Xbox and Special Olympics teamed up for a new esports event that combines competition with inclusion and accessibility.
Esports experiences just became more accessible with the inauguration of a new gaming tournament centered around inclusion. As part of the event, Special Olympics athletes took part in tournaments of Rocket League, Madden NFL 22, and Forza Motorsport 7, in a bid to play with a Special Olympics’ celebrity supporter.
Supporters included NBA superstar Jayson Tatum, NFL legend Jamaal Charles, WNBA superstar Jewell Loyd and WWE Superstars Dominik Mysterio and Ember Moon.
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Esports is one of the fields where diversity still has a long way go, so this tournament represents “a meaningful and important step in making esports more accessible,” explains Jenn Panattoni, head of Xbox Social Impact. “Xbox has invested in numerous accessibility features and products, like the Xbox Adaptive Controller and features like copilot or speech to text. The purpose of all this continued work is to ensure that players feel welcome and that they belong on the Xbox platform.”
“Special Olympics has a long-standing partnership with Microsoft that has been incredibly valuable for the athletes and families of the Special Olympics movement,” said the organization’s chief information and technology officer, Prianka Nandy. “At this time, our goals remain to raise awareness of the Special Olympics movement and the accomplishments, hopes, and dreams of our incredible athletes, and to change attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities within the gaming community, all while remembering that gaming can be fun and inclusive for all.”
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