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.




Garden State Esports envisions a future where esports, like traditional sports, is recognized as a key contributor to positive youth development. We aim to lead this change, adapting to the evolving needs of our students and community. Our commitment to academic excellence, diversity, and comprehensive education in esports distinguishes us as a leader in the scholastic esports field.




We cultivate a community that is not simply diverse but genuinely inclusive, where every individual feels valued and has equal opportunities to thrive. 97% of our participants report making at least one new friend and 93% report now having a sense of belonging at school because of esports. More than 75% of students report coming to school more often and trying harder in class because of esports.

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 400+ 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 our 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.

Prepare Students For The Future

GSE recognizes the massive career opportunities for students in and around the gaming industry, especially in New Jersey, and equips them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this dynamic field. Students gain valuable insights into career fields such as game design, entrepreneurship, broadcasting, virtual production, and interactive 3D preparing them for a range of in-demand, lucrative career opportunities.

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.

Enhance Academic Performance

Assist stakeholders in understanding and leveraging esports to improve student engagement, attendance, and academic achievement. Our programs are particularly impactful because many students who join esports teams have not previously participated in any school activities. These students find a sense of belonging and motivation in esports that can be used for better life and learning outcomes for students and recapture funding, like Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funding for schools.

Hands-on Career and Technical Education Programming

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!

Give Students A Sense Of Belonging

While the gaming world is remarkably diverse, this diversity is not reflected in the esports industry and its supporting sectors. Garden State Esports is committed to bridging this gap. We proactively develop and implement initiatives aimed at supporting students of color, women, marginalized genders, and students with special needs.

The Team

Founder & President

Chris Aviles

Vice President

Regina Schaffer

Vice President of Curriculum

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

Director of Broadcaster Education

Beau ``Protroid`` LaManna


Mike Seeley

Founder and Advisor

Steve Isaacs