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'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' Is Now Officially A Varsity Sport

'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' Is Now Officially A Varsity Sport

Gaming has a lot of cognitive benefits, as per research into the subject.

Imogen Donovan

Imogen Donovan

So, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 have now been formally recognised as high school varsity sports through a collaboration between Nintendo and amateur esports platform PlayVS.

Ok. Surprisingly, I'm not that bitter about this. It's no secret that I did not like PE as a subject (shout out to the teachers who had to deal with my scowls, I'm sorry for being annoying). Being chucked out onto the field in sub-zero temperatures to run around a rounders pitch is not my ideal way to spend an hour and ten minutes. Each to their own, of course. Yet, if students nowadays are able to play video games as part of their curriculum, then more power to them. It's warmer inside anyway. And before anyone gets up in arms that the kids will be sitting on their bottoms all day, let's wind it back for a second. Research has shown that playing video games improves literacy skills and stimulates creativity in children. Another study concluded that those who play games in their youth see a significant boost to their memory, spatial understanding, and response times.

While you're here, we'll debunk one of the most notorious misunderstandings - that gaming causes violent behaviour. Watch our explainer here.

PlayVS already works with 23 state associations and regional leagues in the US and Canada to encourage young people to try playing games professionally. There are official national leagues for Fortnite, FIFA, Madden, and League of Legends to name but a few, and Mario Kart 8 tournaments will arrive in early 2022. "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 CEO Delane Parnell, and praised Nintendo on its "iconic" portfolio.

"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," added senior director of product marketing at Nintendo of America, Bill 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 to 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."

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Super Mario, Esports, News, Mario, Nintendo, Super Smash Bros