Warwick becomes UK’s Esports University of the Year for a record five times in a row – but the gap at the top is narrowing

British University Esports Championship BUEC

The University of Warwick has once again been crowned Esports University of the Year in the UK by student esports body NSE (National Student Esports).

They have topped the standings for a fifth year in a row following the British University Esports Championship (BUEC) Spring Season and the 2022/2023 academic year.

The University of Warwick finished with 3,433 points, however this is 603 less than the previous year, when Warwick secured their fourth Esports University of the Year win.

Exeter and Durham finished in second and third place with 2,287 and 2,226 points respectively, as shown in the table below. Exeter had far fewer teams than their peers too – they had half the amount of teams as the University of Warwick and at least ten fewer teams compared to the rest of the top five.

Compared to last year, three new universities entered the top ten; the University of Kent, Lancaster University and the University of Nottingham.

A record number of 111 universities overall entered the race to be crowned Esports University of the Year. 

NSE’s Managing Director, Alex Coulson, said: “It’s fantastic to see our biggest BUEC season yet and the NSE community continue to grow. It’s always interesting to see new teams and universities enter into the top ten of the Championship as well as others making significant headway throughout the extensive leaderboard.

“Seeing everyone together for our live finals at Insomnia again this year, including the finals of our Women and Non-Binary Valorant Cup, was brilliant and really highlighted the passionate and talented students that we have competing in our tournaments.”

Changes at Warwick Esports including new president

The news comes following some changes at Warwick Esports. Caity Emery has stepped down as president, with Issra Khan becoming the new president.

Head of esports Jack Fenton has also departed Warwick after two years to become head of sales and partnerships at Esports Insider.

Caity Emery, Ex-President of Warwick Esports for 2022-2023, added: “I am so proud of the entire Warwick Esports community for their hard work throughout this year to secure our fifth consecutive victory. Every single team, player and staff member in Warwick Esports should be filled with pride today – I am sure this win will give the fresh-faced exec team all the motivation they need to continue on our legacy next year.”

Issra Khan, the new president of Warwick Esports, commented: “We as a society are very proud of all our achievements and this is no different. I am so happy and so thrilled that we have retained our status for the fifth year in a row. There’s also a massive sense of relief, as no-one wants to be the first year that we break the streak, and I hope that next year is no different. I look forward to cementing our legacy and making the streak six.”

Top 10 UK Esports Universities of 2022/2023 in the BUEC

1University of Warwick3433
2University of Exeter2287
3Durham University2226
4University of Southampton2090
5University of Portsmouth1745
6University of Kent1618
7Lancaster University1584
8University of Nottingham1507
9University of Birmingham1484
10University College London1457
The full 2022/2023 university esports standings can be found on the NSE website

Most improved universities in the BUEC

As well as Warwick’s Esports University of the Year achievement, City, University of London was the most improved university over the past academic year, they have placed 27th – a large leap of 36 places and 633 points. Other notable improvements are:

  • De Montfort University up 28 places
  • University of Plymouth up 23 places
  • London School of Economics up 19 places
  • University of Oxford up 18 places and made their first BUEC final ever
  • Leeds Beckett University up 18 places

New universities competing in the BUEC

Nine new universities competed this year: 

  • College of Esports
  • Arts University Bournemouth
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • The Royal Northern College of Music
  • University Campus Barnsley
  • University of East London
  • University for the Creative Arts, Surrey

Best regional esports universities in the BUEC

  • Best in Scotland: University of Glasgow
  • Best in Wales: Swansea University
  • Best in Northern Ireland: Queen’s University Belfast
  • Best in England: University of Warwick
  • Best in London: University College London

Esports University of the Year announcement follows i70 and Spring Finals

buec valorant finals 2023

NSE said in a press release that the British University Esports Championship ‘continues to be one of Europe’s largest organised esports competitions and is the UK’s most active grassroots gaming community in the country with an estimated 15,000+ matches played across this year’.

The BUEC season culminated with the spring finals at the Insomnia Gaming Festival (see our i70 esports winners roundup here), where NSE had their own dedicated University Esports area. This featured a stage for players to compete, a spectator area for attendees to support their favourite universities, a Monster Energy truck packed with Monster Energy cans, an Intel booth where people could compete for the fastest lap on their racing rig and a Pringles stand where you could earn some Pringles by taking part in Pringles’ gaming challenges.

For the first time this year, one of the Women and Non-Binary BUEC Cup finals took the stage for the live LAN finals at Insomnia. On Friday morning, NSE saw the top two Women and Non-Binary teams compete in Valorant.

The University of Nottingham and University College London battled for first place on stage in close games, with UCL winning overall. But it was Warwick that was crowned Esports University of the Year overall.

The BUEC runs in partnership with British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).

Related article: Which UK universities have the most gamers? Top ten listed

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