The Ukie Student Conference will have exclusive talks from industry insiders. These talks include topics such as 'Starting your career in the games industry after university' and 'How to thrive in the games industry'.
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Tobin ‘Racerz’ Leigh is a professional Forza player for Lazarus Esports. He has been competing for 4 years and has won an array of titles across the franchise. Most notably however, he and his Lazarus team finished second in the ForzaRC Invitational 2019. Since joining the British Esports Association, Tobin has conducted numerous talks throughout the UK and has got involved in several of our initiatives.
Check out our interview with Tobin here.
Ryan got involved with the UK StarCraft II scene in 2015 by first joining UK-based team Forged Force Gaming (FoFoG) and competing in epic.LAN’s. As he became more familiar with the scene, he noticed that it lacked a well ran online community. He began with reconnecting everyone through running the UKSC2 discord and also recruiting like-minded people to help out and also start the @UKSC2 Twitter. This initiative has helped grow the StarCraft II community in the UK.
James is an ex-UKLC player now hosting a talk show for the league. He previously played for Enclave, Barrage and Raise Your Governors. In 2018 he was shortlisted in the UK Esports Awards Player of the Year category. Since then James has made himself a staple of UK League of Legends over his player/hosting career.
Nick Egan is the co-owner and founder of PS4 racing league One Hub Racing, which runs competitive championship seasons around the latest F1 video game. Huge Formula One fan with a heavy investment into the F1 Gaming community.
Having begun playing in 2005, Ryan has played through, RuneScape 2, Old school RuneScape, RuneScape 3 (Evolution of Combat update), DarkScape and Dead Man Mode. He has kept up to date with Old School RuneScape through all updates and held a quest cape through every new quest release and has taken part in PvP and PvE, solo and within clans.
Matt “Re4Matt” Jones, has been a part of the Minecraft community since it’s launch, playing, watching, and creating, for years. Being on multiple build teams, and playing in PvP tournaments across the years, he has a wealth of knowledge about the game due to his many years of experience with the game. Outside the game, he studies esports at university and plans to be an entrepreneur within the industry.
Belal Chilenge is a well known member and social media manager in the Overwatch community, having worked with the 7Lions Team UK Overwatch World Cup Team in 2019, as well as currently working as social media for Overwatch Contenders team and gaming organisation, Triumph.
Being in the game from the start of 2016, Jack ‘Expired’ May has been heavily involved with Brawlhalla’s community. From working on over 150 tournaments to helping build the game’s largest community Discord. In late 2019 he was offered the role of Brawlhalla Guardian and has been working with Ubisoft since.
Having volunteered at a host of gaming events and an advocate for the charity SpecialEffect, Terry integrates work with play whenever possible while having recently career-changed to a 3D digital design studio.
As Main Tank and shot caller for “Brutal Base”, who scrim and compete at Masters/Grand Masters level, Terry also spends time theorycrafting unusual team compositions to challenge the Overwatch meta.
Jack has over 3 years of Battle Royale experience. He started competing in Apex Legends when it was released in February and was then approached by Penta Sports at the very beginning of the game to build a roster for them. His team placed 8th in the first $500,000 Apex Legends International event under Penta Sports and is now competing under Team Reciprocity.
As an adviser for Project CARS 2, one of the games being used in the inaugural British Esports Championships, Phillip is an aspiring pro sim racer and and has made it to some of the biggest online and live finals in Europe.
Former Head Coach for Dignitas & Tribe Gaming. Current manager for the UK National team & Personal Manager for UK Esports player of the year ‘19 “ThunderStruck
Steven has played Smite since the Beta which was launched approximately 5-6 years ago. He has managed and coached various Smite teams though this time with varied levels of success at their respective levels, most recently with his team (Emrys) narrowly missing out on promotion to the Smite Minor League by 1 point. He has seen a lot of changes both positive and negative in this time to the game, however the most recent changes announced for the 2020 competitive season has him VERY excited for the future of Smite!
As one of the youngest pro Vainglory esports players to play in the scene at around 13 years old back in 2015, Benedict (right) was one of several up and coming players showing the world that age doesn’t matter.
He’s taken part in several top-tier tournaments including the Vainglory European Winter Championship. His father Andrew Ward (left) has also kindly agreed to offer a parent’s perspective for the British Esports Association’s future coverage. Benedict still plays the game today but under an alias.
A former music student at the University of Hull, Josh “CitrusEmpire” Leighton-Laing is a content creator, moderator and freelance graphic designer within the Vainglory community.
