Wishing you good times, good cheer and a memorable new year.
All of us at PCX and We PLAY eLeague want to thank you for your business, guidance, and support this past year. We made a lot of strides and impacted a lot of lives through gaming! Here are some of our highlights from 2018.
Photo Credit: Digitalundivided, BIG Demo Day 2018. Jakita Thomas, co-founder of We PLAY eLeague 6th from the left.
We had an incredibly impactful year in 2018! We held over 14 events drawing over 3,000 people. We launched We PLAY eLeague with the goal of creating space and opportunity for Black and Brown gamers to compete, build their skills, and win championships. Some of our other major accomplishments include:
Being accepted into and graduating from Digitalundivided's BIG Incubator Program, Cohort 3
Hosting the 2018 Georgia High School eSports Invitational (GHSeI)
Bringing eSports to Minor League Baseball by co-hosting the Smokies eSports Challenge with the Tennessee Smokies in Knoxville, TN
Being accepted into and graduating from the 2018 cohort of the YC Startup School
Engaging our newest strategic partner/sponsor for GHSeI 2019, Chick-Fil-A
Welcoming our newest Advisor, Shahrukh "Shark" Panjwani
Officially announcing our partnership with AAU/Jam On It to bring eSports to the AAU kicking off with the OASIS Cup
Please check out our year in review below along with the amazing things we have in store for 2019.
Year in Review
Welcome to Wakanda & Accepted into BIG Incubator, Cohort 3
Welcome To Wakanda: A Black Panther Private Screening was an incredible, inspiring, and engaging trip to Wakanda. We hosted a sold out private screening and inspired the next generation to see what kinds of greatness they have inside of them.
We also distributed a discussion guide for organizations that work with youth of color to take a deeper dive into some of the ideas and themes from the movie.
At the end of the month, we were accepted into Digitalundivided's BIG Incubator, Cohort 3. Originally focusing on PCX's online learning platform, LVL UP Academy, we pivoted to We PLAY eLeague two months later.
Featured in TAG's hub magazine & Launched GHSeI Open Series in Gwinnett County
PCX was featured in TAG's HUB magazine in an article entitled "Atlanta's Got Game" written by PCX's own Brittany Regay (@brittregay). Brittany came to PCX right out of college at Georgia State University, and in one year's time has become a published eSports journalist and commentator.
We PLAY eLeague, only having launched the month before, hosted its first Georgia High School eSports Open Series event in Gwinnett County at Meadowcreek High School. Over 200 people came, and the first of the all-county high school teams was formed to compete at the 2018 Georgia High School eSports Invitational (GHSeI).
Hosted GHSeI Open Series in the City of Atlanta & GeL @ MomoCon
Joining forces, PCX & We PLAY eLeague hosted the GHSeI Open Series in the City of Atlanta at the John Hope Community Center in the West End. Over 100 people came out, and three all-city teams from Atlanta were formed to complete at the 2018 GHSeI.
As founding sponsors of the Georgia eSports League, a collegiate eSports league started by the Georgia Game Developers' Association, we co-hosted the Georgia Esports League’s (GEL) spring championship on the mainstage at Momocon.
Hosted GHSeI Open Series in DeKalb County @ StoneFEST & partnered with Man Up! for Father's Day Celebration
We hosted the final GSHeI Open for DeKalb County at StoneFEST in the new city of Stonecrest at Stonecrest Mall. Over 1,000 people came out, and one all-county team was formed to compete at the 2018 GHSeI.
We partnered with KD Bowe's Man Up! Foundation for the Man Up! Father's Day Celebration. Over 500 fathers and their children played in pop up tournaments together.
2nd Annual Georgia High School eSports Invitational
We hosted the 2nd annual GHSeI at the Andrew & Walter Young YMCA in Southwest Atlanta. Over 500 youth were in attendance. Tucker defended their title as the Georgia high school state champs, and youth were exposed to the entry points into careers in the eSports ecosystem through panel discussions, hands-on workshops ranging from comic book design to virtual reality, our expo, and pop-up tournaments. We awarded $5,000 in scholarships to the members of the Tucker High School eSports team. The GHSeI is the first high school eSports state championship in the U.S. and will be celebrating it's 3rd year in 2019.
Launched 1st Sundays & Featured in Atlanta Inno
We launched our monthly matchup event, 1st Sundays @ the Realm, held each first Sunday of the month at VS Realm eSports arena in Decatur. To date, over 300 Black and Brown gamers have attended 1st Sundays, which sets our leaderboards each month.
