The British Esports Association, a non-profit organization
promoting esports initiatives in the United Kingdom, has announced the first
details of its inaugural British
Created specifically for school and college students, the
program will get underway with a pilot in February 2018 across three games: League
of Legends, Overwatch and Project CARS 2.
A press release from British Esports Association says, “the
four-part pilot will feature a wide demographic of students aged between 12 to
19 across four different types of educational establishment: schools, further
education colleges, library hubs and alternative provision (pupil referral
“We are very excited about creating the British Esports
Championships,” says Andy Payne OBE, British Esports Association Chair. “We
would like to thank Riot, Blizzard and Slightly Mad Studios, for without their
support none of this would be possible."
The pilot program will see weekly matches with fixtures
pre-arranged, and time will be allowed for schools and colleges to hold their
own internal trials in an effort to put together their most competitive teams.
These pilots – initially for select invited educational establishments – will
allow British Esports to understand “the best and most effective” ways of engaging
young people with esports through schools, colleges, and libraries.
The British Esports Association says it will be working with
“teachers, school leaders, and representatives from the Department for Education
and academics specialising in esports to monitor the pilot and demonstrate
impact and best practice.”
The pilot consists of four schools, four alternative
provision schools, eight further education colleges, and four other schools in
Westminster who will play at Maida Vale Library, following an initial pilot
there from Summer 2017.
The national championships will then begin in full in
September 2018, following the full academic year from September 2018 until July
2019. The British Esports Association hopes to hold the grand finals in August
2019 at Insomnia in the Birmingham NEC. In addition, the London-based computer system builder DinoPC
will be providing computers for “some of the schools” during the pilot program.
The British Esports Association says it wants to “educate
parents, teachers, children, the media and government that esports is a
positive activity with intrinsic benefits. It develops teamwork, communication
and leadership skills, improves confidence, decision making and reaction times,
and can boost reading comprehension skills, cyber skills and improve dexterity
and concentration.” It also plans to send out send out resource packs for
teachers, parents and gamers in the future.
As well as taking part in matches, the British Esports Association encourages educational establishments to develop wider, non-playing
roles, such as team manager and shoutcaster, modelling the structures of
professional esports teams.
“Ever since the release of the original Project CARS title,
we've seen the franchise played by a wide variety of players including some
that hope to one day enter the world of real-world competitive motorsports,” said
Andy Tudor, Chief Creative Officer at Slightly Mad Studios. “As well as playing
the game for fun, they also use it as a training tool to learn the skills and
attitude needed out on the track, or supplement their existing talent in
karting to further enhance their racecraft.”
"The British Esports Championships therefore is an
exciting opportunity to further discover those individuals out there that
potentially are the next Lewis Hamilton, whilst also providing a platform to
encourage teamwork and give the next generation the skills needed to compete
collaboratively in the esports world," he added.
The competition announced today follows an initial Esports Children’s Club Pilot held by the same association at Maida Vale Library in Summer 2017. The championships are led by Tom Dore, a secondary school teacher
who is developing this project for the British Esports Association.
Overall, the announcement today from The British Esports Association continues to show the growth and impact esports is having on not only
the games industry, but also the education sector and the wider world itself. It
also shows the importance of racing games in esports with the inclusion of
Project CARS 2, and the further commitment from its developer, Slightly Mad Studios. It also makes sense to feature given the game's 3+ age rating.
For even more on esports initiatives featuring racing games, check out our feature
story on the Forza
Racing Championship ahead of its return later this year.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.