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Staffordshire win first UK University Hearthstone League, a new tournament formed by Warwick students after NSE dropped its championship

Staffordshire University won the first UK University Hearthstone League today as the live finals played out at the University of Warwick’s esports centre.

Staffs students Carnage and Paradox, who is also a UK Hearthstone player for Vexed, beat Warwick Ultrasaurs’ Harry Boyce and Eamon Lear in the final 3-1.

Prizes for the top three teams included hoodies and shirts of choice from the official Hearthstone merch store, HyperX gaming mice and mouse mats and an official Hearthstone insulated water bottle. These prizes were made possible from the league’s sponsors, HyperX and BowenBros LTD.

When asked what they will be filling their winning Hearthstone bottle up with, Paradox said blackcurrant, ‘as it’s the best beverage you can buy from Tesco for only £1’, and Carnage said water, to keep the stream child-friendly.

The league was put together by students and alumni at Warwick after tournament organiser NSE dropped its regular Hearthstone leagues and cups earlier this year.

Joe Perrin, founder of UKUHL and Card Games Lead for Warwick Esports, said that he felt that University Hearthstone was too important and had developed the skills of too many students across the country to be let go.

“So, I had a chat with some friends, one of whom is Warwick Alumni and semi-pro Hearthstone player William ‘Judgement’ Thomas, and we agreed that we wanted to create a Hearthstone league,” Joe said. “Starting an entire national league from scratch has been quite difficult, but thankfully we’ve had a lot of help along the way, through our collaboration with NSE and the integral support of Warwick Esports, university staff and the esports centre.”

Running as an NSE affiliate league, the first iteration of the league comprised of a weekend cup, with qualifications on Saturday November 27th and then live finals for the top eight teams today (Saturday December 4th), hosted at the University of Warwick’s new esports centre.

“I’m over the moon that all 17 finalists were able to attend in person and it was a big day for the centre too. It was a great way to pilot a national finals and I can’t wait to see what the students and the society do next.”

Jack Fenton, University of Warwick

The format of the league takes inspiration from the NSE’s previous Hearthstone league, with teams of two to three players from each university, competing against each other for a chance at the prize pool. This first endeavour involved 15 teams consisting of 33 players from 12 different universities.

Jack Fenton, the University of Warwick’s head of esports, said he was blown away by the passion and commitment shown by the group of students volunteering to make this event happen.

“I’m over the moon that all 17 finalists were able to attend in person and it was a big day for the centre too. It was a great way to pilot a national finals and I can’t wait to see what the students and the society do next,” Jack said.

“This is exactly what I had in mind when we started building the facility and I’m so happy that students are putting their expertise to practice and building such a great portfolio for themselves and great experiences for so many others.”

Solomon ‘Ainsley’ Clarke, a student playing for one of Cambridge’s teams was experiencing mixed emotions when he discovered university esports.

“I was excited when I learnt about inter-university Hearthstone, and then of course very disappointed when the official league was cancelled,” Solomon said. “But the disappointment didn’t last long – the speed and efficiency with which the league was organised and begun was very impressive.

“The first round of the tournament went off without a hitch and was managed flawlessly by the admins. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the final but it’s hugely exciting to see in-person esports events being run and it’s a great indicator for the health and popularity of university esports.”

Warwick Esports is the official esports society and the home of all things gaming at the University of Warwick in the UK. They field hundreds of players each year in multiple games and genres. Warwick has a dominant history in the university scene, and are the back-to-back-to-back UK Esports University of the Year winners.

Warwick has told Esports News UK that the new Hearthstone league will be returning in 2022, following positive feedback from participants.

The finals and all of the day’s accompanying events were streamed at twitch.tv/warwickesports today.

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Esports News UK

Esports News UK was established in late 2015, and features the latest stories, match reports, interviews and videos covering the UK esports scene. We predominantly focus on League of Legends but also cover other games like FIFA and Overwatch, as well as streamer articles and news from the wider gaming community.

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