put their skills to the test in Nintendo Switch games in a competitive setting – and hopefully make some awesome memories along the way."
The move is an exciting one, and high school students and faculty interested can join the waitlist right here. In the same press release, PlayVS founder and CEO Delane Parnell talked about the path the program will give students to play these games at a competitive level.
"Partnering with Nintendo and offering our players a selection of titles from its legendary roster of games is something I’ve wanted to do since I started PlayVS," said Parnell. "It’s a privilege to work alongside such an iconic company like Nintendo. We take great pride in being able to offer competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to our community. This partnership ensures that high school students now have an official path to competitive play for these immensely popular games."
When I was in high school, the only way I could play Super Smash Bros. competitively after school was at a friend's house, so a lot has changed over the years! It remains to be seen how successful the program will be, but it seems like a safe bet that the collaboration between Nintendo and PlayVS will attract a lot of attention.
Are you interested in the PlayVS program? What do you think of the collaboration? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!