2023 SMART Cities Innovation Expo – Te Pae

SMART Cities Christchurch in collaboration with Libraries, PB Tech, GCSN (Greater Christchurch Schools’ Network) and our incredibly talented school connections, provided a variety of Esports and gaming exhibits as part of the very popular 2023 Innovation Expo. Through the generous support of GCSN and the excellent facilitation skills of Wilj Dekkers and the Avonside Girls High School Esports team a huge Rebuild Ōtautahi Minecraft competition drew over 1100 people including around 200 competitors from local Kura. Vex Robotics was also a huge hit with fierce competition among another large cohort of local schools. Although not a traditional esport VEX robotics sits well in this arena, providing another fun and engaging way into high tech education. There were also the more “traditional” esports offerings available over the two days as well.

2023 Inaugural PC Build Workshop

Library in collaboration with PB Tech and with our “Tech Guinea Pigs” from the ever innovative team at Christchurch Boys High School worked together to bring about our first ever PC Building workshop at Tūranga Library. Nurtured by the love of Esports, each ākonga – student, with guidance from PB Tech expert technicians built an entire Gaming capable PC from assembly to “Boot-up” in a matter of hours. Linking this to curriculum goals is ensuring that our on-going esports kaupapa – project provides a pathway to high-tech industries. A great success, plans are afoot for many more of these build workshops for the remainder of 2023 and 2024.

2023 League of Legends Academic Challenge

PB Tech, UC Gaming Guild, Oneshot Gaming Lounge and Esports Ōtautahi collaborated together with the Christchurch City Library to host an Academic League of Legends tournament. Teams from University of Canterbury, Otago University, NZMA and local High School groups battled it out for the title and some pretty cool prizes. With VR units and other engaging spectator activities it was a fun esports based community event for all.

UCGG Gaming Night 2023

Another great “social and competitive” esports and gaming evening run at the UCSA by the awesome UCGG crew. Esports Ōtautahi was there of course helping out with equipment and support but really this was a brilliant event run by the UCGG team that went on to win an award. Great attendance helped in no small way by the excellent sponsorship of prizes from Mighty Ape. Christchurch Fighting Games crew were there competing in various titles as well as our FIFA 2023 competition and rounded out nicely with a lot of Mobile Legends. A lot of fun!

TEKKEN7 E Blacks Qualifiers 2023

A fantastic day of Tekken 7 action run by the local Fighting Games community in conjunction with One Shot Gaming Lounge and Esports Ōtautahi. Part of a national tournament run by the New Zealand Esports Federation to find regional champions in Tekken 7. The Aotearoa winner will then head to Romania to compete in the World Championship event as an E-Black. It could well be someone pictured below at our qualifier. Regardless of the world champs. a great day of gaming was had by all. 1st Place was taken out by Anaru Quinn aka Shredder with 2nd Place going to Callum Entwhistle aka Flawless.

Pokemon Tournament Shirley Library.

A whole lot of Pokemon community fun happening on a regular basis at the Shirley Library. Pokemon has always had strong following in this community and now the Library hosts regular VGC tournaments here on a monthly basis. Loads of fun and a friendly, welcoming environment to compete. These are sanctioned events run by enthusiastic staff here. Anyone is able to enter.

Te Ōtautahi Ace – Valorant tournament 2022.

2022 High School Valorant Exhibition match run by local esports caster Reuben “Oparer” Roberts with Tautoko – support from gaming organisations Ngāti Gaming, Digital Natives Academy, Esports Ōtautahi as well as all the excellent volunteers from the NZMA esports course. This Tournament was held at Te Hāpua Halswell Centre. Along with the Valorant Tournament Library staff ran a Beat Sabre competition whilst the UCGG University of Canterbury Gaming Guild ran a Rocket League LAN in the the Library PC Lab. Amazingly at the end of the day it was a yr 9 Valorant Team from Christchurch Boys High playing off against a University team in the finals. Narrow win to the UC team but an incredible effort from such as young CBHS team. A great day.

2022 NZMA Valorant Exhibition Match

A very successful Valorant Exhibition Match very professionally run by a group of NZMA Esports students in Ōtautahi. Specifically run as part of their course work, this tournament also allowed for some of the younger esports teams that weren’t entered into the National High School competition a chance to compete. After a day of matches it was down to Riccarton and Hornby High Schools in the finals. Final result – a win to Riccarton High School.

