Moray College UHI reach semi-finals in Scottish College Esports Tournament

This weekend Moray College UHI fought valiantly to reach the semi-finals of the CDN Student Valorant competition. Organised by the College Development Network and the British Esports Association, 12 colleges from all over Scotland put forward teams to play in a virtual tournament with the computer game Valorant.

Kenji Lamb, Digital & Innovation Lead at CDN: “We knew that Tom and his team from Moray were putting in a lot of work behind the scenes to prepare for the Showdown tournament. So, we were delighted to see that work paying off when they reached the final 4 in the College’s first foray into esports competition.

As a growth industry, colleges will play an important part in supplying the digitally skilled workforce to expand esports in Scotland. Gaming/esports societies and inter-college competition also provide students with a rich social experience, much needed in these times of limited contact. We look forward to teams from Moray College UHI participating in future games, and especially the Scottish College Cup in November!”

The Moray College UHI team was selected from 10 volunteers.  The students trained for several weeks before a team was finally picked of the best six players.  The tournament had a group stage with 2 groups of 6 teams round robin played over two weeks.  The top 3 teams from each group progressed to the weekend and participated a knock-out dual. On the final day of gaming action, the team made it to the semi-finals.  The final weekend was streamed to over 100,000 viewers.

Total viewing figures for the CDN College Esports weekendTotal viewing figures for the CDN College Esports weekend

Valorant is a free-to-play hero shooter game developed and published by Riot Games released in 2020.  It is a popular game for esports professionals and enthusiasts alike.  Each match was played on the map “Haven” and it was first to 13 wins.  Each team was either the attacker or defender.  If attacking, to win a round they could either kill all the opponent players or plant a bomb in their camp.  If defending, then they had to defuse the bomb or kill the opponent players.

The global esports industry and associated streaming services are worth around $1bn today, and are expected to reach $1.6bn by 2023 growing 15% per year according to analysts at Newzoo.  Esports is a growing industry in Scotland with Northern Lights Area Europe Limited signing an exclusive deal with Dundee City Council on a new entertainment centre with an esports arena and local colleges developing higher education opportunities in this area.

Throughout the tournament the students demonstrated core employability skills identified by Skills Development Scotland such as good communication, team-work and leadership, self-motivation, problem solving and creativity. 

The students who took part were Konrad Jablonski (team captain), Jonah Toral, Morgan Martin, Andrew Webster and Kieran Stuart. The team was organised by Dr Tom McCallum, lecturer on the BSc (Hons) Applied Software Development degree.