Record numbers of university students attended the Amazon University Esports winter season 2021 in the UK and Ireland, operated by NUEL and GGTech.
More than 1,150 student teams from 105 universities across the UK and Ireland competed weekly in a range of Esports games including League of Legends, Valorant, CSGO and Overwatch. That’s up from 900 teams the year before, with registrations for the Valorant tournament more than doubling compared to last year.
The University of Nottingham more than doubled its attendance, Staffordshire and Durham recorded increases of 10 and 11 teams respectively, while the University of Warwick proposed 39 teams, up from 23 last year, the highest of any university.
The Essex Video Games Society also went from eight teams in winter 2020 to 19 in winter 2021.
Each university can field multiple teams in each game.
There was also a record number of Societies participating in the NUEL National Network of Representatives – with 105 Societies now joining the network and receiving support including training, coordination, free merchandising and promotion.
The records come at an unusual time in sport, with many events being affected by the effects of Covid.
Swansea University was particularly successful in the winter season: the “Swansea Academy” team won the Valorant tournament directly against Imperial College London and came second and third in Rainbow Six Siege and CSGO (teams “Swansea Storm” and “Swansea Storm “. or the tacos).
Swansea Esports Valorant representative Alex Gregory said: “The teams in all the games are made up of people who are not only determined to win and be the best, but also have fun playing with some friends.
“They have demonstrated their ability to dominate the games and have all the hope and determination to take first place in the varsity tournaments next year.”
Aston University has seen an amazing growth from two teams in winter 2020 to 19 this season. It has also held internal Aston League of Legends and Aston Valorant esports tournaments for students.
Máté Dvornik, Aston University esports representative, said that participating in university esports was “key to our early growth and our massive growth during the September freshmen” with the society’s membership growing more than doubled.
“We were unable to host in-person events in January, so our biggest source of participation came from varsity esports,” he said.