Esports Roundup: Warwick Opens Esports Centre

Hello, Friends!

Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie esports roundup! This week, Esports is coming home; Warwick opens an Esports Centre, WePlay announce its Rocket League tournament and Mario Kart goes on tour in UK Schools. If you want to feature in this roundup, then please contact mat@geekybrummie.com.

Warwick Opens £275,000 Esports Centre

Bringing esports home to the West Midlands.

The University of Warwick will celebrate the opening of its new Esports Centre with a special two-day celebration of esports and technological innovation in the West Midlands.

The uni will welcome local residents and the wider public to the Esports Centre for an official opening of the new facilities. The afternoon will include talks from leading esports figures and tournaments – and will include the awarding of the NSE’s BUEC trophy.

The opening will take place on 15th September from 11 am to 5 pm.

What’s in the centre?

The Centre provides cutting-edge facilities that can help in training and research into esports, and provide an adaptable competition venue.

The Esports Centre is equal to any other such facility in the UK. It’s being supported by £275,000 of investment by the university and also marks the first at a Russell Group university.

The centre will provide a significant range of benefits both to Warwick and the surrounding region:

  • Skills development that will synergies with many industries, particularly the creative and digital sector.
  • Talent generation for Silicon Spa, the largest creative cluster outside Greater London
  • New research opportunities for staff and students alike in subjects areas as diverse as Applied Linguistics and personalised health
  • New and novel tourism opportunities as conference delegates and esports fans come to events and tournaments at the Centre
  • A variety of jobs coaching, producing, and managing esports initiatives at the Centre
  • Increased opportunities and skills development in a range of careers. Particularly for young people in the local community, students and graduates
  • Support for young people and community groups and to explore the educational and social benefits of playing and team-building
  • Supporting businesses in the gaming and esports industry use the facility as a test bed for innovation;
  • Connecting non esports businesses with researchers to further investigate how they can benefit from the emerging industry.

What does the Uni say?

Commenting on the launch of the Esports Centre, and what it will bring to the Warwick community, Jack Fenton, Warwick’s Esports Consultant, said:

“As esports continues to flourish globally, it is vital that we bring together the technological and scientific skills to take esports to the next level. The University of Warwick’s new Esports Centre will provide us with the ideal facility to develop new understandings of the psychological and nutritional needs of competitors, teach the next generation the technical and technological skills necessary to take esports forward, and will enable us to bring together and support an inclusive community of competitors in an environment that allows collaboration to thrive. I can’t wait to see the positive impact the centre will have on campus and within our wider community.”

What impact does this have on the region?

With the new centre, Warwick aims to build on the success of their esports competitors – who retained the title of UK Esports University of the Year for the third time in succession.

Warwickshire’s Silicon Spa is internationally recognised as a games cluster generating some of the best-known games titles and brands. Located at the heart of the Warwick campus, the new esports centre provides a new opportunity for developing new talent. The centre will seek to work closely with regional and national partners including CWLEP, Create Central, and the West Midlands Combined Authority to lead on esports.

Overall, this is some fantastic news for the region. I can’t wait to see how the new centre will help bring the region to the forefront of esports and gaming.

For further information on Warwick Esports please visit their website here.

(All images credited to @Charlottesartz and @Storyboxsquarted on behalf of University of Warwick)

UK School Children to Learn STEM skills through Esports

Digital Schoolhouse, Nintendo UK and Outright Games launch first-ever national junior esports tournament.

UKIE’s Digital SchoolhouseNintendo UK and Outright Games have teamed up to provide a new ‘careers experience’ for pupils aged 8 to 11 which teaches them how to organise and run their own event.

The Digital Schoolhouse Junior eSports Tournament 2021-2022 is an immersive careers experience for pupils aged 8 to 11 which brings industry careers to life in the classroom with the help of competitive games on Nintendo Switch.

The tournament provides teachers with a six-week lesson plan to teach to their pupils. It allows pupils to take part in real job roles within the video games industry through a range of lessons and activities. The plan is mapped to subjects on the curriculum such as Computing, English, Maths, Design & Technology (DT) and PersonalSocial, Health and Economic Education (PSHE).

What’s in the lesson plan?

Lessons include an introduction to the world of eSports, before teaching children the breadth of roles involved in the industry, and then how to set up a tournament.

Activities include organising a fixtures list, setting up hardware, developing marketing materials, shoutcasting and actually playing the game.

The lesson plan includes bespoke resources for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Race With Ryan and Crayola Scoot, but teachers can replace them with any game of their choice (with the appropriate PEGI rating, of course) using a generic lesson pack template.

A pilot version of the scheme took place in 2020, with over 700 pupils across seven schools taking part. Following the programme over 55% of pupils in the pilot engaged with STEM subjects.

Why should Schools get involved?

As this initiative demonstrates, there are plenty of opportunities to teach STEM skills through video games and esports. STEM suffers significantly from a brand issue, with many young people turning away from STEM careers because of the lack of relevancy or support in teaching STEM subjects. This initiative supports teachers in giving opportunities to educate children in STEM through a relevant and engaging platform.

The West Midlands is a hotbed for digital and tech, as well as gaming. This is a unique opportunity for schools to lean into our strengths and unlock new pathways to highly demanded careers.

To register your school on the programme visit this link. For further information on Digital School House, head over to their website here.

UK Teams Take Part in Rocket League WePlay Esports Invitational

Both teams will be competing for the $100,000 prize pool.

UK Esports organisations Guild Esports and Semper Esports will compete in the WePlay invitational for Rocket League.

The tournament will take place online this week from the 16th to 19th September 2021. 16 teams will take part overall: eight from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and eight teams from North America. The teams from each region will compete with each other in a Double Elimination Bracket format (BO7). Teams will be competing from a total prize pool of $100,000.

Guild Esports recently signed the Young STEM Personality of the Year as an ambassador. While Semper Esports recently rebranded from Top Blokes.

Both teams have the potential to go far in the tournament. I look forward to seeing how they get on.

The English-language broadcast will be hosted from WePlay Esports Arena in Kyiv. For further information on how to watch, please visit their website here.

That’s it from me folks, I’ll catch you on the flip side!

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