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NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, Sept., 20, 2022 – The University of Oklahoma Esports & Co-Curricular Innovation Department in the Division of Student Affairs is joining forces with Oklahoma Scholastic Esports to further promote esports opportunities and pipeline development within the K-12 sector, effective immediately.

OKSE was founded in 2019 by Brian Morris to help students learn and grow through positive competition in Esports. There are over 110 schools and more than 2,500 students within the league. OKSE’s mission is to encourage student success through competition, events, and leagues by giving schools a structured system of esports.

“OKSE is excited to add OU to our growing list of higher education allies,” Morris said. “All students across Oklahoma can benefit from this partnership as we collectively legitimize the topic of scholastic esports focused around academic growth, success, and opportunity for all.”

Talks about this collaboration began in April 2022 and were inspired by conversations OU ECCI Director Mike Aguilar had with Laverne High School teacher and Head Coach Mike Shipley in 2018. This collaboration will explore opportunities to align programs, events, and resources from OU ECCI.

“What brings OKSE and OU together in this topic are our aligned values and ethics,” Shipley said. “Our goal and mission is to put students first and provide pathways to college and industry. We couldn’t think of a better addition than a university with those same intentions and passion that we share.”

OU ECCI and OKSE also hope that this collaboration will further stabilize scholastic pipeline development and support through recruitment resources and degree pathways both in and out of esports.

Aguilar says this collaboration will further legitimize the topic of youth esports both in and out of Oklahoma, following multiple points of the University of Oklahoma Lead On, University Strategic Plan.

“We want to promote opportunities within all chapters of life from youth development, to higher education pathways, as well as direct to market skill sets that are results from involvement,” Aguilar said.

To learn more about OU Esports and Co-Curricular Innovation, visit www.ou.edu/esports.

About the Esports & Co-Curricular Innovation Department

With development originating in 2016, the OU ECCI Department was founded on the premise of unity through video games with a path to industry focus. It serves as the inclusive home for all gamers from casual to competitive alike.

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