Microsoft Partners With Special Olympics for Esports Event

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Microsoft has partnered with Special Olympics USA to host an esports tournament this summer. According to Engadget, the video game tournament will involve eight teams as they compete to win a gold medal in the Special Olympics USA Games. Rather than playing the highly popular first-person shooter Fortnite, though, teams will play “Forza Motorsport 7.”

Although it’s dabbled in esports in the past, this is the first time that Microsoft has officially hosted an Olympics video game tournament. But like most Olympics sports, there are certain requirements to participating in Microsoft’s “Forza Motorsport 7” tournament. Eligible team must pass a qualifier event in one of Microsoft’s brick-and-mortar stores throughout the United States. Furthermore, Microsoft says that each team must have one player who suffers from a disability and another player who does not. Teams that meet this criteria, however, can mark their calendar for the upcoming Special Olympics USA Games.

When speaking about esports tournament, Beth Knox, president of the Special Olympics USA, explained that many athletes are also gamers, and research shows that playing video games improves cognitive function in individuals suffering from a mental disability.

Released October 3, 2017 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One, “Forza Motorsport 7” is the 10th title in the “Forza” franchise. It’s not just your typical racing game, though. “Forza Motorsports 7” features more than 700 cars from which players can choose. While some of these cars were ported over from past installments in the franchise, others are completely new. “Forza Motorsports 7” also has 32 racing locations, some of which included Maple Valley Raceway and Suzuka Circuit. “Forza Motorsports 7” has received mostly positive reviews from gamers. On Metacritic, it has an 86 out of 100 rating. On IGN, it’s rated 9.2 out of 10.

In addition to hosting a “Forza Motorsport 7” tournament at the Special Olympics USA Games, Microsoft is also planning to set up Xbox One stations. Here, fans can play “Forza Motorsport 7” as well as other popular Xbox One games like “Mincecraft” and “Super Lucky’s Tale,” all of which are free.

The “Forza Motorsport 7” tournament will take place on June 2 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of Washington (UW).

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