Two students from Queen Mary’s College (QMC) in Basingstoke have recreated the institution’s esports facility in Minecraft with impressive accuracy.
QMC first opened its £300,000 esports facility in May 2021, which includes 52 gaming systems, an editing and streaming room, mini cafe and even a yoga room.
The Esports BTEC qualification from Pearson UK and the British Esports Association is taught there, and the QM Samurai student teams take part in the British Esports Student Championships from there. It also hosts childrens parties and esports boot camps.
Now the facility has been recreated in the virtual world, thanks to two STEM students: 17-year-old Emily and 18-year-old James.
You can see the QMC esports arena in Minecraft in this video:
James and Emily told Esports News UK in a joint statement: “We chose to take part in this competition after seeing an announcement on Twitter and saw the opportunity as a fun and enjoyable challenge to develop our building skills within the game.
“It allowed us to step outside our comfort zone to build real-life replicas rather than our traditional build style which exists only within the game. The fine detailing, which was crucial, was also fun and enjoyable as the build slowly took shape over the Christmas holidays.”
The students said that QMCentaurs, the Minecraft team within QMSamurai, is also creating the Minecraft Collegiate League with Coventry College and Cambridge Regional College.
The Minecraft Collegiate League is a grassroots project designed to bring Minecraft into esports in the UK. Each college will build their own ‘home arena’ where they can do battle across a number of PVP game modes made popular by Minecraft.
“Minecraft is a very well known and versatile game that has a strong future,” James and Emily added. “It allows all groups of players to take part in esports, as not only do you have the players who battle it out to win, but also the build teams who create the maps for the games to take place on. This combination will create a new future for Minecraft in esports – and one that brought us to build the esports arena in Minecraft in the first place.”
James Fraser-Murison, director of learning at QMC and national trainer for the esports BTEC at Pearson UK, told Esports News UK that the virtual version of QMC’s facilities could be opened to the public in the future and host virtual open evenings.
James said: “The kids were really happy to be involved with this, doing something they enjoy, and it’s great to link Microsoft with education and esports.”
QMC is also in the process of expanding the top floor of its facility, with more announcements due soon.
Dom is an award-winning writer who 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 as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.