Teesside University’s Esports Society is set to compete in a national league competition.
Teams from universities up and down the country are going to compete in the National University Esports League and National Student Esports leagues.
Teesside University Esports Society has mustered nine teams across League of Legends, Valorant, Rocket League, Rainbow 6: Siege and Overwatch, that will be competing in the leagues.
Jacob ‘Flabajack’ Tomkinson is the Chair of TU’s Esports Society, with experience of semi-professional Overwatch and years of coaching experience, he has been passionate about competitive gaming since he was young.
He said: “Esports and gaming in general was a passion for me since I was young, I always wanted to play on stage like the pro’s and always looked up to those people as my “influential figures.”
“This was a big determining factor when I decided to leave my degree course at my hometown universityto study in Teesside for games development.”
Jacob was pleased with the number of members the society had managed to gather and was excited at the prospect of the society having it’s own space on campus.
He said: “We have close to 70 paying members, including several alumni.”
“We hope to see more growth in the future with our plans to obtain a dedicated space at the University where we can host LAN events, socials, and mini tournaments to promote esports and gaming at the university.“
Jacob talked about what he though of the scope of Esports in the UK and how we could be more ambitious.
He said: “I feel like Esports is already relatively big in the UK but not to the same extent as Korea or China.”
“To achieve larger growth in the UK I feel like there needs to be a better understanding of what Esports is.”
Jacob wanted to be clear that the society is for everyone.
He said: “We welcome all players from the most casual to the highest ranked competitive and beyond.”
“The society was made to be a place for university students to come and play games, get coaching and play competitively among other students.
“We also aim for it to be a safe space for anyone among the gaming community, regardless of gender, sex, race, religion.”
Esports is a fast growing industry in our increasingly digitised world. Asia and and North America are the main forces driving change and innovation within the highly competitive scene.
The esports market was valued at $947m in 2020, seeing a 1.1% fall from 2019. The fall is a result of Covid-19 forcing event runners to cancel or post-pone their big events or forcing them to switch to an online format.
While the Asian and North American markets make up the majority of that revenue, western Europe represents 18% of the figure, $175.3m.
Globally we saw companies have to rapidly adjust to a socially distanced world. Bandai Namco pulled support for their 2020 world tours, Riot Games switched the format of the League of Legends Championship Series to an online format. A bit closer to home ESL one Birmingham’s physical event was cancelled.
While esports seems to be under-appreciated in the UK, many companies have held major events here. In 2015 Riot Games chose to hold the quarter-finals of the League of Legends World Championship in London, at the Wembley Arena.
The event saw 16 teams from around the world gather in cities across Europe to compete for their cut of a £1,552,312 prize pool. The event saw Korea’s SK Telecom T1 claim the Summoner’s Cup for the second time in the teams history.
With World Esports Day returning later this month I wanted to look at how the UK has connected with the rising industry and how we can be party to it’s success.
EPIC34, is set to be the next competitive event in the UK this year. The meet will see teams from titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant and Starcraft 2 compete for the top spots. The 700 people will descend on Kettering Conference Centre from October 28th-31st 2021.