Year two in review
Two years ago, on the 3rd of March 2020, Esports Team Twente was founded as the newest official UT student team. Although we were off to a great start with exposure on social media, the radio and even an article in the Tubantia, the UT closing down shortly after to follow COVID regulations slowed our momentum down considerably. However, in year two we have shown that our two main building blocks, research and eSport athleticism, sustained and exceeded the expectations and goals set during the last academic year. The Esports Team Twente has shown to be an exciting and interesting opportunity for students to elevate themselves into the world of eSports, connected with the academic nature and community of the university and the unique characteristics of eSports related gaming and activities. As we continue to thrive, we aim to establish ourselves as the next big national and international esports organization and network. To celebrate everything we have achieved already, we would like to take you along and present some highlights of our second year.
The League of Legends Team grabs European victory
After winning the national championship and competing successfully in two major student tournaments in the Netherlands, our League of Legends (LoL) Team can now call itself the best university team of Europe. In Alicante (Spain), we managed to compete against 16 international student teams and win the finals against Poland, winning the Amazon European Esports Masters Tournament. This event marks the highest achievement possible for any student team in this part of the world as the World Championships cannot be hosted due to the pandemic. But in the next academic year, we strive to make it to the world championships- and become the worlds’ best student eSports team.
Pushing eSports boundaries in Academia- Introducing the 'eSports minor' for Students at the UT
What player attributes determine player performance? How can we extract and interpret performance related variables from games? How can we prepare players for the adrenaline filled matches? And how should an esports organization operate in the multidisciplinary, multinational, culturally diverse and digital environment? – These are the questions students deal with in the newly developed eSports Minor at the University of Twente.
As the first university in the Netherlands, the Esports Team Twente introduced an eSports-related minor in collaboration with the eSports Lab. In this minor, students will push themselves and learn about the challenges in esports as well as the opportunities that esports provides for other domains. During the minor, students will also be provided with the opportunity to gain experience in tackling these challenges first hand by applying state of the art measurement techniques, scientific and practical knowledge from literature and internationally recognized (guest) lecturers.
Creating an impact for the Region with the Play2Game Project
As pioneers and ambassadors of eSports and gaming in the region of Twente, it is our very responsibility to create an impact for today and tomorrow. Together with Sportaal, a company in Enschede targeted at making sports and exercise accessible to everyone, our interdisciplinary team of psychologists, eSports athletes and PhD students is currently working on the development of an intervention that teaches children and adolescents to game in a healthy way. As our research team has a keen eye for the demands of the youth, gamers, students, and the ‘gamer society’ at large, we try to break stereotypes and create a path towards better gaming for everyone. By applying top-notch research and engaging actively with our stakeholders, we want to spread awareness about changes, benefits and possibilities of healthy gaming behaviour.
From academic research to societal value: Royal Dutch Navy Collaboration
One of the key goals of the UT is a knowledge transfer between the UT and society; applying the lessons we learn to make a difference in the world. Perhaps the best showcase of this is our collaboration with the Royal Dutch Navy on applying lessons learned from esports to contribute to training of army personnel.
Games offer a reproducible, high-stress environment where teams have to maneuver in complex missions to win; an ideal situation to test and train team- and communication skills, such as leadership or decision making. Together with the Esportslab, led by Guido Bruinsma, ETT is working on developing a workshop which will effectively use gaming to train such skills for training applications.
Twente’s talent: A professional esports organization
Our vision for ETT is to operate internationally as a professional esports organization, participating in various esports games on a high level and showcasing not just the talent we have, but how research and data analysis can help us improve even further. We’re proud to announce we are already involved in eight different esports games:
- League of Legends. Our five man team, with a coach and manager, are currently on top of the European student teams. For the next year, we thrive to make it to the world championships in China and show everyone what the Esports Team Twente is capable of.
- Teamfight Tactics (TFT). Our newest TFT player placed first in the national competition, qualifying for the European Esports Masters Tournament, where he will compete against international players from 16 different countries.
- Simracing, with two very talented UT students currently in 1st and 3rd place in the Driver Rankings of Assetto Friends Asia League, and will soon enter the Simrace Vereniging Nederland (SRVN).
- Rainbow 6 Siege. After signing superstar player Deago from Kurdistan, we developed a stable roster that is preparing to enter and compete in the Benelux scene. With an academy team in the making, we strive to make our way to the top.
- Valorant. Within the last year, we managed to set up a new competitive five man Valorant team that is currently preparing to compete against other national student teams.
- ETT has one athlete participating in various FIFA competitions, as well as a team organizing student competitions. Furthermore, ETT collaborates and trains together with FC Twente’s esports department!
- Rocket League. With two teams, ETT Blue and Red, we’re doing well in Rocket League. Our best team is currently participating in the European University Rocketeers Championship!
- CS:GO, with a 5-man squad and a coach, the participate in the Dutch College CSGO League, as well as help us out with our collaboration with the Royal navy.
We will continue to expand to become active on the entire spectrum of esports. Any talented players are welcome to contact us if they are interested in representing Twente on the big stage.
Showcasing what Twente has to offer: Introducing the Esports Lounge
In line with our mission to become (inter-)national ambassadors for eSports and a driving force for introducing eSports into the region, the Esports Lounge Twente was established as a collaborative effort between us, the Esports Team Twente, Blueshell (the biggest national student gaming association) and the Student Union of the University. Over the past year, the lounge was build in the Bastille and will be our future headquarter in the upcoming years. The Esports Lounge includes facilities for professional training, competition and tournaments. It features a community hub for students, as well as professional broadcast equipment for streaming, recording and hosting different types of events. In addition to that, a bar and other multifunctional spaces can be found there to host different events and bring gamers and non-gamers in the region together.
As the Esports Lounge is not limited to members of the Esports Team Twente or Blueshell, everyone that is in possession of a Union card can reserve the lounge facilities during the opening ours. So come and visit us, have a drink and play your favourite game at one of our high-end gaming PCs!
Esports Team Twente will continue in our mission to push the boundaries of esports. In the coming year, we aim to expand further and establish ourselves in the center of an esports network, collaborating with local and large partners alike to push innovation and professional development of the gaming scene, while showcasing that for anyone interested in gaming, Twente is the place to be.