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PITTSBURGH (June 17, 2022) – The Pittsburgh Knights professional esports organization announced today the launch of a third Knights Gaming Zone as part of the team’s “City of Champions” educational initiative in celebration of Juneteenth.  Team sponsors Zenni Gaming, Boost Gaming, HyperX, Invstr, and Sheetz have provided support for the initiative, along with foundation partners’ The Heinz Endowments and POISE Foundation.

The newest Gaming Zone location in Pittsburgh is at YouthPlaces North (711 W. Commons).  It marks the third Knights Gaming Zone, joining locations at House of Manna (7240 Frankstown Ave.) in Homewood and at YouthPlaces Downtown (1037 Penn Ave.).  Opened earlier this year in February, the downtown YouthPlaces location in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is the inaugural Gaming Zone in town.

A grassroots youth development initiative, the Knights City of Champions program is committed to inspiring digital literacy by engaging youth from various backgrounds through esports events, STEM learning, and workforce training opportunities. The belief is gaming can be a path to boost computer and media skills, create community, foster competitive drive, and, ultimately, build a brighter, more equitable future.

YouthPlaces North will be equipped with six high speed PCs and HyperX gaming peripherals, as well as XBox consoles, courtesy of the Knights, Heinz Endowments and the team’s partners.  Eventually, the Knights hope to have a total of five Gaming Zones located in the Pittsburgh-area.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE City of Champions Program

As the city of Pittsburgh’s professional esports organization, we want to be a valued member of the community and an asset to the city of Pittsburgh,” says Knights president James O’Connor.  “Hopefully, the Gaming Zones we’re creating will bring the community together, create connections, drive greater digital literacy, and broaden horizons.  It will be extremely rewarding if one day down the road the Knights’ organization leadership included someone who was introduced to the world of esports through one of our community Gaming Zones.

Students attending the launch of the new YouthPlaces Gaming Zone will receive Knights City of Champions drawstring bags and a chance to enter a raffle to win esports prizes from the Knights sponsors.  There will also be a chance to play Madden and Rocket League utilizing the new gaming gear.  Food and beverages will also be provided at the event.

We’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest in the Gaming Zone at YouthPlaces downtown and we expect much of the same at this Gaming Zone location,” said Cynthia L. James, President & CEO.  “Our mission and approach includes ensuring youth have equitable access to programs/technology in their communities where they aren’t normally offered, so we’re excited to be able to bring this to our city’s Northside youth.


YouthPlaces creates safe spaces and experiences to inspire young people to imagine, explore and design their futures.  We focus our efforts on underserved youth in high-risk communities where few other agencies operate.  Our high-quality afterschool programs engage youth from within their community, and are responsive to input and feedback from youth leaders and the community as a whole.  For more information about YouthPlaces:  https://youthplaces.org/about-yp/


about the knights

The Pittsburgh Knights are a global esports organization headquartered in Pittsburgh. Since launching in 2017, the Knights have focused on entertaining fans, sharing esports, and bringing people together. They solidified their spot in the City of Champions by partnering with six-time Super Bowl winners the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. Since then, Pittsburgh-native and multi-platinum recording artist Wiz Khalifa has come on board as a strategic partner. Adding to their troop is Pittsburgh Penguins’ alternate captain Evgeni Malkin – 3-time Stanley Cup winner. To cap off their powerhouse group, they brought on Mexico City-based media fund MX LATAM in 2019. Officially recognized by Pittsburgh as a premier team, they have partnered with the most talented, innovative, and prestigious sports and entertainment industry leaders – both in the city and around the world.

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