It’s Game Time at Cleveland Public Library | The Library set to host the Make Them Know Your Name Esports Event

Graphic of Denzel Ward and an illustration of a Gaming Control

Put your game face on and join NFL star Denzel Ward and his foundation, Make Them Know Your Name (MTKYN), for a day of gaming at Cleveland Public Library.

In collaboration with the Library’s CPL Play program, MTKYN will host an esports free play and tournament at our Main Campus in downtown Cleveland on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The all-day event, powered by Union Home Mortgage, will include speakers, food, prizes, and more.

Event Schedule:

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Free Play
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.Lunch & Speaker Sessions
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.Tournament

“We encourage all gamers and their families to join us for a fun day of learning and exploration,” Nicole Ward, Executive Director of The Make Them Know Your Name Foundation and Denzel Ward’s mother. “Everyone is invited no matter your gaming level or knowledge.”

Professional gamers and local esports coaches will offer tips and tricks and provide expert advice on career opportunities in gaming. Featured games for free play include Madden NFL 23, NBA2K23, FIFA23, The King of Fighters XV, Overwatch 2, and Splatoon 3.

Top gamers from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will take on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in a tournament to win college scholarships.

“Cleveland Public Library is proud to host the Make Them Know Your Name esports event. Together, we will expose children and adults to endless opportunities available in esports,” said Tristan Wheeler, Project Coordinator, and organizer of CPL Play at Cleveland Public Library.

“Esports is so much more than video games. It fosters collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Through play, children can build self-confidence, strengthen communication skills, and improve their mental health,” adds Ward. “Esports has shown that everyone doesn’t have to play football to be a team player or a leader. Gaming can set children on a path of success for life.”

The Make Them Know Your Name Foundation strives to help prevent heart-related fatalities in communities across the nation. The Foundation provides resources to educate people about heart health. Denzel Ward and his family experienced first-hand the unexpected loss of their patriarch, Paul G. Ward, Jr., to cardiac arrest. He was 46 years old. His premature death left behind a purpose and a legacy to continue.

Ward remarks, “The Make Them Know Your Name Foundation is a labor of love. The esports event combines Denzel’s passion for gaming, community, education, and heart health. We look forward to seeing everyone at Cleveland Public Library.”

For more information about the Make Them Know Your Name esports event and the CPL Play program at Cleveland Public Library, visit or