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National Student Esports and ESL have announced a partnership to strengthen the connection between universities and the wider esports ecosystem

Press release -

National Student Esports and ESL have announced a partnership to strengthen the connection between universities and the wider esports ecosystem

The long term partnership will deliver a plethora of crafted opportunities for students to explore, create and impact the esports sector as a whole whilst still gaining their qualifications.

National Student Esports (NSE) and ESL today announced a long term partnership that focuses on enriching Higher Education student’s path to professional careers within the esports industry.

ESL recognise that universities are home to the next generation of talent and, in the years to come, graduates from UK universities will be amongst the leaders that shape the esports industry. NSE has been successfully working on delivering the best university esports experience and promoting a connected esports community since 2018 which complements ESL’s mission to nurture skills at all levels.

Throughout the course of the next academic year, NSE and ESL will be releasing details of collaborative initiatives, both together and with partners, that engage students across the full breadth of their respective propositions. With less than 20% of NSE’s members regularly participating in non-university competition, it is hoped that the partnership will help strengthen the UK competitive landscape from the ground up.

"Universities have always been a hub for the next generation of talent in any emerging industry and it's no different for esports” said Jon Tilbury, Executive Director, NSE. “We're excited to work with ESL in creating opportunities for students whether they aspire to be a professional player, or working behind the scenes to produce some of the world's biggest tournaments."

ESL and NSE are committed to delivering a programme that inspires the future generation of esports professionals.

"We are very excited to start working with NSE in such a positive and engaging way for university students'' said Heather Dower, ESL’s Marketing and Communication Manager. "Working closely together is going to be crucial for future growth of the UK Esports industry. We can’t wait to share more details very soon!"

The partnership grew from a workshop spearheaded by Intel which brought together NSE and ESL to provide a platform for students from across the UK to champion positive social impact gained from their experiences from competitive gaming through in academia and beyond. This event provided essential evidential discussion to improve UK Government perception as previous Minister of State for the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport, Margot James, was present leading the inquiry. 


About NSE:

National Student Esports (NSE) was established in 2018 through partnership with British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), the governing body for university sport, to support the growth of esports within the higher education sector. NSE operate the British University Esports Championship, the official esports competition of British universities. In its first season, the competition saw over 600 teams from 73 universities compete across a number of esports titles. Over 70% of participants were enrolled on a STEM course.

More information can be found at

About ESL:

ESL is the world’s largest esports company. Founded in 2000, ESL has been shaping the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high profile, branded international leagues and tournaments such as ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League and other top tier stadium-size events, as well as ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups and matchmaking systems, defining the path from zero to hero as short as possible. With offices all over the world, ESL is leading esports forward on a global scale. ESL is a part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group.

More information can be found at

Press contacts

Ravi Vijh

Ravi Vijh

Account Director +44 (0)20 3927 6430

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