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27 Mar 2015

Loughborough graduates are behind the UK’s inter-university Esports championship

Enterprising Loughborough graduates are behind the National University Esports Championship which sees over 1500 players competing each week, representing over 100 clubs from universities from across the UK. This Sunday 29 March, passionate League of Legends players and fans flock to Loughborough Students Union to the National Championship final.

The National University Esports Live is the culmination of a year-long tournament played throughout the academic year, masterminded by The NUEL, which was founded by Computer Science graduates Josh Williams and Tom Davies.

“Competitive video gaming (Esports) is a growing industry worldwide, with professional games achieving viewing figures that rival traditional sports leagues, and world finals filling 40,000 capacity stadiums and providing millions in prize money,” says Josh Williams (BSc Information Management and Computing 2014). He adds, “We want to help develop Esports in the UK by focusing on growing the University scene.”

“Our league is designed around inclusivity and competitiveness which helps encourage more players to get involved in Esports, whether that’s for fun or at the start of a bid to become a professional gamer, The NUEL provides opportunities for all levels,” adds Tom (BSc Web Development and Design 2013). “We have created a vibrant online community throughout the UK’s universities and with the support of the Studio, the University’s graduate commercialisation hub, we are building The NUEL into a sustainable business.”

Starting with a handful of teams in 2010, Josh and Tom quickly galvanized the UK’s university online gaming community with the number of participating clubs leaping from 16 to 360 within two years. The activity quickly attracted the attention of Riot Games, the global brand behind the world’s most popular online game League of Legends. Riot Games officially partnered with The NUEL in 2014 and subsequent partnerships have been forged with Twitch and ESL UK.

NUEL Live begins at 10am Sunday 29 March with competitions for prizes open to all comers running throughout the day and an afterparty until 1am. The live final of Birmingham Storm vs Nottingham Bears takes place at 3pm. All are welcome to attend, tickets are available in advance and on the day.

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 15/39

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Contact for all media enquiries

Anna Leather
Marketing Manager (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445
E: A.J.Leather@lboro.ac.uk