Our Mahi

SMART Cities Innovation Expo 2023

The 2023 SMART Cities Innovation expo had a strong esport presence in 2023. Everything from Vex Robotics High School competition to the Ōtautahi Fighting Games community challenge. Also a highlight was the Minecraft Speed Build challenge competition for our Primary aged ākonga. Combined with that, there were PB Tech led PC Build workshops and a vast array of VR gaming and experiences. These esport and gaming sessions allow our tamariki and rangatahi a fun way to engage with technology and hopefully draw those interested into the potential of careers in tech. This video is a highlight of a whole range of the offerings at this event that attracted over 8000 people over the weekend. 2024 will likely be bigger and better.

League of Legends Academic Challenge 2023

PB Tech, UC Gaming Guild, Oneshot Gaming Lounge and Esports Ōtautahi working with the Christchurch City Libraries collaborated recently to host a Great League of Legends tournament at the end of April . 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 great gaming related spectator activities it was a very successful, fun esports community event. Thanks also to Jeff Villapando from JRV films for editing this great highlights clip.

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 at the Te Hāpua Halswell Centre Library venue. 1st Place was taken out by Anaru Quinn aka Shredder with 2nd Place going to Callum Entwhistle aka Flawless.

Te Ōtautahi Ace - Valorant tournament.

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.

National Finals journey for Burnside High School

A combined team of ākonga – students from Burnside High School and Christchurch Boys High – the “best of the best” from Ōtautahi – Christchurch win the Regional High School Esports League of Legends competition and compete at the National Finals at Sky City in Tamaki Makaurau – Auckland. This video shows a little of their pre-finals journey and includes footage of their weekly competition matches at Upper Riccarton Library. Great example of the gaming community coming together in one space to meet and compete. Big thanks to Enable and SMART Cities Christchurch for helping to get them to the event. They even made their own t-shirts at the Library. Ōtautahi gaming community are very proud of this team. Huge thanks go to their dedicated kaiako – teachers as well for their dedication and support. Narrowly defeated in the finals gave them 2nd place in New Zealand, a fantastic result.

Sport Canterbury Esports event at Tūranga Library

A fun opportunity for Ākonga – High School students, to teach staff  from Sport Canterbury New Zealand how to play Esports titles Valorant and Rocket League. The hope here was that they would recognise the skills, teamwork and tenacity required to play these games competitively. To really see the “sport” aspect of esports It was a fun day with a lot of laughter and some great feedback. 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 one of the Library facilities 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.

2022 NZMA Valorant Exhibition Match

A successful Valorant Exhibition Match very professionally run by a group of NZMA students studying Esports 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. 


Minecraft Wero Hanga - Speed Build Challenge

Based on Sir Ian Taylor’s Matauranga – Voyagers kaupapa, this “wero hanga” combined education with the fun of an esports challenge that saw 12 local schools put up teams of four yr 7 & 8 ākonga to produce the best waka hourua – twin hulled vessel. With just two sessions of 10 minutes per school group, it was amazing to see what they managed to produce. Regardless of the outcome, the engagement is plain to see in the video below. This may end up being the first of many incorporating the educational aspect of Sir Ian’s voyagers kaupapa . Delivered as a collaborative effort including Christchurch City Libraries, Esports Ōtautahi, ImpactEd, Victory Up, Ngāti Gaming and Digital Natives Academy. Playtech supplied the gaming rigs and Harvey Norman some amazing prizes. A great day.

Sport Canterbury Gaming Equipment Unboxing

Esports Ōtautahi was extremely excited to gain Sport Canterbury recognition for Esports as a legitimate sport for High School Teams. The community benefits of Esports in Libraries is such that Sport Canterbury gifted a large amount of Mechanical Gaming Keyboards and Mice to the Libraries for use in our esports sessions.

League of Legends Tournament Pentakill

Great piece of commentary from Evie Howell our amazing League of Legends Commentator accompanied by Tyler Coster, one of our PBTech collaborators. This piece is very exciting as it shows a brilliant Pentakill during a tournament coming from a talented Christchurch Boys High School player.

2021 High School Regional Finals Tūranga

Just prior to the second COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent changes to restrictions within public spaces. Esports Ōtautahi was fortunate enough to be able to host the Victory Up in running the South Island Regional Finals for League of Legends. Great competition with Christchurch Boys High just managing to beat Burnside High School in the final. Great to have Ashburton College in the mix as well.

First esports tournament 2020 Tūranga

This video shows the set-up and action at the Inaugural League of Legends High School Tournament in 2020. From the stress of getting ready the night before set-up through to the mihi whakatau from our Māori services team rep. Also captures a brief interview with the victors Burnside High School team and coach.

Education and Esports in Minecraft

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.

Podcasts on Esports in Libraries

Conversations between Librarian Bridie Anderson and participants in esports.  Hear from Henry Lawton of Victory Up around his journey from being a gamer through to founding Victory Up and running the Nationwide High School Esports League in Aotearoa. Discussion points include, diversity and digital equity within gaming as well as the myriad benefits for Rangatahi through involvement in esports. Hear also from a local High School team, their inspiring coach and a very talented esports commentator in these informative and fascinating interviews. Find more Ngā Kōrero Auaha – Creative Stories on the Christchurch City Libraries website here.

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Henry Lawton on Esports
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Coach, Team and Commentator