In 2010 a few students were frustrated with the lack of opportunities to express their interest in esports while at university. Their response was to set up the National University Esports League (NUEL); an esports league for students.
The NUEL runs a league throughout universities in the UK that brings together teams in the following games: League of Legends, Hearthstone, CSGO, Overwatch and Rocket League.
The NUEL’s key aims are to give university students the opportunity to:
- Represent their university at esports
- Meet like-minded people who share their passion for esports and to have a good experience
- Help gain useful skills and experience from within the esports industry
Aston Aunties captain MSR being interviewed after winning NUEL Live)
Josh Williams, NUEL founder and member of the British Esports Association advisory board, said: “As a player I used to love playing together as a team because of the buzz you’d get on a tournament night and the friendships you’d form with your teammates, but like everyone else I was frustrated with the lack of opportunities in the UK and wanted to see how I could do something different to try to help.
“We want esports to be a natural part of a student’s life and make sure that it has the biggest impact on their time at university. By doing so we hope students will graduate from university and pursue esports further.”
Teams that reach the grand finals of a competition will get the opportunity to play at NUEL Live: an event broadcasted from a studio. People can get tickets to watch at the studio itself or watch the online livestream of the event.
“I enjoyed the game so I wanted to enjoy it on a competitive level. The NUEL fit around my lifestyle at university,” said Marcus ‘MSR’ Raiyat, part of Aston Aunties and winner of NUEL Live 2016 (League of Legends).
“The NUEL offers a community where social groups don’t usually get together can actually meet up and enjoy the game together. This helps better mental health as gamers tend to be isolated. Playing on a stage is always a unique experience and the rush you get when the crowd cheers is unparalleled.”
How to get involved
If you’re a student at a university in the UK, you should be able to get involved.
Don’t be worried if you are not a high level player in any of the games that the NUEL has competitions in. The NUEL is for all abilities.
Derry ‘Dezachu’ Holt, head of broadcasting at the NUEL, added: “The NUEL provides the opportunity for anyone, anywhere to get involved in amateur competition.
“Most players will play solo and rarely get team experience. Playing in the NUEL on a weekly basis definitely exposes people to a team environment.”
If you are interested in signing up click here.
By Rob Allen