Categories: Esports News

Oxford vs. Cambridge Esports Varsity Tournament Returns for 2022

For centuries, the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, located in the United Kingdom, have been knee-deep in competition. It’s an age-old, relatively good-natured battle that has come about following almost 1000 years of each university trying to prove it’s better than the other. Since 2014, students at both universities have come together to go head-to-head on a much more modern playing field – at the Oxford vs. Cambridge Esports Varsity tournament.

Every year, both universities compete against one another in many ways, most famously with The Boat Race, an annual competition that stretches back to 1856. It’s a monumental event every year, and at its peak, a quarter of a million people watched live, with around 15 million tuning in to watch the race digitally. In 2015, in the second year of the esports varsity tournament, around 8,000 viewers followed the gameplay on Twitch, and the competition has only grown since then.

Evolution of Education

While it’s experiencing something of a slow-growth period in the United Kingdom, university esports is a tangible concept worldwide. For years, students with a passion for gaming have been working hard to introduce esports into their educational institutions in one way or another, and their efforts are definitely being rewarded. In the last ten years or so, we’ve seen more universities opening up their curricula to the idea of esports degrees, for better or worse.

In many countries and regions around the world, many universities compete in local, student-organised esports tournaments and leagues. There are more organised efforts in some countries, such as in the United States, where systems like the Rocket League Collegiate Program exist. In the United Kingdom, things are moving a little slower, but tournaments like the Oxford vs. Cambridge Esports Varsity event are certainly a step in the right direction.

This weekend, on the 25th and 26th of June, both universities will field teams to compete across a range of top esports titles. These include the likes of CSGO, Valorant, Overwatch, League of Legends, and Rocket League. At present, the scoreline is 4 – 4, and each university enters this tournament determined to ‘go positive’.

Step Into The Esports Varsity Event

For those looking to study esports at university, this event could be something of an eye-opener. At the tournament, which spans two days, there are plenty of things to see and do, including learning more about picking up formal education in esports. On the main stage, talks will be held, smaller tournaments will take place, and esports fans can network with like-minded individuals, all at the Red Bull Esports Sphere in London.

This is far from being the only esports event taking place in the United Kingdom in the near future. It was just weeks ago that the NSE (National Student Esports) hosted a Genshin Impact Invitational, an esports varsity event that boasted an £11,000 prize pool. If you want to step outside of the varsity scene, consider looking to the Insomnia Festival – this is held twice a year and brings with it multiple esports tournaments.

It’s a growing scene, and following the Oxford vs. Cambridge Esports Varsity tournament, it’ll only continue to grow.

Grant Taylor-Hill

[Staff Writer] Grant is a jack-of-all esports journalist, covering everything from Call of Duty to League of Legends, and from esports betting to streamer controversies. If he's not writing about games, he's probably playing them or creating content focused on them.

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