Youngsters kick off Euros tournament in new £2.7m esports facilities

Football fever descended on Staffordshire University last week as 48 young people from Stoke-on-Trent competed in a Euro 2024 esports tournament

Children playing a computer game in the sports arena

48 young people had chance to compete in Staffordshire University's brand new esports arena

Our students have done a sensational job on the broadcast and putting everything together. I also want to give a shout out to the young people from Stoke City. They've been fantastic to deal with and have loved being here.

Thomas Evans, Esports Lecturer

Organised by Staffordshire University and Stoke City FC Community Trust, the two-day competition during half-term saw participants, aged 11 to 16, play EAFC24 in brand new £2.7m esports facilities at the University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus.

Players represented each team taking part in the Euro 2024 championship after Stoke City FC players Ki Jana Hoever and Freddie Anderson helped with the draw earlier this month.

It is the first external event to make use of the new esports facilities at Staffordshire University which includes a 60-seat arena, multi-camera studio and two professional production galleries.

Lewis McMurdo, Youth engagement Senior Coach at Stoke City FC Community Trust, commented: “We are among the first people who have been able to come and use Staffordshire University’s new esports facility and it's been an absolute an honour to be here.

“It is great that we are able to provide these opportunities for the young people of our city. I think it's really important for young people get out during the school holidays and can visit somewhere like this but also benefit from the social element. Hopefully it’s something they'll be able to remember for the rest of their lives.”

Students from Staffordshire University’s BA (Hons) Esports course helped to run the event and broadcast it live on Twitch, getting hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment used by professional broadcasting companies.

This included vision mixing on Panasonic’s KAIROS live video production platform, using an EVS XT-GO system for action replays and an Allen and Heath Avantis audio desk.

Tyler Quelch, a final year Esports student, said: “This has been my first time actually getting hands on with the new equipment and it's really cool. These are the best facilities I've used at the uni and it lets us do a much bigger production than we've ever been able to do in the past.”

Esports Lecturer Thomas Evans added: “With Euro 2024 right around the corner, we thought it'd be a fantastic opportunity to get the kids involved and invite them into the arena and to see the facilities that we've got here. Then also give them a chance to have a really good day playing in the competition.

“Our students have done a sensational job on the broadcast and putting everything together. I also want to give a shout out to the young people from Stoke City. They've been fantastic to deal with and have loved being here. They've got involved with every game and there’s been a really good atmosphere. The event has been absolutely fantastic and we look forward to working with Stoke City FC Community Trust more in the future.”

Discover more about Staffordshire University’s Esports degree at its Open Day on Saturday 8 June – book your place.

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