Nativz Esports Academy announced, aims to create pathway for student players in Ireland

Ireland Esports Collegiate Series Returns to Dogpatch Labs for 2024 Spring Finals

Nativz Gaming said it’s building the biggest esports talent academy in Ireland, providing aspiring Irish esports players with ‘a clear pathway to pro’.

This new initiative will act as a bridge between their Ireland Esports Collegiate Series (which serves 16 universities and colleges) and their esports organisation Nativz Esports Club.

It will provide opportunities for community talent to advance in six game titles to start with: League of Legends, Valorant, Counter-Strike 2, Rocket League, F1 24 and EA FC 24.

Since its inception back in May 2021, Nativz Esports Club has experiemented with their League of Legends team. In 2022 they expanded into Valorant by signing a team straight out of the Collegiate Series, who consequently signed with fellow Irish org Wylde until they were recently released.

Nativz said that in 2023, Michael ‘BBMuffin’ Smirnov was scouted from Ireland Collegiate into the Nativz League of Legends first team for the NLC’s knockout cup competition, the Aurora Cup.

“[The academy] is the culmination of meticulus planning and development of the Ireland Esports Collegiate Series over the past two years,” said Kurt Pittman, Founder and CEO of Nativz Gaming, who is also a former Fulham FC and Brentford FC executive. “Drawing from our experiences in professional sport academies and the learnings gained from innovating in this exciting industry, we think the time is right to complete the pathway for the Irish esports community.

“We’re excited by the interest we’ve received from potential mentors to provide invaluable guidance and support. Our holistic approach acknowledges that not every participant will pursue a professional esports career, yet each individual has the potential to contribute uniquely to our community.”

nativz esports academy chart

Nativz also told Esports News UK they’re building an academy like football clubs have done, with a path to pro for players. They hope this will also lift the standard and awareness of the Ireland Esports Collegiate Series, and that they will help any top players they can’t take on facilitate moves to other esports orgs too.

They also said they will help with player health and wellbeing, via a development programme they’re putting in place.

In addition to supporting players, the academy’s program will also cater for coaches, managers, analysts and content creators. Nativz Gaming said their leadership team have all emerged from within the Ireland Collegiate community.

The most recent addition is Jan Biernacki to Lead the academy. Jan joins as the incumbent Esports Society President for South Eastern Technological University (SETU).

“We’re adopting a hybrid model that ensures flexibility and accessibility across the island. In-person sessions will coincide with flagship Ireland Collegiate events such as the recent Spring Finals Weekend at Dogpatch Labs,” said Jan Biernacki, who is leading the new academy.

“Our goal is to provide comprehensive support and resources that haven’t been available before, setting a new standard for esport talent development in Ireland.”

Current and former Ireland Esports Collegiate Series players, creators, plus aspiring coaches, managers and analysts are welcome to express interest in joining the Nativz Esports Club Academy by completing their details in this Nativz Esports Academy application form. There’s more info at

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