Students from University of New Mexico Esports will join volunteers from colleges around the state next week to help put on the New Mexico Activities Association High School Esports Championship.

The championship, hosted by Albuquerque Public Schools Esports, is scheduled to take place from May 4 to May 6 at Berna Facio Professional Development Center in Albuquerque.

The university students will help create a championship experience comparable to that of professional esports competitions hosted around the world with shoutcasters delivering play-by-plays, commentary, hosts and areas for players to compete and watch the competitions as they play out in real time. 

“UNM Esports is proud to support these efforts to highlight a new era of connecting the online generation to those in-person opportunities to meet their peers and level up those skills that are needed in their personal, scholastic and professional goals far into the future,” Bernardo Gallegos, UNM Esports staff adviser, said.

For the second time, UNM Esports has been invited to act as both the Production and Technical lead for the championship. The UNM student volunteers will produce the Twitch stream broadcast for the event and help create an interactive, in-person experience for top high school players from around the state. Student volunteers from New Mexico Tech and New Mexico State University will also assist at the event.

More than 270 high school students will compete in the championship over three days in eight different video games including: League of Legends, Rocket League, Hearthstone, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, Madden and NBA2K. 

For members of UNM Esports, the in-person event is an important opportunity to foster community for competitors. In-person competitions are known as LAN events.

“Pre-2020 this was the standard for all esports titles around the world, and as we move further from that date in history we are looking to reclaim those shared spaces to have gamers gather and compete while placing the spotlight on their hard work and endeavors from the previous school year,” Gallegos said.

Those interested in watching the championship can do so on the UNM Esports Twitch channel.