Warwick and University College among UK universities with most gamers
30 April 2023
Especially if you are a regular reader, you will know that we like to report not just on esports in the UK in general, but on esports at UK universities as well. Just last week, for example, we wrote about the Montessori British School in Murcia becoming Spain’s first educational institution to offer official courses revolving around esports and a few weeks before that, we covered Aston University’s first-ever LAN event. Universities and the rapidly growing esports sector could be a perfect match and we are clearly not the only ones who can see the potential. Uswitch, Britain’s largest online and telephone comparison and switching service, has recently conducted research into which universities have the most gamers and the results are fascinating.
Warwich takes the top spot
As esports and gaming are becoming more and more accepted as valuable additions to the existing educational infrastructure in the United Kingdom, Uswitch wanted to find out which universities in the UK actually boast the most gamers. To do so, the company looked at various factors, including the size of each university’s gaming society, the number of followers on various social media channels for those societies, and the number of enrolled students who also participate in the university’s esports activities and competitions. It’s important to note that Uswitch focused solely on quantity in terms of gamers at each university, not on achievements in the field of esports.
For those who regularly follow university esports in the UK, it’s probably not a surprise to learn that the University of Warwick was identified by Uswitch as the British university with the most gamers. By adding the members of the Warwick esports society’s Discord and Twitter channels, plus the number of students who are active esports players, the broadband expert counts a total of 4,282 associated gamers at Warwick. That’s considerably more than number two on the list, University College London, with 3,544 associated games, and the number three, the University of Manchester, with 3,240 associated gamers.
Warwick has been central to esports developments in the UK for some time already, though. As a matter of fact, the University of Warwick was actually crowned as UK Esports University of the Year in 2022 after finishing in first place during the British University Esports Championships (BUEC). On top of that, the university was nominated for two prestigious Esports Awards last year, in the categories “Esports Collegiate Program of the Year” and “Esports Collegiate Ambassador of the Year). Unfortunately, neither of the nominations was converted into an award.
Bonding through esports
One of the things Uswitch wanted to examine through that research is to what extent UK universities are active in the fields of esports and gaming, and how that is helping students to make the most of their study time. The ability to bond through gaming, in particular, was of interest to the researchers.
“Gaming can be especially beneficial for university students as it not only allows them to relax in between their hectic daily lives, but also allows them to form friendships with other students by playing with them or bonding over specific gaming interests”, explains Nick Baker, online gaming expert at Uswitch, “Gaming societies should be treated in the same manner as any other typical university society. It makes students feel accepted and a part of a community, which undoubtedly improves their social connections and mental health.”