Having been involved with Vainglory since 2015, Josh has developed strong ties with the developers and the competitive scene, and is a strong advocate for the British esports scene as a whole.
Vash “Lyonia” Thapa has been in the UK competitive Overwatch scene for 3 years, playing in events such as Insomnia and Epic.LAN where he came second rather than coming second and also winning the spring season of Belong’s Arena Clash with his team, the Stratford Spartans. He coaches teams and individuals that want to take part in grassroots esports in his free time and is part of the Arena Clash community.
Sharixx is a Hi-Rez Studio’s SMITE Moderator and SMITE Partner, currently managing the Pittsburgh Knights Community Clan in game, working closely with the Knights to embrace and grow the SMITE community.
Tommey is a professional Call of Duty player currently residing with Fnatic.
He has won a host of tournaments and has played for a string of well-known esports teams over the years, including Millenium, Team Vitality and Team Dignitas.
Read our interview with Tommey here.
Luke has been a streamer and shoutcaster for three years now and currently sits in the top 1% of European players in Arena of Valor at the moment. Outside of gaming he is a qualified personal trainer and has been involved in the fitness industry for seven years.
Alex has played Battalion 1944 since release, travelling to events and following the scene closely, whilst working full-time in esports in London.
He’d love to see the game build a strong UK grassroots community over the coming year
Reece “Sabrewoif” Dos-Santos is a journalism student, tournament organiser and one of the main community figures within European Pokken.
As well as being a competitive player, he’s also the owner of the European discord server for Pokken Tournament. Prior to this he was a writer, analyst and coach for League of Legends.
Harry has been involved in Halo esports for the past 15 years and has competed in nearly 100 events. He has a substantial number of tournament wins under his belt and competed in established orgs such as Dignitas, Infused, 4 Kings and Reason Gaming.
He currently freelances as a professional caster/analyst for the Halo esports scene and has worked with ESL and Gfinity at previous events. He has a strong desire to push the UK esports scene forward with his vast knowledge and experience.
Michael is a freelance writer and journalist currently working for multiple websites and companies in the esports space, including UKCSGO and Esports Insider.
He follows the UK CSGO scene very closely.
Liam is a mod on the UKDOTA Reddit page, has been at admin at epic.LAN and runs the UKDOTA Open every three months.
He’s well-known in the UK DOTA scene and is keen to push UK esports forward.
Lisa first started playing Gears of War campaign and then moving onto multiplayer when Gears Ultimate was released. Since then she has been a fan of the Gears Competitive scene and was also the tournament admin for Gears of War 4 events in 2018 with EGL. Now she is the Gears 5 tournament manager for EGLs online tournaments.
Hearthstone’s competitive scene has grown and grown over the past few years, and Raven has been involved in it from both a caster and player perspective.
He’s cast events such as Dreamhack Winter, Asus Rog 24 Hour Play It Cool Marathon, WCA EU Qualifiers and more, and has played for Torpedo in the ESL UK & Ireland Premiership.
As the Head of Social Media & Community Management at Jellymedia, Graham works first hand on PES League, the global PES esports platform.
Having been a lifelong PES player, Graham has a working knowledge of every iteration over the 20-year history of the series. He has been directly involved with the development of the global PES League since it’s inception, and is also a presenter/caster on the PES League Twitch streams and Regional/World Finals.
Adam isn’t particularly known for his PUBG gameplay, he’s more so known for providing insights into the game for publications such as Red Bull and breaking stories that players and fans alike need to know for Esports Insider.
Rams has been in the world of esports for 20+ years and it all started with Quake 3, and continues to watch Quake Champions closely. Outside he teaches at the University of Chichester for esports and is a Level 2 Badminton Coach for Worcestershire & West Midlands.
Ted has been playing Rainbow Six Siege since it’s release in 2015, taking it more seriously and following the competitive scene since early 2018. Since then, he has become much more involved in not only the pro league community but also the passionate amateur scene.
Earlier this summer, he became the R6 Team Manager for ImPerium, a semi-professional worldwide organisation, with the Rainbow Six team based in the USA . Since then, he has helped the team grow, progress and compete in various leagues and ESL tournaments. This has really helped him also build a network and meet so many people within competitive siege.
Mike ‘Gregan’ Ellis, Renault Sport Team Vitality’s Rocket League Team Manager. He has helped British Esports with the sports/esports activity week at West Ham and also was interviewed by the Association for this piece on the importance of sports, physical activity and wellbeing in esports.
Brian is a professional Street Fighter player currently representing Fierce Esports. He has won many tournaments including the Gfinity Elite Series and has placed highly in multiple major events.
