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What is eSports?

Esports also known as "electronic sports" is organized video gaming sports competition often played individually or in teams. 

What is the GDS platform?

The GDS Platform is supported by GYO Score and is an online gaming community platform that is built to help connect players with gaming opportunities, tournaments, eSports scholarships, and more. Unlike many platforms, GDS Platform is also built to allow for parental registration and oversight of child accounts in order to help parents monitor and understand their child's gaming habits and to take advantage of potential college opportunities for eSports.  Because GDS is the only platform that has placed an emphasis on child safety and parental involvement, your State Association selected GDS as our official vendor to help facilitate online gaming leagues for our players to participate during downtime from soccer. 

What age groups can participate?

Players 10-19 years old can participate in the gaming club’s events. Those under the age of 13 must have a family account due to COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). Those creating accounts for under the age of 13 will be verified as safety of our young players is important to our association and GDS.

How do I sign up my child to participate?

Signing up is easy! First, please be sure to sign up with the state association by going to the registration link. Afterwards, you will be sent an invitation by GDS/GYO Score to create an account for our gaming club.

How do clubs participate?

All clubs will be provided a free Club Portal and tools to manage their own players.     Clubs that embrace the program can create their own weeklies, tournaments, and events.  Those that do not have the resources to do so will still receive the benefits of the promotion of their club as we directly engage players to join with or without club direct engagement.

What is a club portal?

Through this program, all State Soccer Clubs are welcome to create Club Portals which are like online hangouts for your children.  When a child joins these Club Portals, their participation is verified by a Club administrator so that only registered club players are able to participate in the program and communicate with the other registered players.  Within the Club portal, the players may share their gamer connection information and communicate with one another about video games and eSports safely.  Instead of connecting players to random people around the world you do not know, the Club Portals give you a space where you can feel assured that the online communications are occurring between children of similar ages who are also members of the registered soccer community. For further safety and security, all messages and communications that occur on the platform are accessed and monitored by Club administrators and professional adults who will enforce a strict code of civility, decorum and appropriate discussions.
While on the GDS platform and within the Club Portals, your child will likely participate in two key types of activity:  Self-driven Gameplay and Weeklies/Tournament Gameplay. In self-driven activity, the players will communicate among themselves and may schedule play activities that occur in their games.  For Weeklies/Tournament Gameplay, an administrator representing the Clubs or the state association will create an online gameplay league (weeklies) or tournament structure that mirrors the grass soccer league structure. Players will be assigned a designated opponent and be scheduled to play against them at specific times, and then they will report the scores directly to the platform.  In addition to being a fun competition, we believe this is an opportunity to help teach the players responsibility and accountability, as players are required to manage their own schedules and report their own scores.  Failure to do so would result in forfeits and negative consequences, including removal from the league.
We all know that our children are going to have screen time at home - we aim to create positive, competitive, safe and social league play experiences to help make sure a significant amount of that screen time is productive. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask for additional assistance!

What are the benefits of playing eSports?

There is a wide range of benefits for children who participate in measured video gaming including, cognitive development, social engagement, and the development of motor skills. Please follow this link for more information: Must point to the benefits of eSports web page.

Are games children friendly and non-violent?

We do not offer violent games. Our gaming club offers non-violent FIFA 20 games to complement kids' soccer development on the grass field as well as in the digital space. We will also explore other games such as Rocket League and more!

Who does my child play against?

The GDS Platform allows kids to safely play eSports games with kids in their current soccer club as well as other clubs affiliated with your State Soccer Association. Our gaming club offers a fun & safe digital environment where children represent their clubs while competing against their peers, (people you know) from clubs they compete with on the grass leagues.