Xbox, Special Olympics USA Games Announce Forza Motorsport 7 Tournament

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2018

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MICROSOFT - Dan Greenawalt, Creative Director, Turn 10 Studios, unveils
Casey Rodgers/Associated Press

Athletes will compete in Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One at the Special Olympics USA Games in July, marking the first time there has been a video game tournament at the event. 

Microsoft Head of Gaming Phil Spencer said the following regarding the partnership, according to the Games' official website:

"At Microsoft, we believe that gaming is for everyone so we're proud to pilot the first gaming tournament at the Special Olympics USA Games this summer. Competitive video gaming is enjoyed by players around the world, and our goal with this pilot tournament is to challenge biases and breakdown barriers while providing an empowering and fun experience for all players."

The tournament will take place July 2 in Seattle, and each of the eight unified teams will feature one athlete with an intellectual disability and one athlete without an intellectual disability.

The announcement comes on the heels of Xbox releasing the adaptive controller last week, making it easier for those with disabilities to play video games:

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Including Forza in the Special Olympics USA Games is another step in the growing acceptance of gaming as a competitive sport.

Prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, an esports competition was staged as a test event, meaning it could one day be included in the official Olympic program.