The UKUHL prepare for their first live finals at the University of Warwick
In September NSE (National Student Esports) announced that they would no longer be continuing their regular Hearthstone leagues and cups. Not willing to let university Hearthstone fall to the wayside, students and alumni from the University of Warwick have banded together to launch UKUHL, a new university league to fill the gap in university Hearthstone esports.
Joe Perrin, founder of UKUHL and Card Games Lead for Warwick Esports, said that he felt that University Hearthstone was too important and had developed the skills of too many students across the country to be let go. “So, I had a chat with some friends, one of whom is Warwick Alumni and semi-pro Hearthstone player William ‘Judgement’ Thomas, and we agreed that we wanted to create a Hearthstone league. Starting an entire national league from scratch has been quite difficult, but thankfully we’ve had a lot of help along the way, through our collaboration with NSE and the integral support of Warwick Esports, University staff and the Esports Centre.”
Running as an NSE affiliate league, the first iteration of the league will comprise of a weekend cup, with qualifications happening on Saturday 27 Nov, and then live finals for the top 8 teams on Saturday 4th of December, hosted at the University of Warwick’s new Esports Centre. The finals and all of the day’s accompanying events and shenanigans will also be streamed at twitch.tv/warwickesports
The format of the league takes inspiration from the NSE’s previous team Hearthstone league and will comprise of teams of players from each university competing against each-other for a chance at the prize pool. This first endeavour will involve 15 teams comprising of 33 players from 12 different universities competing.
Jack Fenton, the University of Warwick’s Head of Esports commented that he was blown away by the passion and commitment shown by the group of students volunteering to make this event happen. “I’m over the moon that all 17 finalists were able to attend in person and it’s a big day for the Centre too”, adding that “It’s a great way to pilot a national finals and I can’t wait to see what the students and the society do next.”
“This is exactly what I had in mind when we started building the facility and I’m so happy that students are putting their expertise to practice and building such a great portfolio for themselves and great experiences for so many others.”
Solomon “Ainsley” Clarke, a student playing for one of Cambridge’s teams was experiencing mixed emotions when he discovered university esports. “I was excited when I learnt about inter-university Hearthstone, and then of course very disappointed when the official league was cancelled. But the disappointment didn’t last long – the speed and efficiency with which the league was organised and begun was very impressive.”
“The first round of the tournament went off without a hitch and was managed flawlessly by the admins. Unfortunately I’m unable to attend the in-person final but it’s hugely exciting to see in-person esports events being run and it’s a great indicator for the health and popularity of university esports.”
The league announced prizes for the top 3 teams, which include hoodies and shirts of choice from the official Hearthstone Merch Store, HyperX gaming mice and mouse mats and an official Hearthstone insulated water bottle. These generous prizes were made possible from the league’s sponsors, HyperX and BowenBros LTD.
About us: Warwick Esports are the official esports society and the home of all things gaming at the University of Warwick, UK. We field hundreds of players each year, in multiple games and genres. We aim to be the best university esports society in the UK, with a dominant history in the university scene, and are the back-to-back-to-back UK Esports University of the Year winners