Having been an active tournament attendee and organiser for eight years, Bradley is experienced in competitive Smash Bros Melee.
He’s part of tournament organiser Team Heir which runs the largest European Melee tournament each year. He’s also worked as a tournament admin at DreamHack’s first Melee event: Dreamhack London.
I run the Super Mario Kart SNES Time Trial World Rankings website since November 1998: http://www.mariokartplayers.com/smk/. I update it weekly ever since and we have more than 1000 players globally from all around the World on both PAL and NTSC versions. I am also a current Time Trial World Record Holder of Mario Circuit 1, which is the first race track Super Mario Kart and the entire Mario Kart Franchise and ranked #1 in the UK Overall. I also Tweet Super Mario Kart SNES Time Trial and Multiplayer Competition news regularly on @SamiCetinSMK.
Justin is a Tekken and Street Fighter player, Twitch partner and Xsplit brand ambassador. He has won several tournaments including EGX.
Charlie is a former competitive player, league administrator, and tournament organiser for the European Team Fortress 2 scene; he has been involved with TF2 for over half a decade and worked in administrative positions for half that time. Outside of playing, he is currently studying Computer Game Technologies, specialising in Games Research surrounding esports.
David has written for several publications and brands over the years, including Esports News UK and more recently ESL UK.
He’s a guild leader and a fountain of competitive World of Warcraft knowledge.
An avid gamer since the early 90’s, Lee discovered World of Tanks in 2013 and was hooked! He attends Tankfest each year and events for WoT whenever possible. Gamescom, ESL One, Pro League and Epic Lan are events on his calendar throughout the year.
Professor Andy Miah, co-chair of the Esports Industry Collaboration programme at the University of Salford Manchester, has been researching into the relationship between digital technologies and sport.
He is in the school of science, engineering and environment, and has worked globally to position esports within conversations about the future of digital leisure and physical activity. He has also worked with the International Sports Federation and the International Olympic Committee to build relationships between esports and sports.
J.Miller is regarded as one of the best Super Smash Bros for Wii U players in Britain.
He took part in the eGgames medal-based tournament in Rio alongside running alongside the Olympic Games last summer.
Read our interview with J.Miller here.
Dr Maria Stukoff is a director at Maker Space at the University of Salford, a new digital technology hub set up to foster real-world STEM skills. She is the co-chair of the Esports Industry Collaboration programme building industry partnerships including non-endemic brands, and is also a board member at #InnovateHer, empowering girls to be tech and industry-ready. She is also a Games Skills Council member at ScreenSkills.
Maria is well known for her work in the videogame industry in her former role as Head of PlayStationFirst, the Academic Development Programme at Sony Interactive Entertainment. She was also a founding member of the Next Gen Skills Academy.
Ramesh Singh, also known as Rams or r2k, is a senior lecturer in esports at the University of Chichester. He is a former pro player with an extensive track record, having won several tournaments in Quake 3 and participated in other games including Trackmania, Battlefield and others for teams such as Dignitas.
He has also worked as a host and on events for companies such as Razer, Ginx TV, HyperX and Scan Computers.
Ceirnan “Excoundrel” Lowe is an esports broadcaster with over four years experience in the UK esports industry, covering multiple titles as a colour caster.
He previously studied medicine at university but have left the field and found a home within the esports industry. He has cast a host of games from League of Legends to Hearthstone and Vainglory, for a range of companies.
Ryan Hart is one of the most well-known UK players in the fighting game genre, having won over 450 tournaments.
The former professional Street Fighter player is a four-time Guinness World Record holder, two-time Evolution world champion and the most successful UK esports player to date. These days he works as a content creator and host.
Yinsu is an esports journalist specialising in League of Legends. Having delivered International coverage, she also focuses heavily on finding stories from the UK LoL scene through exclusive columns with Excel Esports as well as shedding a light on the ongoings at grassroots and university level.
James Baker is a professional Heroes of the Storm player who plays as team captain for one of the most well-known organisations: Team Dignitas.
Read our interview with Bakery here.
As the first British FIFA esports player signed to a football team, David joined Wolfsburg last year and has taken part in several high-end FIFA tournaments since.
Check out our interview with Davebtw here.
Michael O’Dell (aka ODEE) is the chief gaming officer at Rogue. He is also the founder of long-running esports organisation Dignitas, and previously managed its professional esports teams. He is a veteran of competitive gaming and a keen supporter of the growing industry.
