UK university esports body NSE (National Student Esports) has announced the 20 students selected to be a part of the Intel FutureGen Programme cohort for 2023.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the programme has been running, and the second consecutive year that 20 students have been chosen rather than 10.
Intel FutureGen aims to nurture high achieving student leaders and help develop their skills and enhance future careers. Students from previous cohorts have gone on to join esports, gaming and tech companies like Excel Esports, The Pokémon Company, X7 Esports, Esports Insider, Fnatic and HP Enterprise. You can see the previous 2022 Intel FutureGen student cohort here.
Running through the academic year, the 2023 programme will be delivered across a mix of digital and physical experiences. There will be a series of talks from senior industry leaders, exclusive Q&As, workshops, the buddy system which delivers one-to-one mentoring sessions from industry figures, access to industry events and more.
As in previous years, the talks will be broadcast live and made available for everyone in the wider NSE community, regardless of whether they were successful in their application to join the Intel FutureGen 2023 cohort.
The buddy system, which was originally introduced last year, will see this year’s cohort ‘carefully matched with esports and games industry experts to receive the most relevant insights into the career path they are interested in pursuing’.
NSE’s selected experts last year came from household names such as Ubisoft, Xbox, Unity and Faceit, with backgrounds in areas such as marketing, reporting, finance and partnership management. The full industry buddy list for this year will be announced in due course.
The Intel FutureGen 2023 student cohort
The 20 successful candidates for this year hail from a variety of UK universities and academic backgrounds. They are:
- Ashley Kluver – University of Warwick – Cyber Security
- Bee Smith – Bangor University – Zoology
- Benji Halford – University of Bath – Mathematics and Statistics
- Cherrie Ying Leung – London School of Economics and Political Science – Philosophy, Politics and Economics
- Christina Liddell – University of East Anglia – International Business Management
- Giovanni França – Imperial College London – Materials Science and Engineering
- Hinako Ishida – University of Warwick – English Literature and Creative Writing
- Issra Khan – University of Warwick – Global Sustainable Development and Psychology
- Jakub Sielski – University of Dundee – International Marketing
- Jamie Sykes – Sheffield Hallam University – Marketing and Advertising Communications
- Joshua Pattison – Durham University – Business & Management
- Laura Riches – University of Oxford – Classics (Literae Humaniores)
- Mahraz Abdullah – City, University of London, Civil Engineering
- Marcus Macsween – Keele University – Law (LLB)
- Millie Sandiford – University of Leeds – Theoretical Physics
- Morgan Decanter-Morris – University of Winchester – Cyber Security
- Olivia Helena Martinoli Issler – University College London – Arts and Science: Sciences and Engineering
- Sameer Mazhar – Oxford University – Law
- Sofia Freire Henriques Da Silva – Durham University – Philosophy, Politics and Economics
- Summer Link – Roehampton University – Computer Science
The Intel FutureGen 2023 judges
With over 100 applications to review, NSE said the initial shortlisting session took more than six hours, followed by a final judging session of four hours.
NSE added that ‘the judges were committed to processing every application fairly and selecting the best candidates for the programme.’
The judges for this year were:
- Ashley Washington – Product Lead for Game Changers EMEA – Riot Games
- Aaron Sanghera – Account Executive – UK Public Sector & Education – Intel
- Alex Coulson – Managing Director – NSE
- Ben Merrick – Producer – Ubisoft
- Debbie Scott-Bowden – Head of Gaming & Esports – CSM
- Sam Cooke – Co-Founder and Managing Director – Esports Insider
Intel FutureGen 2023 industry buddy list
As well as each student getting their own industry buddy, the cohort will benefit from a series of guest talks from expert esports professionals, plus exclusive Q&As, workshops, access to industry events and more.
This year’s lucky cohort will be matched up with experts in their field from companies such as PlayStation, OG Esports, Intel, Activision Blizzard, Excel Esports, yours truly (Esports News UK) and others.
The buddy list below is a group of industry figures who are giving up their time to support the students and provide guidance over a series of sessions:
- Alice Leaman – Head of Operations at British Esports
- Becks Donaldson – Talent Executive at DotXTalent
- Charlie Stebbings – Co-Founder at Reset
- Dom Sacco – Founder at Esports News UK
- Dominika Szot – Head of Brand Strategy at GRID Esports
- Joe Hills – Partnerships Manager at Activision Blizzard
- Joshua Norris – Fan Engagement Coordinator at OG Esports
- Kerry Waananen – International Account Manager at Unlocked (META)
- Laura Tomlin – Senior Community & Events Manager at Excel Esports
- Mark Broom – UK Consumer Client Marketing Specialist at Intel
- Matthew ‘Kharne’ Macdonald – Esports Manager at Player1 Events
- Michael Blount – Communications Director EMEA at The Story Mob
- Monkia Strauja – Content Strategist previously at Team Liquid
- Prince Yeboah – Project Manager at PlayStation
- Raphael Rau – Esports, Gaming & Metaverse Brand Partnerships at SPORTFIVE
- Rob Sargent – Co-Founder at Flex
- Samuel Jones – Influencer Lead at Bastion
- Sarah Fox – Production & Events – Project Manager at EPIC.LAN
- Sue Lavasani – Senior Account Manager previously at Heaven Media
- Vicky Cheng – VP, Partnerships at Sportskred
Related article: NSE and Host to bring more esports events to the North West
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He 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 and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.