ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Hundreds of people from all over the state came to compete in a unique type of sports tournament Saturday. The event was held at the Albuquerque Public Schools Berna Facio Professional Development Center.

A total of 350 people were in attendance at New Mexico Championship Series which is believed to be the first official esports tournament in the state. It was all organized by teens at Albuquerque Public Schools (APS).

“An event where all teams can play no matter what age level. No matter team you are on, every team you have, you can put them in a tournament,” said Organizer Titus Nichols, a Junior at La Cueva High School.

Four teams from across the state came to participate in the esports competition. The day began with an open play for anyone and everyone in the community to play games like Super Smash Bros, Madden, and the big game of the day, Rocket League.

The goal was to encourage a safe space for all students to play and build community. Eventgoers said esports is a growing trend. One former APS student even said the sport opened more doors for him.

Chris Simpson, who recently graduated from Del Norte High, was given a scholarship to attend New Mexico Tech because of his esports career.

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“It gave me a career. It gave me a future, and it gave me a vision like, okay, I can do this,” Simpson said.

Saturday’s event also showcased a match of New Mexico rivals New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico in a Rocket League match as well as a championship match between NMSU and La Cueva High School.

This was a first-of-its-kind tournament in the state. Organizers said they plan on making this a reoccurring competition going forward.