Mayor Adams And Chancellor Banks Unveil The Minecraft Education Battle Of The Boroughs Esports Contest

February 9, 2024

Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David C. Banks today announced the launch of the official submission period of the fourth annual NYC Minecraft Education Battle of the Boroughs (BOTB).

Ahead of the second BOTB Mayor’s Cup. Submissions for student teams are open now, and close on March 1, 2024. Information on how to join the challenge is available on the NYC Public School website. Top submissions will compete at an in-person Esports qualifying round in each borough. 

Once again in partnership with Minecraft Education and C40’s Reinventing Cities initiative, BOTB is a scholastic K-12 Esports competition designed to engage our youngest New Yorkers in shaping the future of their city. Building on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done (GSD), the city’s strategic climate plan, and the Mayor’s Digital Gaming Initiative, student teams will compete to create the most inclusive future-ready city spaces.

By participating in this challenge, students will be able to explore the five boroughs, “speak” to local officials, and learn more about New York City’s sustainability plans. Students will develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a fun and immersive way. Students can refer to Mayor Adams’ message here for a glimpse of what this project will look like.

“The ‘Battle of the Boroughs’ challenge showcases the creativity of our public school students and how New York City is addressing climate change while continuing to make our city the digital gaming capital of the world,” said Mayor Adams. “I encourage all students who love digital gaming to sign up for this competition and join our mission to create a sustainable, inclusive, and future-ready city. I’ll see you at the Mayor’s Cup!” 

“The annual Battle of the Boroughs competition gives our youngest New Yorkers the opportunity to advocate, build, and advance our city in their vision, preparing them to one day lead our five boroughs, while practicing real-world, high-demand skills like coding, which are critical in building successful career pathways,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “I’m grateful to all of our partners who make this possible for our students, and I am eager to see what change they can create.”

“It is so exciting to see this City once again commit to the Battle of the Boroughs competition, another demonstration of our promise to grow the Digital Games industry, and make this city a global hub for development,” said Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Pat Swinney Kaufman. “Through educational initiatives like BOTB across the five boroughs, we enhance opportunities for equitable growth in the gaming field and increase awareness for an industry that supports 7600 jobs and generates $2 billion in economic activity.” 

Qualifying teams will move on to Semi-Finals for their Borough’s Championship, leading up to the Battle of the Boroughs Finals. Borough winning teams will compete in the Finals, where the winner will be awarded the second annual Battle of the Boroughs Minecraft Mayor’s Cup. These events will also serve as fairs for students and families, featuring gaming-related opportunities at NYC colleges, community-based organizations, and industry partners.

“It is incredible to see how growing industries like digital gaming can be intertwined with and have an impact on our city streets,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “The Battle of the Boroughs will provide the next generation of innovative New Yorkers with the chance to reimagine beloved New York City landmarks including the Kingsbridge Armory. NYCEDC is excited to see what ideas the student teams come up with and look forward to these future city leaders creating their vision for a vibrant, inclusive, sustainable and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers.”

Laura Jay, Regional Director for North America at C40 Cities, said, “With the majority of GHG emissions coming from cities and the built environment, the participation of youth in city planning and policy is key to shaping a better future. Through Battle of the Boroughs, city leaders are again engaging directly with students to integrate their ideas on how to repurpose existing buildings and inspire more inclusive communities for New York City. C40 is delighted to work with the Mayor of New York, NYC Public Schools, and Minecraft Education in this important initiative which encourages young people to make their voices heard.”

“The 4th annual Battle of the Borough challenge presents a remarkable opportunity for students in NYC to harness the potential of Minecraft Education as a creative tool for designing sustainable solutions in their communities. By collaborating with their peers across the city, students can learn from each other, share their ideas, and showcase their skills. This challenge is not only fun and engaging but also inspiring and empowering for the next generation of innovators,” said Allison Matthews, Head of Minecraft Education.

Photo credit: David C. Banks.

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