We were delighted to host the finals of this year’s British Esports Student Champs on Saturday 2 July and Sunday 3 July.
The weekend was full of fierce esports competition, Do It For Real experiences for Confetti students, and a great opportunity to unveil our brand new purpose-built esports complex, Confetti X! Read on to find out what went down…
The British Esports Student Championships is the premier competition in the UK for school and college students. Over the past year, 700+ teams and 3,000 players from across the UK have competed in a variety of games including: Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League and VALORANT. For those not in the know, these are some of the most competitive video game titles with their own dedicated esports scenes.
It’s the second year in a row that we’ve had the privilege of working on Student Champs. The 20/21 finals were held on campus, however, we had a restricted crowd due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our students and tech teams worked on the live broadcast and it performed wonderfully, generating a total of 182,000 live views on the British Esports Twitch channel throughout the weekend, with a max viewership of 9,800 people!
This year has seen a return to in-person events with large audiences, and for the 21/22 finals we pulled out all of the stops; the event was largely hosted at our brand new 100-seater esports venue, Confetti X! Once again our tech teams and scores of Confetti students worked on the live broadcast, and this time they benefitted from Confetti X’s incredible 4k broadcast and content creation infrastructure. Students from our Live and Technical Events students and Esports Production courses gained some really valuable experience working on the event production and live stream, combining their skillsets and learning from one another.
From the 700+ UK teams that competed in the British Esports Winter and Spring seasons throughout 2021/22, only the final 20 got the chance to duke it out in a LAN (local area network) event, with the many competitive games between finalists playing out on a live stage, showcasing Confetti X’s 4K LED video wall with LED wings!
The finalists included Queen Mary’s College Basingstoke (QM Samurai), Gower College Swansea (NWSLC), Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG), Cheshire College – South & West (CCSW), South Devon College (SDC Seagulls), Halesowen College, Exeter College (EXE), Farnborough Sixth Form College (Farnborough Falcons), Farnborough College of Technology (FCOT), Altrincham Grammar School for Boys (AGSB), Alva Academy (AAE), Stafford College (NSCG Tigers), Coleg Sir Gar (CSGG) and more. We caught up with players from the NSCG Tigers and CSGG, off the back of their fierce head-to-head for the VALORANT Invitational Trophy:
“My experience with Confetti has been really positive. They’ve set up a very good event, they’ve time managed it really well, and the live stream looked great! I’m really happy to play here.” – James Heap, player for NSCG Tigers
“It’s been a great experience at Confetti, especially playing on stage in a final. I’ve never experienced anything like it. All the staff members have been brilliant. I hope it encourages more people to come to these types of events.” – Nathan Kyle Hudson, player for CSGG
In amongst the many competitive games between finalists, there were a range of other activities for spectators and finalists to enjoy throughout the day, including sim racing; visitors got the chance to test their speed on sim racers with a prize awarded for the best lap time each day. AimLabs also came down to help people practice their aim and improve their score in first person (FPS) and third person shooters (TPS).
Representatives from National Student Esports (NSE) also came down to chat to visitors and give them the chance to jam some 1v1 League of Legends. NSE is a key figure in the UK esports industry and operates the British University Esports Championship, the most active grassroots gaming community in the country. Last but not least, we had team members from NUEL (formerly the National University Esports League) on hand to champion participation in university esports. NUEL was founded in 2010 by Loughborough undergraduates and now hosts the largest UK and Ireland university tournaments with Amazon University Esports; it supports hundreds of university society events across the country, and develops student talent who are now working throughout the esports industry. We spoke to NUEL founder, Josh Williams, to get his take on esports at Confetti:
“It’s like magic every time I come to Confetti. I wish I had come to a college like this. We’ve been here for our broadcasts a number of times now and the space is fantastic. The hospitality’s been great, I mean like the facilities in general, the teaching areas and the studios they provide, they’re amazing. The equipment, the space for students to be able to develop those practical skills, to start freelancing, and developing for future careers – it’s incredible, for me it’s what education should be all about.” – Josh Williams, NUEL founder
The event created lots of opportunities for Confetti students to get involved and do it for real. We heard from a few students who worked the weekend:
“I’ve been working as a student ambassador and so I’ve done things like, checking wristbands, wayfinding and taking people for photo ops. I’m not very familiar with esports, but it’s been really interesting to find out. I got the opportunity to listen in on the esports course leader’s talk, and I was just so surprised to hear how much opportunity there is in the industry, how popular the sport is, and just how wide open it is right now to get involved. I got the chance to watch the VALORANT game and it’s just a really nice atmosphere, people took the time to explain things to me, it’s been really welcoming. All of the support from the audience to the team work, it’s really great to see.” – Eleanor Torrance, BA Music Performance, 3rd Year
“I’ve been working as a steward helping out the British Esports staff team to get all of the players ready. I’ve been mainly managing the teams, getting them where they need to be, and taking players over to different spaces for photos and interviews. What’s it like studying esports at Confetti? It’s definitely a fun adventure if you want to get into esports. This is the first time I’ve done work experience at an esports event and I’d say it has definitely helped me to better understand the core values and aspects of the sport.” – Adam Pallant, BTEC Level 3 Esports Production, 1st Year
What a crazy week!
Three days rigging the new fine pitch LED volume.
One day engineering and testing the A/V and broadcast infrastructure.
— Alex (@AlexBroadcasts) July 4, 2022
“For Student Champs Finals, we are proud to have worked alongside Confetti again to run an event ‘for students, by students’, with many gaining invaluable experience of esports production and event management throughout the weekend. All staff, students, and volunteers went above and beyond working on the event, and it was a pleasure to work with such talented individuals. We look forward to seeing how the students progress further into the esports and events industry.” – Alice Leaman, Head of Operations, British Esports Federation