Sport Canterbury Esports event at Tūranga Library

Images from a Sport Canterbury New Zealand “how to play” session 31st October 2022. Esports titles Valorant and Rocket League were shown/taught to the staff in the hope that they would recognise the skills, teamwork and tenacity required to play these games competitively. Sport Canterbury had contributed equipment to this kaupapa. Big thanks to Andy Thawley and students from Christchurch Boys High and Burnside High school for giving up some time to coach. This was at our Auahatanga – Creative Spaces at Tūranga Library where we provide esports PCs and peripherals for schools and the local community. It was Halloween and our resident esport fairy dropped in for the festivities as well.

Minecraft Wero Hanga – Speed Build Challenge

Images from the 2022 Inaugural Matauranga – Voyagers Wero Hanga (Speed-build Challenge) which saw 12 local Primary Schools Teams enter the world of Esports based on Sir Ian Taylor’s awesome Voyagers education kaupapa. Each team was made up of 4 ākonga that had to work together as a team to create the best “waka kourua” (twin hulled vessel) in just 20 minutes (two ten minute build slots). The results were amazing with incredibly creative and well informed builds produced. The judges really had their work cut out for them. This was a very successful intro to the exciting world of esports. We’ll be seeing more in 2023.

Fighting Games Community Freeplay Day

Esports Ōtautahi was very pleased to host the local branch of the Fighting Games Community (FGC) up at Tūranga library recently. This event allowed for a fun inter-generational introduction to the super popular console based games such as “Street Fighter” and “Tekken.” One rangatahi participant explained that it was a “fantastic opportunity” as he was passionate about fighting games but did not have access to a console. Typically FGC operate out at University of Canterbury. This event allowed other sectors of the community to get involved. FGC also runs competitive competitions so we may see those as Esports Christchurch offerings at libraries in Ōtautahi soon as well.

Tūranga High School Exhibition Tournament

Images from the first Tūranga “Exhibition” event featuring 8 High Schools League of Legends teams from Ōtautahi. We held this tournament in collaboration with PBTech who provided spot prizes and a commentator! The first prize cheque and trophy you will see below was kindly sponsored by TSB. COVID restrictions prevented us repeating this Exhibition match in 2021 so the trophy still sits with Burnside High School who played off against runners up Christchurch Boys High School. Who wants the silverware in 2022?

Cashmere High School

Cashmere High School has two Valorant teams that attend weekly during term time. Interesting to note that they have not yet entered a team into the National High School Competition but have decided to spend 2022 on practice ready to “do battle” in 2023. They use South Library in Colombo St as their “home field,” where you may spot them practising on Thursday afternoons.

Hornby High School

Hornby High School students have been heavily involved in esports in Christchurch and were one of the 8 teams at our first exhibition tournament in 2020. Since then they have made Te Hāpua Halswell Centre Library their “home field.” You’ll find them there competing during the season on Tuesdays. You’ll often find them on other days practising as well. Sport Canterbury gaming equipment is very well utilised by our Hornby ākonga.

Avonside Girls High School

The Avonside Girls High crew is the only all female team that has entered the National High School League from the Esports Christchurch community. Esports Ōtautahi is delighted to host this team each week at the New Brighton community Library learning centre where they get exclusive access to the PCs and all of the Sport Canterbury supplied peripherals. Diversity is essential to growing the inclusive model for esports in Christchurch that we are building.

Ao Tawhiti Gamers

Ao Tawhiti school operates in the CBD of Ōtautahi Christchurch and utilise the many great facilities and opportunities that their location allows. Gaming is no exception and at the height of 2021 (as COVID restrictions allowed) Tūranga – Christchurch Central Library hosted up to 40 gamers per session.

Hillmorton High School

Great to see Hillmorton High School utilising Te Hāpua Halswell Centre Library for their newly formed Esports Club. League of Legends for the younger ākonga but the seniors pretty keen on Valorant.

Te Waka Unua – Education and Esports

Library and ImpactEd teamed up to deliver to Te Waka Unua students an innovative education programme over a period of weeks called Minecraft and Mātauranga – Land of Voyagers where ākonga learned about the story of migration and other information around ancient navigators. As part of these sessions we incorporated Esports Speed Build challenges which proved to be very popular and a lot of fun.

MSI giveaway

MSI gaming sent down a big box full of their cute MSI dragons which were hugely popular with our High School gamers. MSI had to send reinforcements to the kids that missed out first time round.

Ao Tawhiti Minecraft

A full session of Minecrafters at Tūranga. There was a mix of both Java and Education Edition hosts as well as some build battles for a bit of friendly competition!