Photo courtesy of Ability360
Independence Day this year will hold a new excitement for eSports enthusiasts and supporters of inclusive sports, as Ability360 introduces its inaugural Independence Cup. Scheduled for July 4, this groundbreaking eSports tournament will spotlight inclusivity in gaming, with the fast-paced game Rocket League taking center stage. The event seeks to raise funds for the Ability360 Phoenix Rising Power Soccer Team, with corporate sponsorships ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
Player registration opened on May 26, and the event is already attracting interest from across the gaming community. “We’re very excited about this new opportunity to bring attention to our diverse supports and programs for people with disabilities,” says Chris Rodriguez, president and CEO of Ability360.
The Independence Cup promises not only thrilling Rocket League action, but also a platform to celebrate adaptive sports. Power Soccer, the game loved and played by those who Ability360’s tournament seeks to honor, shares a common theme with Rocket League – playing soccer in non-traditional ways.
Power Soccer caters specifically to individuals with disabilities, with players using power wheelchairs in place of conventional soccer maneuvers. Over the years, it has gained international recognition as an adaptive sport, with tournaments taking place worldwide.
The Independence Cup pays tribute to Ability360 Power Soccer players Austin Cuaderno and Everett Frahm, who were cherished members of the community. Tony Jackson, Ability360 Power Soccer coordinator, athlete, and coach, says, “”The Ability360 Independence Cup is a wonderfully fitting way to honor Austin and Everett, both incredible power soccer athletes and dear friends. Funds raised will help us continue sharing the sport they loved with a new generation of adaptive sport athletes.”
All proceeds raised from the Independence Cup will directly benefit the Ability360 Phoenix Rising Power Soccer Program, fueling its mission to make adaptive sports accessible to all.
Meghan Fable, director of development at Ability360, encourages anyone interested in supporting the event to reach out. As the organization presents its first-ever inclusive gaming tournament, Ability360 is setting an example for the industry, highlighting the significant role inclusive gaming plays in the broader sporting landscape.
In a world where eSports are rapidly gaining popularity, the Ability360 Independence Cup serves a dual purpose: fostering a sense of community and inclusivity in the gaming world, while honoring the legacy of two beloved athletes. As Rocket League players gear up for the tournament, the spirit of the event echoes far beyond the virtual playing field: it’s about empowerment, remembrance, and the joy of sport. For more information, visit ability360.org/360esports.