Team Dignitas was founded in 2003 having started out in Battlefield 1942, and has grown to produce top sides across multiple titles including League of Legends, CSGO, Rocket League and more. Dignitas was acquired by US NBA basketball club The Philadelphia 76ers in 2016, later rebranded to Dignitas and ODEE stepped away from the organisation in 2019 to join Rogue.
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Natacha Jones is an experienced esports producer and observer who holds the role of Championships project manager at the British Esports Association.
She looks after the British Esports Championships for schools and colleges, working alongside school projects lead Tom Dore, epic.LAN and our team of admins.
Over the past few years, Natacha has built up some impressive experience within UK esports. She was project manager for the King of the North gaming festival, president of the University of Manchester Esports Society and has also been working as a freelance esports observer and producer. In January 2019, Natacha was promoted at the NUEL to creative director.
Andrew heads up the sports and esports team at the entertainment and media firm Sheridans. Andrew acts for a wide range of stakeholders within the esports industry, including rights holders, leagues, teams, game developers and individual esports talent.
He has also spoken at various esports and sports conferences on esports, across a variety of issues, including regulation, player welfare, governance and the commercialisation of esports and content licensing. Andrew’s background is in traditional sports sector, acting forgoverning bodies, rights holders, sports data companies, sports clubs, sports agencies, sponsors and individual athletes. Andrew is also a non-executive director of Table Tennis England and sits on the editorial board for Law in Sport.
Dominic has an extensive background in video games trade journalism, having worked at NewBay Media on games industry publication MCV and as editor of tech trade title PCR.
He founded his own publication Esports News UK in 2015 to cover the UK League of Legends scene and other esports games in the UK, conducting player interviews, match reports and covering news.
Dominic is responsible for content on the British Esports Association website, internal and external communications, handling public queries and works with marketing and PR on the association’s messaging.
Alice has service and hospitality experience as well as close ties with the British Esports Association. She has been volunteering for British Esports for more than a year, having helped with the pilot Championships and Season 1 and 2 as an admin.
Alice looks after schools and colleges in the North of the UK.
Tom is leading our exciting schools project as Head of Education, looking at launching esports leagues in schools and colleges throughout the UK.
Currently still working at a school in Bath, he is an experienced teacher and educator with over 17 years experience in different leadership roles across a full spectrum of state and independent schools. He has also worked as an associate for PIXL, the national partnership of over 2,500 schools in the UK. He is passionate about supporting young people and enabling them to achieve success both inside and outside the classroom.
If you are a student or teacher and are interested in taking part in the schools/colleges league, please visit our Championships hub here or email Tom here.
Dave has 15+ years experience advising the education sector including government, professional institutions and employers about skills both in the UK and internationally.
At British Esports he is head of skills and offers us support on relationships with various colleges and educational organisations.
In 2017 Dave co-founded an international edtech company to look at enhancing the skills required for global projects like the China Belt and Road.
Dave also holds numerous executive roles across tech as an investment and skills adviser.
Morgan boasts a host of marketing and content experience, having worked as digital content manager at Riot Gaming and most recently as senior marketing executive at system builder Fierce PC, where she headed up the Fierce Esports brand and its teams.
She is also a former Call of Duty pro gamer, having competed at LAN events since the age of 16 and was featured in a Channel 4 documentary, Vice article and campaign for Belong and Activision.
Elliot has been building PCs and playing games from a young age, and is currently a high-ranked Champion 3 Rocket League player who has Grand Champion in his sights this season.
He joined British Esports from Mallinson Sport Centre at Highgate School in London, where he worked as commercial and enterprise duty manager focusing on tournament, project and client management.
Elliot looks after schools and colleges in the South of the UK.
Adam is a Partner and the Head of Digital Media/ Technology at Onside Law, a boutique law firm based in London and specialising in the sports, esports and media sectors.
He acts for a broad range of clients within these sectors including governing bodies, teams, individuals, established brands and start- up/growth businesses.
British Esports was founded by Chester King of the International Group. Chester received authority from the UK Government to establish the association in January 2016.
Chester has a 23-year background in traditional sports, with Stoke Park (owned by International Group) running the pre-wimbledon tennis event The Boodles, as well as working for the Football Association, Lord’s and the Rugby Football Union.
Chester also founded The eGames initiative, a separate international medal-based esports tournament which ran its showcase in British House alongside the Rio Olympics.
The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit national body set up to support grassroots esports, has appointed the Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP as Vice Chair.
Ed worked as Culture Minister between 2010 and 2016, and is currently the Member of Parliament for Didcot and Wantage.
He is a big advocate of the video games industry in Britain, having secured tax breaks for game development studios, and was recently recognised by GamesIndustry.Biz as one of the 100 most influential people in the British games industry.
