600 Festival launches gaming competition and PRO-AM
On May 26, Carolina FinTech Hub’s Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camp (YTAC) program will kick off Motor Mania, a brand-new event from the 600 Festival, the nonprofit organization behind the annual Circle K Speed Street festival. The gaming tournament, presented by Circle K, invites high school seniors from Mecklenburg, Iredell and Cabarrus Counties to compete against each other for a chance to win $2,000 in scholarship dollars ($1,000 to each winning team member), as well as an opportunity to compete against the pros.
The event, which will focus on Rocket League, can host up to 32 high school seniors. It will take place over five days, starting Wednesday, May 26. Over the first three days, the seniors will compete in 2v2 rounds leading up to the PRO-AM on Saturday, May 29, in which the final 4 teams will be paired with a professional Rocket League player for a 3v3 tourney. All of this leads to the Grand Finals, which will take place on Sunday, May 30.
"May is such a big month for racing in our region, and historically, we've marked the occasion with a series of events that culminates with Circle K Speed Street," said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and president of the 600 Festival board of directors. "This year, with Circle K Speed Street taking place in October, we wanted another way to celebrate one of racing's biggest months. Motor Mania was a perfect fit, giving us the opportunity to dive into the gaming space and help out local seniors on their way to college.”
Motor Mania will take place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. In lieu of a live audience, Motor Mania will be streamed live online, via the 600 Festival social media channels. Participation for the event is first come, first served, and interested gamers can register via the Motor Mania website.
This event is about so much more, too. “There’s a new way emerging to educate kids and get our young adults interested in STEM, and it’s all about meeting them where they are and caring about what they care about,” said Tariq Bokhari, founder of the Carolina Fintech Hub. “It’s all about giving them deeper access and intensive experiences in the things they are interested in, and then showing them how technology makes it work. The Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camp (YTAC) has found like-minded partners such as 600 Festival and Circle K, as we are pushing the envelope at the intersection of STEM, esports and racing, it’s the kids that end up taking the checkered flag.”
As in 2019, Circle K is excited to partner with the 600 Festival on a ground-breaking event. “Motor Mania gives us something to celebrate this Memorial Day weekend, a time when we’ve long earmarked for Circle K Speed Street,” said Robin Donoho, director of marketing for Circle K. “We’re thrilled to give local students an opportunity to compete for scholarship dollars, to bring our community together as much as we can and to get ready for the return of Circle K Speed Street this fall.”
Circle K Speed Street will now take place Oct. 7 - 9 in Romare Bearden Park. More information about bands, partners and features will come later this summer vis the 600 Festival website.
About Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camp (YTAC): YTAC is a first-of-its-kind workforce training program for youth that intertwines esports competition and game development with a custom development curriculum that exposes High School students to career pathways in technology. Said another way, this program meets students in areas that naturally interest them and uses e-Sports and friendly competition as a gateway to STEM, and how technology and coding can offer an exciting career and life.
About Circle K Speed Street: Circle K Speed Street has been promoted and produced exclusively by CSM Production since 1996. For more information on the 600 Festival Association, https://600festival.com/or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.