The University Esports Masters – the pan-European League of Legends collegiate tournament – will allow countries to field multiple teams this year.
This means that the UK will have three student teams in the tournament instead of the usual one. Other countries will field more teams too.
And in a surprising twist, both UK university esports bodies and tournament providers – NUEL and NSE – will provide slots in the University Esports Masters. Previously, it was just NUEL that provided one slot into the tournament.
From the UK, two top student teams from the Winter term will be entered into the tournament: one qualifying through the NUEL-run Amazon University Esports tournament, and one through NSE’s League of Legends tournament.
Up to 30 teams from 14 nations across Europe are expected to participate in the University Esports Masters, competing for a share of a €15,000 prize pool.
The competition format has changed to include a European League, which will take place during April and May, culminating in the UEMasters Finals in July.
A press release stated that the aim is to ‘provide a great experience to university students and allow more countries and regions to join’.
There will also be a final opportunity after the Spring academic term in which a student team from each country will be able to participate in the Last Chance Qualifier. This is a mini-tournament that will determine the last four participants in the UEMasters playoffs.
Both NUEL and NSE said they are ‘incredibly excited’ to support all three UK teams competing against the best universities from across Europe.
David Jackson, acting managing director at NUEL, said: “It’s fantastic to see the University Esports Masters grow in the way that it has, and this is yet another important milestone in the growth of European university esports.
“By working together, we think there’s a fantastic opportunity to involve even more people and widen the university esports community, and we can’t wait for UEM 2021 to get started.”
Esports News UK understands that David is taking on the acting MD role as NUEL founder Josh Williams focuses on more of the European activities for NUEL and Amazon University Esports, which was announced this time last year.
Sam Hibbert, head of partnerships at NSE, added: “We’re extremely excited to be part of the University Esports Masters 2021 League of Legends collegiate tournament.
“This is the first time a top student LoL team from the British University Esports Championship Winter term will be qualifying into UEM. We are looking forward to supporting all three UK teams alongside NUEL in July.”
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Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.