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Remarks by AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk at AIT Esports Kick-off
November 5, 2021


Hi, everyone. Welcome to the official kick-off of AIT Esports!

Video gaming platforms have become one of the biggest communication mediums on the planet.  Massive Multiplayer Online Games like League of Legends have more than 150 million registered users.

Taiwan is an epicenter for Esports, with world-class cyberathletes consistently ranking among the best in the world.  The Taiwan legislature passed a bill in 2017 officially recognizing Esports as a sporting event and even the International Olympic Committee says it’s exploring the possibility of including Esports in future games.

The Department of State recognizes the significance of the gaming community and has developed Esports programs to encourage gamers to be educated, inspired, and engaged.

AIT Esports, which is based on curriculum developed by the University of California, Irvine and the North American Scholastic Esports Federation, promotes inclusion and diversity.  It helps give girls and other marginalized players an equal footing in an industry that for too long has not made space for them.

Our program gives students the chance to learn about teamwork, sportsmanship, collaboration and leadership.  It encourages creativity and helps raise social inclusion awareness.  Not only will these students improve their English, and engage with gamers in the United States and around the world, but they will also be exposed to STEAM educational and career opportunities, including in the $200 billion gaming industry.

Students participating in AIT Esports will develop their Esports skills.  But they will also learn about other roles in this industry, from design and IT development to event coordination, marketing, and public relations.

All of us here at AIT are excited about this new Esports program.  Over the next few minutes, you’re going to have the chance to meet the participants and supporters.  Thank you to National Chengchi University here in Taipei, and to, Cheng Shiu University, and Shu-Te University in Kaohsiung.  And a special thanks to our partner organization, CTESA, and their Vice President, Cody Chen.

In the words that always kick off Esports tournaments worldwide, I’d like to say “Good luck, have fun!”