D&A Schools Do Battle at National Esports Contest
Around 30 pupils from eight Dundee and Angus secondary schools swapped classroom seats for gaming chairs as part of Scotland’s most prestigious Esports event week.
For the first time, Esports Scotland’s Scottish Esports League LAN finals (SEL5) has incorporated the ESS D&A Regional Esports Cup, with pupils vying for top prizes while mixing with the country’s top Esports stars.
The three-day event, the nation’s largest competitive Esports showcase, takes place on the main stage of Dundee and Angus College’s Gardyne Theatre. The school tournament, sponsored by Northern Lights Arena Europe (NLAE) and Dundee-based Ninja Kiwi, took place on Thursday 17 November 2022, with pupils vying for a range of prizes from online games vouchers and cash prizes to an Xbox for the winning school.
The winning team was ‘Rejects FC’ from Monifieth High School, comprising Ben Foxon, Reece Rodger and Leon Steven. Meanwhile, over 60 professional players from across the UK will compete for a £15k prize pot on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November 2022.
Last month, during the first-ever Scottish Games Week, Dundee and Angus College invited all regional secondary schools to participate in the playoffs, with eight teams making it through to the Rocket League final event. Two of the teams – one of them being the winning team – that competed in Thursday’s finals were senior pupils from Monifieth High School, where due to growing interest in the sector, plans are being drawn up to incorporate an Esports learning zone into its new build.
Acting Depute Head, Kerry Perry commented, “Momentum is very much building around Esports, especially in Dundee, and we are very keen to get involved and build on that as a school. At Monifieth High, there’s huge interest in Esports from S1 to S6, with 16 teams coming forwards to participate in the playoffs and two senior teams making it through to the finals.
“Pupils can gain so much from Esports. It’s such an inclusive activity and relies on so many different skills and interests rather than academic ability alone. Our dealings with Dundee and Angus College have also opened pupils’ eyes to this growing sector and the opportunities for further and higher education and career prospects. Pupils are also learning that there’s more to Esports than gaming – the sector needs experts in everything from artwork and music to marketing, commentary and coaching. The senior pupils are also hoping to start a lunchtime club for the younger pupils, so we can bottle the enthusiasm for it throughout the school and maximise the opportunities it presents.”
The other schools who competed on the day are Madras College (St Andrews), Montrose Academy, Arbroath Academy, High School of Dundee and St John’s R C High School (Dundee).
Furthermore, because the event is taking place at Dundee and Angus College, SEL5 has created opportunities for the wider student community, with Event Management, Gaming and Hospitality students helping out over the course of the three-day event.
Callum Birse (28), a second year Computer Arts and Design student at Dundee and Angus College, also won the competition to create the school tournament logo.
Callum said, “Myself and a group of other students on the course were invited to come up with some ideas for a logo for the D&A Regional Esports Cup. I didn’t just want to create a logo, more of a visual language which could be used on other marketing material like flags and lanyards, so I went off and worked on some ideas over the summer. I finally came up with a design which was a nod to the gaming icons of a square, cross, triangle and circle, and used them as both part of the typography and as graphic elements. I also wanted an impactful colour that shouted tech and gaming. It was fantastic to hear that my design had been chosen and it’s something I will be proud to include on my CV and portfolio when I leave, to say that it was my idea and my design is out there and in use in the real world!”
Laura Louch, Sector Lead, Dundee and Angus College added, “We are incredibly excited not only to be working with Esports Scotland and to host the top Esports competition in Scotland, but also involving and inspiring the next generation of professional players and others required for the sector to succeed.
“Our growing Esports curriculum, and the industry links which our students enjoy, highlight that Esports isn’t just about gaming – we’re talking viable and exciting career options. Now, through the school tournament, we take that a step further by engaging pupils at a younger age and motivating them to get involved.
“The schools’ tournament, which we hope will become an annual event, gives local pupils a fantastic opportunity to participate in a professional event, mix with professional players, commentators and broadcasters and explore the technical aspects and ‘behind-the-scenes’ elements of what is a major event. As a college, it’s also about raising aspirations and shining a light on the possibilities, giving students a chance to meet those shaping careers within Esports and bringing it all to life.”
Organised by Esports Scotland, SEL5 – powered by IRN-BRU Energy – is now in its fifth successful season and brings together world-class professional champions and grassroots beginners who have successfully made it through the qualifying rounds.
James Hood, CEO of Esports Scotland said, “We are delighted to bring our Scottish Esports League to the Gardyne Campus and Gardyne Theatre for the first time – and to have the addition of the Regional Cup. We’ve been working closely with partners Dundee and Angus College throughout the year on various events, including our inaugural Summer Camp, which was a huge success. We love to see the engagement and excitement that Esports brings to the school pupils and college students. The qualifying round was a great success! We’re also delighted to have provided the technology for our Esports Scotland suite at the college, and to provide opportunities for student placements. We’re very much looking forward to the event and to congratulating the winners!”
For more information and free tickets to the SEL5 LAN Finals on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November 2022, please visit https://league.esportsscotland.co.uk.