The University of Roehampton is hosting the fist-ever live event by BADASS University All Stars League (BUAL), one of the UK’s most popular eSports leagues, at its eSports Arena on 4-5 December.
BUAL brings together highly-skilled students from 35 UK universities to team up and compete against each other on the online tactical shooter video game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. For the first time, the BUAL’s final round of its fourth season will be a live event conducted from the University of Roehampton’s renowned eSports Arena, which features 30 high-end gaming PCs with 240hz eSports monitors, optical keyboards and lightweight mice, along with a dedicated content creation and streaming room.
The University of Roehampton’s eSports Arena is part of the University’s strong commitment to eSports, including its successful eSports scholarship programme launched in 2018. The programme has enrolled 32 scholars since its inception including the UK’s first female eSports scholar, Julia Cwierz. The University recently launched Women in Games scholarship, aimed at breaking down barriers for entry into the gaming industry.
In a world in which gaming is not yet widely respected as a viable career path, BUAL and the University of Roehampton have shown how gaming can be enriching at a base level, both in terms of social bonding and career progression.
Over the last year, BUAL has demonstrated how a passion for gaming can be harnessed to connect students from universities across the UK to form tight-knit online communities. It has supported over 100 students with paid experience and training across all areas of eSports, such as production, casting and observing. The league also provides additional revenue stream for students, with BUAL’s top prize for players in the league totalling £1.2k.
Since its inception in November 2020, BUAL has held three seasons, reaching the top 0.25% of Twitch channels and has frequently been in the top five concurrent Twitch channels for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege game, boasting a committed audience who watch each stream for 1.3 hours on average.
Kairo, a commentator and player for BUAL, speaks fondly of the community that the league has formed: “BUAL has a special place in my heart. Becoming organically invested in the league, as well as working with some of the best up and coming production talent, has grown me as a caster. I’ve seen first-hand the community that BUAL has created away from the league – most of these people wouldn’t be friends or playing together if it wasn’t for the league. It is completely unique from the other leagues and, in my opinion, the best university league in the UK.”
James Ayres, Sport and Active Communities Manager at The University of Roehampton said:
“We’re very excited to host BUAL’s first live LAN event. The League has provided a valuable gateway for students across the UK to connect and form gaming communities online, which has been especially important over the past 18 months of lockdowns and social restrictions. Our eSports Arena is tailor-made for an event of this nature and we’re looking forward welcoming the diverse group of players in what promises to be an exciting final round of BUAL’s fourth season.”
Dicta, a player for BUAL, has appreciated the welcoming community created at BUAL:
“I have now taken part in all 3 seasons of BUAL and I’ve found it to be a super accepting environment, both as a general player and also as a trans person. Furthermore, it’s given me a unique opportunity to meet players from other universities with who I’ve become friends that I would never have otherwise met. Overall, it’s been a really fun experience which has improved me as a player and I would recommend it to any Rainbow Six Siege player at university.”
The growth of BUAL is synonymous with the trend of the UK’s younger generation becoming accustomed to forming friendships online, with Deloitte recently reporting that gaming is Gen Z’s favourite hobby
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