The growth  in popularity of esports has exploded  over the last decade.

As video games become more popular, it’s no wonder students are starting to express a desire to represent their universities in competitions.

Competing in video games is not just about playing games, it’s about winning.

To be the best requires mental fortitude, dedication, adaptability and teamwork. You need to say one step ahead of the competition.

Sometimes it’s by using off-meta champion drafts in League of Legends, or learning those important grenade line-ups that break you onto the bomb site in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Assad 'the beasttt' Ramzan and his team at a Belong Arena finals
Assad ‘the beasttt’ Ramzan and his team at Belong Arena clash finals

Assad ‘the beasttt’ Ramzan graduated from Teesside University last year but continues to moderate the esports group’s discord server, helps to organise events and works with Belong.

Esports isn’t as widely popular in the UK as some places but Assad explained how he got started.

He said: “Four  years ago I started in small League of Legends league called CompeteLeague.”

“It was a small tournament that picked up speed rapidly and some of the current casters(think commentators), Ender and Captain Flowers are now casting in the LEC and LCS respectively.

“In general I’ve been playing LoL for about six years and at a high level for four.

“I have also played CSGO in the NUEL.

 “I currently organise social events, work with other societies and manage the societies funding and advertising.

 “We hold viewing parties for big tournaments, in-house tournaments for society members and trips to the local Belong arena.”

The Belong arenas are gaming centres homed in Game stores around the country.

They field teams of local players(Teesside Steelers) against other regions in a wide variety of games and are a huge benefit to the recognition of esports across the UK.

Belong is also well connected with the largest LAN competition in the UK, Insomnia, which has its next event in April 2020.

The LAN hall at the Insomnia Gaming Festival, the biggest esports competition in the UK
The LAN hall at the Insomnia Gaming Festival, the biggest esports competition in the UK

Assad said: “The university in the last year has fielded six  LoL teams,  four  CSGO teams, a DOTA  two team and a Hearthstone team in the National University Esports League.”

The NUEL has helped to create communities and societies at universities across the country and brought like minded people together over their desire to compete.

Their competitions are open to players of all abilities and experience.

If you’d like to get involved with the TU esports society you can find out more on the SU website or attend one of their socials every Wednesday at  6pm in the SU bar.

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