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Mayor Adams and Schools Chancellor Banks Announce Launch of the Minecraft Education Battle of the Boroughs Esports Competition

  • Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2023

Students and educators are encouraged to enter the competition before the April 5, 2023 deadline.

NEW YORK – Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David C. Banks today announced the launch of the official submission period of the 2023 New York City Minecraft Education Battle of the Boroughs (BOTB) ahead of the first ever in-person BOTB, scheduled for Spring 2023. Submissions for student teams are open now, and close on April 5, 2023. 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. 

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, 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 improvement plans. Students will develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a fun and immersive way. Students can refer to the Mayor’s message here for a glimpse of what this project will look like.

“As mayor, I am focused on building a city for everyone — a city I wanted to see when I was young. Thanks to Microsoft and C40, students can access programs like Minecraft’s Battle of the Boroughs and put the power directly in their hands, allowing them to share their great ideas and ‘Get Stuff Done’ for our city from their classrooms,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “By nurturing our bright young minds and preparing our students to be the future leaders in green industries, we are building an even greater New York City, and I can’t wait to see what they can do.”

“In each of our schools, bright young minds are preparing to become the future city leaders, educators, engineers and change makers of New York. The Battle of the Boroughs allows our students to take their innovative ideas and activate them in a virtual space, learning teamwork skills and practicing problem solving along the way,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “I’m so grateful to our partners across the city and in the private sector for their dedication to making this possible for our kids and am excited to see what amazing things our students will create.”

"The Battle of the Boroughs is one way the Adams administration is doubling down on our commitment in the ‘Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent’ Blueprint for New York City's Economic Recovery to make New York City a global hub for digital game development,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “This competition, alongside our investments in digital gaming training, internships, and educational pathway programs, will help strengthen the industry by fostering talent in our New York City public schools, while inspiring them to think creatively about how to build sustainable, future-focused cities. We are thrilled to partner with Microsoft to kick off this year’s Battle of the Boroughs esports competition!"

"A strong talent pipeline is essential for the growth of New York City’s burgeoning digital games industry," said Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo. "We are proud to partner on the Battle of the Boroughs Minecraft Challenge to showcase the next generation of designers, developers and players."

“This innovative program engages New York City young people in sustainability, design, and critical thinking. We need all hands on deck to address the crisis of climate change - and the smallest hands are most essential, as the leaders of the future must envision, and help create, a climate-ready city,” said Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice.

“This collaborative program is a great example of the power of public-private partnerships to change the way we work on, and think about, climate change,” said Rohit T. Aggarwala, Chief Climate Officer and Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection. “I look forward to seeing the students’ designs and learning from their bold visions for a future-ready city.”

“We can’t create a green future without the ideas and leadership of young people,” said Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40. “Schools Reinventing Cities offers a unique, engaging opportunity for young people around the world to learn about science-based city climate actions. Sharing their best and boldest ideas with their teachers, school mates and policy makers, they can help reinvent their own city. C40 Cities is thrilled to work with Minecraft Education and the Mayor of New York to help students create a resilient and sustainable New York. I can’t wait to see their solutions for safe, well-connected neighborhoods that don’t leave anyone behind.”

Allison Matthews, Head of Minecraft Education, said, “Students from around the world have amazed us with their creativity in designing inclusive and sustainable solutions for their communities in Minecraft build challenges. We are thrilled that through this partnership with NYC DOE and C40, we will connect these ideas directly to New York leadership. The Battle of the Boroughs esports competition will build teamwork and collaboration, inspire future careers, and show us all what kind of city today's youth want to live in. We can't wait to see what they come up with!”

Qualifying teams will move on to Semi-Finals for their Borough’s Championship, then Finals at a soon to be announced location. Borough winning teams will compete in the Finals, where the winner will be awarded the first annual 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.

"The work of creating a greener future must always include the voices and leadership of our students," said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. "The Schools Reinventing Cities initiative is a powerful platform to foster collaboration amongst our students and let them design and share their vision of how we can build a more sustainable New York."

“We are excited for this year`s Minecraft Education Battle of the Boroughs! I cannot speak for any other borough, but I know our Bronx students are ready to compete and to win! Thank you to Mayor Adams and Schools Chancellor Banks for their support of this important and fun-filled initiative. We look forward to highlighting the creativity and innovativeness of our Bronx youth,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson.

“This year’s Battle of the Boroughs is poised to be the best one yet. Our youngest New Yorkers are more and more engaged every year in the future of this City, and I’m so excited to see what bold, creative ideas they’ll come up with,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Make no mistake: we already know that Brooklyn is the greatest borough in this city, but I can’t wait for our students to show just why that is. A huge thank you to Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks for teaming up with Minecraft to bring the future of this city into view.”

"The Battle of the Boroughs provides a unique opportunity for students to learn more about city planning. New York City students will be able to hone everyday skills used in the classroom such as team building and critical thinking which will prepare them for the future. This initiative shows New York City students that their contributions matter and creativity can exist while learning,” said Council Member Rita Joseph.

“I look forward to the launch of Mayor Adams’ Battle of the Boroughs competition , where the Bronx’ brightest minds will hone their critical thinking and problem-solving skills,” said Assemblymember Michael Benedetto.