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Some high schools will get varsity Smash and Splatoon 2 this fall

Mario Kart 8 will debut in 2022

Splatoon 2 - green ink Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Nintendo and PlayVS, a platformer for scholastic esports, announced a partnership that means this fall, some high school students will have the ability to pick up Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or Splatoon 2 as a varsity-level game.

Nintendo and PlayVS have a partnership with state and national high school athletic association that allow them to introduce these Switch games as an officially sanctioned high school varsity match. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be introduced as an official league as well in spring 2022.

Nintendo has had a complex relationship with esports. The company has created a number of competitive titles, and has organized official Splatoon 2, Pokemon, and Smash Bros. tournaments. However, they often stand at odds with the greater esports community. In 2020, Nintendo of America gave a cease and desist order to The Big House, one of the premier events in competitive Smash Bros. over the use of Slippi, an unapproved rollback netcode that makes Super Smash Bros. Melee playable online.

Schools can check to see what games are eligible for their varsity leagues, and for high school coaches interested in signing up as an esports coach, there’s a waitlist available on the PlayVS site.