The first Moscow school games in the Games of Future format were held on October 8-9.
School students are studying phygital. And how! The combination of physical and digital has already become a part of our life. It is a superpower of a modern person to live in two worlds at the same time and, most importantly, feel comfortable in both. CYBERSCHOOL is just aspiring to such harmony, here kids study the usual subjects as well as some IT and esports disciplines. No wonder that the first ever phygital tournament for schoolkids was held in this school with the support of the Moscow center “Patriot Sport”.
Format and disciplines
The final of the first Moscow School games with the participation of pupils from 8 schools was held during holidays (on October 8-9). Young esportsmen were vying for the prizes in three phygital disciplines: phygital basketball (NBA2K22 + basketball 3×3), tactical battle (Valorant + VR-airsoft) and dance challenge (Just Dance). While “Just Dance” is phygital by definition – you need to physically repeat movements looking up to the virtual dancing heroes, but then in the other disciplines the score fixed after the digital part served as a start for the physical part. The tricky team classification principle played a key role as the teams who were leaders based on the aggregate score in all three disciplines qualified for the next round. It motivated the children to fight for every point, because based on the result of your match, you knew the score after the first stage and could try to bounce back on the second stage, then you knew nothing about the results your teammates achieved in the other disciplines. It means that every single point, every throw or every second was important.
Medalists of the First Moscow school games in the Games of Future format:
- CYBERSCHOOL team
- Surgut area team
- School 1502 team
NBA2K + basketball 3×3
While on the first competition day rather uneven teams in terms of their strength competed with each other, then during the final matches the battles for the medals were more captivating and quite emotional. But the scoring system was a factor, too. For example, the basketball team of school №1502 school hasn’t lost a match on both days and yet they finished only third because their teammates in tactical battle and dance challenge were not so successful. Team captain Denis Lukyanov said he liked the phygital format:
“As soon as we learnt about the tournament, we came to Max to practice on a game console”. Max added, looking out from behind Denis’ back: “We are awesome. We were practicing a lot, that is why we achieved such a result. Thanks to our coach”.
Polina Maslova, 11 grade student of CYBERSCHOOL, was the most prominent player of the phygital basketball tournament. She was the only girl to participate in this discipline on the second competition day. She has an incredible fighting spirit and a strong character. She is a member of the Russian national team in her age, that’s why she gave a hard time to both her teammates and her opponents.
The other player who made a splash at the tournament was Misha Korolev (№11). Even though he is not really tall, this quick and nimble player outclassed his taller opponents coming under the ring and scoring 3-pointers from beyond the three-point line.
Two persons from each school were participating in dance battles. The fight on the phygital dance floor was tight. Just a few points proved decisive in the final with pupils of the CYBERSCHOOL grabbing the title.
“The final match was really nerve-racking. We were holding our breath during 3 minutes of the final battle”, – Alexander Eremin, a pupil of CYBERSCHOOL and winner of the discipline shared his emotions. He started to play Just Dance at the beginning of the academic year, and here are the first achievements. “We were training hard. We gave it all to win the tournament, ‘Zenit’ by Onuka track brought us victory. My teammate Sasha was competing in the final dance”, – he said.
And speaking about practices – it is not just dancing during the school breaks, Anastasia SpaceMita Bolshakova, the Just Dance dancer and streamer was working with the guys. She is a Just Dance tutor in CYBERSCHOOL.
“Phygital for Just Dance community is not a novelty. We have been trying for 13 years to explain to people that there is more to esport than just a mouse and a keyboard. You can develop your body and earn points in the game and take part in the competitions”, – Anastasia recalls.
“It helps to improve stamina, coordination and here you need to think a lot and to memorize the choreography, and also to learn how to score points. It is not enough to just dance even if you know the choreography. There are certain nuances you have to pay attention to, and that’s what we are studying at our school”, – the tutor explains.
The debutant of the Just Dance competition Sasha Eremin commented on the phygital format:
“It was a great idea to combine these types of sports, here you can see that a person is good in games and also can prove himself in physical sport to achieve results”, – says the pupil of CYBERSCHOOL.
Valorant + VR-strikeball
“Now we are up to task and ready to enter the Games of Future in Kazan – Tolya Kozhevnikov, the captain of the CYBERSCHOOL team said joyfully hoisting the trophy after the award ceremony. They gathered a team a year ago and started practicing, they were trying to figure out which position suits better each team member. And the triumph came from the very first start. “I can say with confidence that we are a professional team already”, – the team captain noted.
“To play Valorant, and to run and have fun in VR-airsoft thereafter is very interesting. Thanks to such format you can pay more attention to physical training that helps you improve your stamina and reaction speed”, – says Tolya praising the merits of phygital sports.
His teammate Lyonya Likholetov aded:
“It was really exciting to compete with school №1502. We showed a good level of the game and so did our opponents. Because both teams, us and them, used their skills and were playing beautifully. Then, in VR, we played a close match. But we got a bit luckier in the 2nd round and managed to snatch the victory from them. The 2nd round was key for victory”.
Despite the score of the battle 13-4, the match was highly intense. The Valorant commentator of the tournament Alexander Nikolaev didn’t hide his emotions and wows and was quite appreciative of the skillful effort of both sides.
“To be honest, it was really tough”, – Lena Mikhalenko, a pupil of school № 1502 shared her experience. She substituted the team captain on the final day of the tournament. “The mental part is really important, even if you lost, you need to keep on fighting. It was really interesting to compete and to compare your level with the level of other teams”, – she concluded.