The University of Portsmouth has won third place at the British University Esports Championship (BUEC).
In partnership with British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), the national governing body of university sport in the United Kingdom, BUEC is the official esports competition of UK universities.
More than 100 universities have been battling it out over the academic year to claim the title of Esports University of the Year. The BUEC season culminated with the spring finals, which ran for two days at Insomnia, the UK’s largest gaming festival, in the Birmingham NEC.
The University’s third place is the best position it has received in the last four years, with its esports team, the Portsmouth Paladins, coming first in Overwatch, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments. The Portsmouth Paladins also recently won the European University Rocketeers’ Championship (EURC), which means they have qualified for the 2022 Collegiate Rocket League World Championship in Dallas, USA, later in the year.
Shabaan Ali, MEng Civil Engineering student and President and co-founder of the University’s Esports society, said: “This is one of, if not, the biggest achievement the Esports society has ever had. This year has been our greatest yet and there are no signs of us slowing down. It’s fantastic to see all the hard work of the committee over the past few years, is paying off and hopefully we can be in contention of the top spot next year.
“I want to thank the committee, the Students Union, and also our sponsors Reign Pc Gaming and IFoEC, who have helped us throughout and not forgetting the fans!”
Last year the University launched the world’s first esports coaching and development degree to train the next generation of coaches and performance experts for esports.
David Price, course leader for BSc (Hons) in Esports Coaching and Performance, said: “We are incredibly proud of the esports society, which has gone from strength to strength since its formation with recent successes in Rocket League, Overwatch, and Super Smash Bros.
“The achievements and their highest ranked finish to date in the BUEC is testament to all involved and the continued efforts that go on behind the scenes, resulting in Portsmouth being firmly placed on the map as one of the top university esports societies.”
The Championship, which is run by NSE (National Student Esports), the official body of university esports, has seen considerable growth throughout the past year with almost 1,000 matches being played each week. BUEC continues to be one of Europe’s largest organised esports competitions and is the UK’s most active grassroots gaming community in the country.
NSE’s Managing Director, Alex Coulson, said: “BUEC is forever growing and it’s great to see new teams and universities enter into the top five in the Championship, as well as new tournaments like Halo. Getting the student community together at Insomnia after two years of not being able to put on live events was really special, seeing everyone together and forming new bonds between universities and more opportunities to socialise was awesome to see.”