A nonprofit founded by educators, Garden State Esports is the organizing body of scholastic esports for New Jersey. Our mission is to create high-quality, student-centered experiences through scholastic esports so ALL students can use esports as a platform to grow socially, emotionally, and academically.




While we love creating fun and rewarding competitive experiences for students, scholastic esports is about more than just gaming. We believe that esports can be used as a platform to help ALL students grow socially, emotionally, and academically:


Garden State Esports will empower students and coaches to create safe, inclusive spaces for everyone and teach them how to protect those spaces through self-advocacy and bystander intervention training.


Garden State Esports will help coaches and students make the connections among gaming, social & emotional learning, health & wellness, and digital citizenship.


Garden State Esports will provide opportunities for students to learn about career pathways by leveraging our collegiate and professional partnerships as well as teach coaches how to create hands-on experiences with jobs in the esports ecosystem.


Garden State Esports will work directly with all stakeholders of a school district to align their goals and strategic plan with our vision, but we also know that growing game-changing students doesn’t just happen in the classroom. We are committed to supporting community organizations like libraries, religious & community centers, and after-school programs who want to use esports as a powerful teaching tool.


Core Values


Learning » We connect learning and play in and out of the classroom so that students, educators, and families experience the real-world value of education through interest-driven learning.


Opportunity » We value safe and engaging opportunities for all students to connect, play, learn, and grow.


Community » We believe fostering a strong community of interconnected scholastic athletes who demonstrate leadership, accountability, commitment, and teamwork is good for students, schools, and all of New Jersey.


Diversity » We develop strong character and self-identity so that all participants celebrate individuality and differences.

Why Join GSE?

Run By NJ Educators For NJ Schools And Students

GSE isn’t our job, it’s our passion. Everyone at GSE is a full-time NJ educator. Together we have 200+ years combined teaching experience. We know your schools, we know your kids, and we know how to help make esports meet the learning goals of your school district.

Play Against Local Teams Using A Familiar Schedule

GSE does all the scheduling and match making so schools don’t have to. We group all GSE teams into their traditional athletic conferences to make sure they play against schools they’ve heard of! Our three season schedule follows the New Jersey athletic schedule that schools and students are used to.

Earn Varsity Letters

195 colleges are offering more than $16 million in esports scholarships for talented players and support staff. Every college and university in NJ has an esports program. GSE will work with your district to develop criteria to make sure your esports team is varsity letter eligible and stakeholders understand all the post-secondary opportunities available to students.

Supported by NJ DoE and School Boards Association

We are proud to have the support of the NJ Dept. of Education and the New Jersey School Boards Association. Check out our latest webinar on why your district should join Garden State Esports here.

Free To Join. Free To Play.

Our bottom line will always be to your students, not to investors. All GSE competitions, resources, and events will always be free. During the 2022-2023 school year alone, schools saved over $1.3 million in for-profit league dues by joining Garden State Esports!

Hands-on Career and Technical Education Program

Many GSE student-athletes dream of going pro, and that’s great, but having a backup plan is important. That’s why we offer an in-depth, hands-on Career and Technical Education program called CODEC. CODEC, or Career Oriented Disciplines in Esports Curriculum, is our NJ standards-aligned CTE curricula. We also host industry-focused events and workshops, and work with all stakeholders so they understand the college and career pathways available to students in the esports ecosystem. We even offer parent workshops!

Help Students Grow Socially and Emotionally

Our CASEL-aligned, Rutgers-studied social and emotional learning curriculum, EPPIC, will help your kids develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions all through the power of competitive gaming!

The Team

Founder & President

Chris Aviles

Vice President

Regina Schaffer

Director of Career and Technical Education

Jim McKowen

Director of Competition

Mike Johnson

Director Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health

Dr. Matt Strobel

Director of Programming

Alyssa Miller

Director of Computer Science & Cybersecurity

Traci Sellers

Director of Marketing

Deana Baumert

Director of Broadcasting and Production

Doug Boersma

Curricula Supervisor

Carla Segarra

College Outreach

Joshua Case


Christine Wozniak


Kiera Karl


Marcus Patterson


John Demarco

Director of Unified Programming

Kaitlynn Bunch


Ryan McGlennon


Brendan McCann


Mike Seeley

Founder and Advisor

Steve Isaacs