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Esports partners with the Boise Public Library to host youth gaming tournament

Parents and children watch the tournament.

Boise State Esports partnered with the Boise Public Library’s Bown Crossing branch to host a Mario Kart tournament for local residents on Sept. 9, 2022. Families crowded into the arena for an exciting day of gaming with many experiencing competitive Esports for the first time.

“When we originally planned our Mario Kart tournament, we were thinking we would run it in a meeting room at the library,” said Danielle Boyd, branch librarian at Bown Crossing. “But when I reached out to Doc Haskell he was immediately enthusiastic and graciously invited us to hold our tournament in their facilities downtown.”

While the partnership between Boise State Esports and the library wasn’t initially pictured as a full cooperatively organized tournament, the ambition of Esports Director Haskell made the event a success for Boyd and the library.

“There is no substitute for the quality of the production, equipment, and crew that Doc has,” she said. “Our event immediately gained credibility and a sense of excitement that we wouldn’t have been able to generate using library facilities alone.”

Local kids participate in the Boise Public Library Mario Kart tournament.

A Day at the Races

Starting at 7:00 pm, children excitedly gathered around various television monitors to compete in the tournament. Stations hosting four players at a time were scattered around the building. Some competitors competed up on stage, some on couches, and other in the arena’s stadium seating. The tournament featured a double elimination bracket with several rounds giving everyone multiple chances to play, regardless of their final standings.

Prizes consisted of gold, silver, and bronze reproductions of Mario Kart trophies for the top finishers. Everyone also received cookies and commemorative pins for their participation in the event.

Megan Rutte, a parent of one of the competitors, was excited to see her son having fun playing and winning prizes.

“My son Declan had a great time and he got to play multiple times,” she said. “The pin at the end made him feel like he had won. He was so proud of it and was telling everyone all weekend about how he won a badge at the tournament.”