College students getting Esports in their ‘Crosshairs’
A team of Coventry College students are aiming to put the city on the Esports map as they battle in a national tournament.
Six students from the College are representing the City in the British Esports Association’s Overwatch Tournament – which sees around 70 colleges competing against each other in weekly matches.
Each College competes in teams of six on Overwatch – an online first-person game played by more than 40 million people where players work as a team to defend and control locations on a map.
Coventry College’s team – called Coventry Crosshairs – are in a group of eight teams, and if they finish top of their group will proceed to the knockout rounds in January. The finals will take place in the UK’s biggest gaming convention, Insomnia in April 2020.
The College got off to a winning start in early October – defeating West Lancashire College 3-1 after coming out on top of the majority of the four challenges which involve capturing locations and escorting vehicles.
Shoubna Naika-Taylor, Games Lecturer at Coventry College, is managing the Coventry Crosshairs.
She said: “This is an unbelievable opportunity for our games design students to experience a different side of the industry that they are studying in, while also helping them to develop skills that can help them in their careers.
“It’s important to have fun with these games but they are equally pressurised and stressful situations, as the players need to take orders, communicate with each other and make crucial decisions – all qualities that they can use in other areas of their lives.
“Esports is a fast-developing competitive industry, and as such, we are treating this like any other competitive sport to reflect the professional environment that top-level e-sports players compete in. The students are playing within the professional esports rules and play format.
“Our players are practicing for around an hour a day alongside their studies as well as at home, and we have a team selection every Monday ahead of each match on a Wednesday. They are also given the professional experience of having a coach to help them strategise and improve their skills.
“Providing students with the opportunity to compete is an advantageous bolt-on to our courses, and we are currently exploring the idea of launching dedicated Esports courses in the future to reflect the growing stature of the industry.”
The Coventry Crosshairs – which is made up of Coventry College’s interactive media and games design students – have upcoming matches against Carmel College, Glasgow Clyde College and Farnborough College before the end of term.
To follow the team’s progress follow @citycampusgames on Twitter.
Find out about Gaming courses at Coventry College and how to apply.