Esports, short for electronic sports, is a type of video game tournament for hardcore amateurs and professionals alike. Its controversial naming may raise many a boomers’ eyebrows. But the competitive nature of esports cannot be ignored in 2022. And if you’re attending a British or Irish university, perhaps you’ve heard of the National University Esports League.


NUEL – National University Esports League

Founded in 2010 by Loughborough undergrads, the National University Esports League offers the biggest gaming events across the UK and Ireland. What’s more, students can participate “regardless of ability, experience or background.”

Popular games on offer include Rainbow Siege Six, CS:GO and Valorant. Any of those titles fit your niche? Then you should absolutely form or join an existing team!

Simply register your account after verifying your university email address.

When is it?

The championship is most active during the first two terms of the academic year.

If your team falls within the top 8 teams at the Winter Tournament, congratulations! You will then automatically qualify for the flagship Varsity tournament. But don’t despair if not, as there are typically four more spots up for grabs at the Varsity Qualifier in spring.

Moreover, it’s not unusual for local universities to hold gaming jams together. So stay vigilant and watch out for smaller scale inter-university competitions.


Which Games Can I Play In The Tournaments?

You may notice the aforementioned titles share a common theme: FPS. Yet it’s no wonder first-person shooters are trending in esports.

Multiple studies suggest the act of firing virtual bullets reflects upon our hunter-gatherer days of the past. Of course, there are countless reasons for wanting to shoot your friends. And wreck havoc once untethered from reality.

It’s not just shooters on the schedule however. The National University Esports League currently endorses the following multiplayer games:

  • Rainbow Siege Six
  • CS:GO
  • Valorant
  • League of Legends
  • Hearthstone
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League

Each of those games attract around 3 million players worldwide. On a daily basis. And that’s just according to analytics available on Steam. Though there are alternative routes to installation. For instance through publishers’ official sites. Or more commonly via game distribution services like Epic Games.



National University Esports League “develops student talent who are now working throughout the esports industry.”

Winning teams receive up to £100 in Amazon Vouchers. Furthermore, you get to play against 15 other European nations in the UEMasters.

So hop onto your gaming station and join 100+ institutions!