The British Esports Association, the organisation set up to promote esports in the UK, has just announced that they are planning to add Valorant to the list of esports titles available for their British Esports Student Champs program.
The British Esports Student Champs is a program of esports events across the United Kingdom. It is hosted by the British Esports Association. They organise plenty of tournaments and leagues throughout the year for esports players in school and college. Anyone from 12 and up who fall into those categories are free to sign up.
The events take place across the UK academic year. Now that kids are back to school, they are opening up the registrations for the 2021/22 academic year. Kids can sign up in their own schools provided that the schools are open to registering a team.
The year long student esports calendar is being supported by the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies. That is the gaming and tech portion of Nottingham Trent University. Their own esports complex, Confetti X, will be the host of the grand finals of the British Esports Student Champs series.
This is a great program from the university and the Esports Association. While esports may be gaining popularity across the globe, the fanbase and understanding is very decentralised. Not many esports teams have home grounds that local fans show up to every week to watch a game. Programs like these are hugely important in breaking down the barriers between esports enthusiasts and the lees understanding general public.
Normally, the British Esports Student Champs only has three esports titles available. In the past those have been Rocket League, Overwatch, and League of Legends. All of these games will still be supported by the program but due to overwhelming demand, Valorant has also been included.
Now, there will be restrictions placed on the students that are able to play Valorant. In the UK, the game has a PEGI rating of 16+. Since this esports event is being held in partnership with local schools, the only people allowed to play Valorant at the event will have to be over the age of 16.
Because of these restrictions, Valorant will have a separate tournament track and schedule from the other three esports titles. They operate these schedules similarly to the most popular professional esports events out there. They have plenty of unique seasons, group stages, playoffs, and eventually finals.
It makes sense that Valorant has become so popular in the UK. We have always been a little behind the curve when it comes to legacy esports titles. Since Valorant is so new to scene, folks from the UK now have the chance to capitalise on a relatively small esports arena.
Now that Valorant has been added to a youth esports event, we could see even more esports pros coming out of the UK than ever before. We may have some fantastic esports organisations in the UK, but we could do with a little more talent.