Students host esports extravaganza at Staffordshire University

Gaming fans are invited to take part in a free three-day Esports Expo at Staffordshire University next week

Players in the Esports Hubs

The student-run Esports Expo takes place from 9 to 11 May

This event is great opportunity for other gaming fans looking to get into the industry to see first-hand the amazing equipment we have on campus and understand what goes into putting on a live esports broadcast.

Milo Drewett, BA (Hons) Esports

Organised by BA (Hons) Esports students, the event runs from 9 to 11 May across multiple venues at the Stoke-on-Trent campus and includes multi-game tournaments, expert talks, charity fundraisers and more.

The exhibition kicks off on Monday 9 May with a Sports Day event, run in partnership with Stoke City Football Club's Community Trust. Bringing together both traditional sports and esports, the day will feature a FIFA 22 tournament and a Rocket League tournament.

Visitors can get a virtual workout by playing Just Dance, VR boxing and Nintendo Switch Sports games or take part in sporting activities on the 3G Astroturf pitches. A charity raffle will also raise money for the local community with The Stoke City Community Trust and sponsor noblechairs both providing prizes.

Final year student Alex Moutrie, one of the Sports Day organisers, explained: "Our aim is to try and bridge the gap often seen between esports and traditional sports, and work on breaking the stigma about health and esports by promoting a healthy lifestyle. By working with the Stoke City Community Trust, we can not only promote both esports and its opportunities, but we can raise awareness of staying healthy and active whilst taking part in esports, preventing early age burn-out and other health conditions."

On Tuesday 10 May, the military-themed Operation Overlord event includes a War Hammer III tournament in the Beacon building and the chance to compete in the 18+ gaming zone in the LRV where a prize will be on offer for the player who wins the most ‘war bonds’. Games for all ages, like Splatoon and Worms, will also be available to play in The Catalyst building.

Staffordshire University’s BA (Hons) Esports is a unique degree which focuses on the business, broadcasting and events of esports. Students have access to industry standard equipment and have worked together in groups to organise the Esports Expo for a final year module.

Ryan Merrick, one of the Operation Overlord organisers, said: “I have been involved in running smaller esports teams but being able to take part in a large-scale event like this and see where I need to improve from a manager’s perspective has been really nice. With the support and advice from the lecturers, it has really helped me to develop myself and will be invaluable experience for the future.”

Beyond the Machine takes place on the final day of the Esports Expo on Wednesday 11 May. It provides a unique opportunity to dive into the industry of esports and go behind-the-scenes of a live of broadcast in the University’s state-of-the art Esports Hub.

There will be a multi-titled esports tournament in the Beacon building with cash prizes for the top four teams provided by sponsor Into the Breach. The LRV will host a gaming fight zone including VR games and a Beat Sabre competition, plus there will be industry talks in the Science Centre with speakers from ESL Gaming, university esports organiser NUEL, and Guardians of The Maiden Tower esports team.

Beyond the Machine organiser Milo Drewett said: “Over the past couple of years Covid has limited what we could do, so to get hands on in the Esports Hub and host an event in person is exciting. There’s an arcade feel to tournament which should be really fun, with a 2 vs 2 format playing Worms Armageddon, Gang Beasts and Bomberman.

“Gaming was such a big part of my childhood, so to learn that you can make a living from working in the industry and then to study Esports at uni was a dream come true. This event is great opportunity for other gaming fans looking to get into the industry to see first-hand the amazing equipment we have on campus and understand what goes into putting on a live esports broadcast.”

Find more information and book your free tickets:

  • Sports Day – Monday 9 May, 10am to 4pm at the LRV, The Catalyst building and 3G AstroTurf pitches
  • Operation Overlord – Tuesday 10 May, 10am to 4pm at the Beacon building, LRV and The Catalyst building
  • Beyond the Machine – Wednesday 11 May, 9am to 5pm at the Beacon building, LRV and the Science Centre

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