British Esports at Bett UK 2023 – Event Recap

Image depicts a purple sign handing from the roof reading 'ESPORTS @ BETT, ASSOCIATION PARTNER, BRITISH ESPORTS'.

Last week, British Esports attended the Bett Show 2023 in London at the ExCeL Centre, where more than 40,000 attendees came together to celebrate EdTech developments.

Between the 29th and 31st March, the team helped to run the Esports @ Bett feature, where we hosted panels, discussions, and tournaments over the entire event.

In this piece, we look back at some of the highlights from Esports @ Bett.

Through the theme of Bett 2023; Reconnect, Reimagine and Renew, we supported attendees to reconnect with the education ecosystem, reimagine the potential of technology in education and renew their commitment to equitable learning for all. Bett’s six global themes of Leadership & Skills; Futures & Innovation; and Inclusion & Wellbeing sat underneath the overarching theme of Reconnect, Reimagine, Renew and were structured and delivered through three full days of content on the Esports @ Bett Theatre supporting education stakeholders worldwide to address their most pressing challenges and priorities.

British Esports Federation’s three main aims of raising awareness, inspiring future talent and improving standards were showcased throughout the three days in the new and improved Esports @ Bett theatre, connecting school leaders, education professionals and educators from schools, colleges and universities with the rapidly growing esports industry to engage students, support teaching and learning objectives, improve educational outcomes and develop future skills for careers.

British Esports and Bett win Silver at EN Awards:

During all of the action at Bett, Exhibition News hosted the coveted EN Awards, celebrating the best in the corporate world on Thursday 30th March.

British Esports and Bett Hyve Group were finalists in the ‘Best Commercial/Association Partnership’ category, and we managed to take home the Silver Award in the category.

This award comes after just a 12-month partnership with Bett, and exemplifies the success of the Esports @ Bett feature over the last two events.

Kalam Neale, Head of Education at British Esports, said: “12 months on from our first exhibition at Bett show and with a huge growth in size for the Esports at Bett Feature, we saw record breaking attendance in 2023. We are proud to have won a Silver Award at the EN Awards, the Oscars of the Exhibition Awards for Best Association/Commercial Partnership for Bett and British Esports.

It is great that our impact has been recognised within the exhibition awards alongside over 1,000 other event professionals. We look forward to continuing to exhibit at future events with partners to support and grow our education community through innovative and impactful content as we continue to raise awareness of esports, inspire future talent and improve standards.”

EN editor Emily Wallin said: “We were delighted to receive a record number of entries this year of an exceptional quality. These winners are testament to the fact that the exhibitions industry has well and truly bounced back from the pandemic and is going from strength to strength. Every one of these winners has overcome unbelievable obstacles whilst truly innovating in ways that will continue to help the whole events sector grow, and everyone here at Exhibition News is delighted to celebrate their amazing achievement with them.”

Student Champs comes to the Esports Stage:

On Wednesday and Thursday of the event, seven Rocket League teams, that are currently competing in the Student Champs, came together in London for a single-elimination tournament live from the Esports Stage.

On day one, Chichester College, Croydon College, Barnsley College, and Loughborough College took to the stage to battle it out for the trophy. There were many close games on this first day, but Loughborough College came out victorious – taking home the trophy and title for the initial tournament.

Day two saw even more excitement around the tournament, with the crowd filling up as the session went on. Here, Barnsley College came back for another attempt at the title, whilst being joined by Coventry College, Gower College Swansea, and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

Some more intense games took place, keeping the audience and players constantly on the edge of their seat, but South Gloucestershire and Stroud College ended up on top, not dropping a match throughout the series.

Matt ‘Suikozen-creed’ Creed, Study Programme Leader for Esports at Chichester College and Founder of Chi Cobras Esports, said: “It was an honour to be invited by British Esports to participate in some show matches during this year’s Bett Show! Our RL team has been doing great in the Student Champs and we’ve wanted to show what we can do.

“We redeemed ourselves against a team we had previously lost to in the Champs but were beaten in the final by the amazing team, Loughborough Lycans! Not only did our team get to showcase their skills but also great teamwork, communication and problem-solving abilities. Bringing together all they learnt and showing what Esports is all about!”

All teams played brilliantly, and we are very excited to see what they do in the upcoming Student Champs playoffs. 

Panels and Discussions:

When we were not running these tournaments, and getting suited and booted for an awards show, the team were hosting an assortment of panels and discussions on the stage.

Across the entire event, esports professionals from across the country came together to discuss a multitude of relevant topics – with an overarching focus on how esports is making its impact in education.

From an ‘Ask the Expert Q&A’ to the ins and outs of accessibility in esports, all sessions across the event were well-attended, and lots of networking took place throughout the zone as well.

Attendees saw the likes of Kylie Kendrick (Technical Specialist, Esports, at Durham University), Callum Abbott (Head of Performance at IFoEC and Endpoint Esports), Sara Cornish (Mojang Marketing Lead in Minecraft Education), as well as many others take the stage over the course of the event.

Alex ‘AJ’ Davies, Head of Performance at Resolve, and Performance Advisor at British Esports, said: “I had a fantastic time delivering a talk and networking at Bett. It is incredibly promising to have seen the level of interest and thirst for knowledge that so many educators showed. With this interest, it is clear that esports has a strong  and bright future in the educational sector!”

Esports @ Bett was well and truly a success once again, with attendees keen to learn more about the industry, and how it can be incorporated into mainstream education. 

So, whilst the event is over for this year, we have plenty of content from the event itself that we will be sharing over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled on our social media for this.

Want to learn more about what British Esports is doing at the moment? You can check out what we are doing in education, with the Student Champs, for Women in Esports, and with the upcoming launch of the NEPC on our website.

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