PCX was named one of the 11 "eSports related startups, leagues & tournaments in Atlanta you should know about" by Atlanta Inno magazine.
Featured Panelist at DragonCon
Jakita O. Thomas, Ph.D., co-founder of PCX/We PLAY eLeague, was a featured panelist at the first-ever Diversity Track at Dragon Con 2018. She shared her expertise and experience on the following panels:
Gamer Girls, Programmers, and STEAM
From the Workshop to the Desktop
Co-hosted C.A.G.E. Atlanta: Fright Night
Cosplay. Anime. Gaming. eSports.
In partnership with i HEART Media, Andretti Karting & Gaming, Dreamhack, Hi-Rez, Gold Standard Gaming, and Project MQ, we hosted C.A.G.E. Atlanta: Fright Night. Over 500 people attended this event Halloween weekend, which featured pop-up tournament play, a cosplay contest, an epic VIP area with games, food, and lots of fun, and activations on the Andretti game floor!
Co-hosted Smokies eSports Challenge
Bringing eSports to Minor League Baseball
In a sold out first-of-its-kind event, we brought eSports to Minor League Baseball. The Smokies eSports Challenge was held at the Smokies Stadium in Kodak, TN. With a line wrapped around the building prior to doors opening at 9AM, over 500 gaming enthusiasts competed in tournaments featuring a range of games from Fortnite to League of Legends. The Tennessee Smokies are a Minor League team that feeds into the Chicago Cubs.
Signed contract to bring eSports to AAU, Graduated from Y Combinator Startup School & BIG Incubator, Engaged eSports Insider as Advisor & Applied to Atlanta Tech Village "It Takes a Village" Pre-Accelerator Program
We closed out 2018 strong by formally inking a partnership with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) & Jam On It (JOI) to bring eSports to the AAU. World renown for the basketball summer league and the Junior Olympics, the AAU boasts over 700,000 members. Our partnership will bring eSports to the AAU kicking off with the National Amateur eSports Championship (called the OASIS Cup) in Las Vegas, NV. See more information about this incredible upcoming event below in our feature of what's to come in 2019 and 2020.
We incubated LVL Up Academy, our online learning platform, with the 2018 cohort of the Y Combinator Startup School. This 10-week experience allowed us to incubate LVL Up Academy and secure strategic partnerships to pilot our MVP beginning with our first paid pilot site at the John Hope Community Center that will kick off January 26, 2019. LVL Up Academy is a SaaS platform that exposes and connects users to the entry points and pathways through the eSports ecosystem to become eSports professionals.
Finally, we applied to the Atlanta Tech Village "It Takes A Village" Pre-Accelerator program, where our goal will be to complete the iterative refinement of our LVL Up Academy MVP, establish an active pipeline of users, and secure investment to scale our platform. We'll keep you posted on our progress should we be accepted to this incredible pre-accelerator.
Co-founder, Jakita O. Thomas, graduated from digitalundivided's BIG Incubator on December 5, 2019, and pitched We PLAY eLeague during Demo Day on December 6, 2019.
You can see the full We PLAY eLeague presentation (check me out starting at the 49:49 mark)
Notably, we also engaged a new member to our team of Advisors. We are INCREDIBLY excited that Shahrukh "Shark" Panjwani has joined the PCX/ We PLAY eLeague family as an Advisor. His experience as a professional gamer, eSports manager, connector, insider, and all around dope individual is truly an asset to us and will allow us to exceed our goals for 2019 and 2020 with excellence!
Looking Ahead: 3rd Annual GHSeI, OASIS Cup, and HBCUeI
The 3rd Annual GHSeI will be held June 21, 2019, from 10am - 4pm at the DeKalb Conference Center at Georgia Piedmont Technical College in Clarkston, GA. Will Tucker High School 3-peat as Georgia high school state champs? Join us to find out! We have already engaged Chick-Fil-A, STEM Wars, and STEAMSport as partners for this year's GHSeI. More info.
Hosted in partnership with the AAU and Jam On It, we will host the National Amateur eSports Championship (also called the OASIS Cup) July 5 - 7, 2019, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Join us for this first-of-its-kind event - the FIRST eSports K-12 championship in the U.S.! More info.
The inaugural Historically Black Colleges and Universities eSports Invitational (HBCUeI) will take place in February 2020 on the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Invited institutions include Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Savannah State University, Florida A&M University, North Carolina A&T University, Tuskegee University and Southern University. More info.
Thank you so much for your support in 2018!
We will keep you informed on our progress during 2019.
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