Rob has impressive experience in esports coaching, having worked with ManaLight, a former esports organisation who made it to several UK finals in League of Legends.
He is helping to shape British Esports’ education and membership offerings, and is working closely with the Enemy of Boredom initiative backed by the Prince’s Trust.
Rob is passionate about UK esports and also helped with the association’s kids’ esports club at Maida Vale Library.
Mary Antieul oversees esports strategy, operations and partnerships at GAME across the Belong arenas and Insomnia Gaming Festival. She has worked in the gaming industry for over ten years and has significant experience within gaming retail, in building and sustaining gaming communities and delivering exciting competitive experiences for gamers.
Mary’s focus is to encourage the growth of the grassroots scene through competition and supporting infrastructure.
Josh is focused on giving people their first opportunities to participate in esports and help them develop their talents. He founded the National University Esports League (NUEL), the UK’s inter-university esports tournament, in 2010, which has grown into one of the largest participation esports leagues in the UK.
Josh is also one of the founding members of University Esports Masters (UEM), the European group of university esports leagues working together to grow the collegiate scene within Europe and organise the annual continental championship.
David Yarnton has been involved in the video games industry for over 30 years and was a founding director of Gfinity, the first company to launch a dedicated esports arena in London.
In addition to Gfinity, David is involved in the esports industry with a couple of digital start-ups including Edge Esports, and prior to that was a senior executive with Nintendo for 17 years, most recently in charge of their business in the UK & Ireland, having moved here with the company from Australia in 2003.
He has been on a number of industry boards and is currently chairman of the esports sub-group of UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment, the only trade body for the UK’s games and wider interactive entertainment industry) as well as being founder and chairman of the British Inspiration Awards, an organisation that helps recognise and celebrate British creative achievements.
Carleigh Morgan is a former Fulbright scholar and a currentPhD candidate at King’s College London.
Her dissertation explores the cybernetic sutures between bodies and machines, with particular emphasis on the diagrams of legibility that encode gamers as programmable and readable by computer technologies. Pro gamers feature centrally as part of this work, and many hours of research involve interviewing players, streamers, sports psychologists, physiologists and sports managers to develop a broad understanding of the training regimens of top gamers.
In 2016 she graduated from the MA in Contemporary Literature, Culture, and Theory at King’s College, London with a Distinction and is currently a research assistant at the Centre for Digital Culture. She also works with Women in Gaming as well as the Institute for Esports Research Portal, and has written about the legal rights of esports players for various publications, including Motherboard.
As the second executive from Twitch on British Esports’ Advisory Board, stepping in for Chris if he’s unable to attend a board meeting (and vice versa), Mark Candella is the firm’s Director of Strategic Partnerships.
Having run his first online gaming league (over dialup modem) and “LAN party” in 1994, Craig then founded Multiplay in 1997 as a games-orientated event management company, with a primary focus on running LAN events and the very early days of esports.
He is responsible for the Insomnia series of events, which now take place at the Birmingham NEC several times per year and attract thousands of visitors. Multiplay was sold to GAME in 2015, and Craig now sits as part of the retailer’s senior executive team, where he leads the group’s transformation strategy around esports and competitive gaming.
Heather is well-known in UK esports having worked with the likes of Ginx TV, Multiplay and others, hosting the likes of the Daily Download show, Insomnia esports tournaments and more.
The presenter, caster and stage host joined the board in September 2017. She said: “I have always believed that esports is a powerful space that can be used to enrich the community, something I will endeavour to do as a part of the association.”
Darren “Slammer” Newnham is a gamer, esports fan and business development professional who has brought years of commercial and corporate experience (from Disney, SEGA and O2) to teams, players and brands.
Currently head of Nexus, his own esports business that brings teams, organizations, brands and players together. He cut his teeth in esports with the largest global esports teams: Fnatic.
Darren can often be found on a PUBG map, on BF1 with friends or still tanking a few LFR groups in WoW. He started gaming back in the days of 486 PCs and Duke Nukem 3D ladders on Compuserve on a 14k dial up modem (yes he’s that old)!
Andy is an experienced video games entrepreneur of 32 years, having run Mastertronic from 1988 to 2015.
He chaired games industry trade body Ukie from 2005 to 2015 and is still a board member. He is a board advisor at games developer Bossa Studios and a founder of games industry charity GamesAid.
Andy was a founder of mobile and tablet specialist AppyNation and Gambitious, a crowdfunding platform for games and movies. He is also chair of Esports specialist EGL, founder of simulation specialists Just Flight and a VP of games charity Special Effect.