In April 2021, four independent schools took part in a micro tournament in Rocket League, as part of a pilot organised by the British Esports Association.
These schools were based across the UK in different locations – three from the West/South West of England: Bryanston School, Wycliffe College, Millfield School in addition to Gordonstoun School from Scotland
The pilot was initiated by a collaboration between British Esports Association and Millfield School, and is part of a program to integrate more independent schools into the Student Championships, as well as introducing them to esports as a whole.
Matches took place over a period of 3-4 weeks with the overall winners being Millfield School, who went undefeated throughout the tournament.
The tournament was organised through Microsoft Teams, a familiar channel for these schools, and matches took place after lessons and over the weekends. Rocket league was the title of choice, being an excellent game to introduce people to the competitive side of gaming, as well as being free to play and age 3+.
Being a pilot, we took the time to collect feedback from the participants with a very positive response overall.
Some of the points raised include:
- 100% of the participating schools would love to take part again in additional tournaments
- All students enjoyed themselves and would like to see a wider variety of opponents and different games too
- The organisation and structure of the tournament was very successful, as well as the instructions, gameplay, and reporting of scores.
- The majority of participants felt that the teams were reasonably well matched in terms of skill.
- Independent schools and full boarding schools can vary wildly in terms of their timetables, and as such there is more flexibility, but also more difficulty in finding a suitable fixture time for everyone.
- Whilst Rocket League is a fantastic game to get started with, due to its small team sizes and easy to understand gameplay, additional games would be desirable to students (such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, and FIFA), to offer a wider variety.
We would like to thank Millfield School for the opportunity to create this pilot with them, and to all the participating schools. We look forward to creating more events in the future with additional participating independent schools.
“We were delighted to participate in the tournament and it was a successful first run out for our Rocket League team made up of Year 9 students. There were some good games and we are looking forward to being involved in similar tournaments in the future,” Matt Shields, Head of IT/Computing at Millfield School
“It has been nice to play in a team, as I really like team sports and we haven’t played much sport this year because of COVID.” – Ollie, player for Wycliffe College
“A lot of the games were very close, which was good, including some overtime action!” Ian, teacher at Wycliffe College