Press release

03/04/2019

Gfinity Arena to host Overwatch Digital Schoolhouse Esports Tournament Grand Finale

Finalists of UK’s national school esports tournament set to clash as part of London Games Festival

London, Wednesday 3rd April 2019: Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse powered by PlayStation®, is pleased to announce that the grand finale of its third national esports tournament will once again be hosted at the Gfinity Esports Arena in Fulham as part of the London Games Festival on 10th April. Participants will battle it out via the hugely popular game Overwatch, by Blizzard Entertainment.
 
This year’s tournament has seen a significantly greater turnout from schools and colleges around the UK than ever before, with 3,500 young people taking part. Regional qualifiers were held at locations ranging from Bristol to Craigavon throughout March, in which students took on roles of players, shoutcasters, event producers and other duties under the keen guidance of games industry professionals, effectively making the tournament not just a competitive event, but an immersive careers experience.
 
The finale is expected to draw a wide range of high profile guests and spectators from across participating schools, the games industry and the political landscape, with matches also broadcast on video streaming platform Twitch. Students will have the opportunity to converse with experienced video games professionals, broadening horizons and highlighting career growth opportunities as part of a truly unique educational experience.
 
The finalists include:
 
Only W! – Woking High School
Matador Gamers – Marling School
Resurrection – De Salle College
Crosshairs – Coventry College
Unconfirmed – NE Futures UTC
Scorpions - King Edward IV School
Bohunt School Worthing - Bohunt School Worthing
 
“Gfinity’s support in lending its state-of-the-art facilities in west London, as well as its leading production skills and stellar reputation as the UK’s home of esports, has been a huge boon to the tournament,” said Shahneila Saeed, Programme Director for Digital Schoolhouse and Head of Education at Ukie. “Part of what makes the tournament so special is bringing a high quality educational experience to all involved and Gfinity plays a massive role in making that happen. Being part of the London Games Festival’s catalogue of events is also really exciting and further imbues proceedings with a real sense of progression as we become part of the fabric of the UK’s games industry.”
 
“We are proud to extend our strong relationship as hosts of the Digital Schoolhouse Esports Tournament Finale and play our part in showcasing the exciting opportunities the games industry offers to the next generation of industry professionals,” said Garry Cook, Executive Chairman at Gfinity. “Gfinity is renowned for its best-in-class production and tournament operations and we look forward to making stars of our guests who, for one day, will experience the excitement and adrenaline of the esports professional when they step foot inside the Gfinity Esports Arena.”
 
Studies have shown that taking part in the Digital Schoolhouse esports tournament directly empowers young people and boosts their career aspirations, with 88 per cent of players saying taking part made them more interested in a games industry career and 94 per cent saying they were more now interested in studying Computing and computing subjects.
 
The finale will be part of the 2019 London Games Festival, which is comprised of a series of events showcasing London and the UK’s globally-lauded games industry. Other events taking place include EGX Rezzed at Tobacco Docks, Now Play This at Somerset House and a cosplay parade through the capital, all backed by the Mayor of London, who over the last three years has provided £1.2 million of funding to the festival.
 
Watch the Overwatch Digital Schoolhouse Esports Tournament finale live at https://www.twitch.tv/dsh_tv
 
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag: #DSHesports
 
For more information about Digital Schoolhouse activity and to take part in the next esports tournament, visit www.digitalschoolhouse.org.uk/esports.
 
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About Digital Schoolhouse
 
The not-for-profit Digital Schoolhouse programme, powered by PlayStation®, uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of pupils and teachers with the new Computing curriculum. Digital Schoolhouse is delivered by the UK games industry trade body Ukie, and was originally seed funded by the Mayor of London’s London Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF).
 
Each Digital Schoolhouse is based in a school, college or university environment, and aims to work with a growing network of local primary and secondary teachers to deliver creative and cross-curricular computing lessons using play-based learning. Through this, it supports the new Computing programme of study for the national curriculum in a way that leaves pupils and teachers feeling inspired about, and engaged with, computing and the wider creative digital industries. The workshops put theory into practice and help teachers embed it with ongoing personalised support and continuing professional development (CPD). The programme has been accurately described as a ‘bridge between education and industry’ – and a good one at that.

About Gfinity
Gfinity (LON: GFIN) is a world-leading esports solutions provider. Its business to business platform, “Powered by Gfinity”, delivers managed services to game publishers, sports rights holders, commercial partners and media companies. Gfinity creates bespoke solutions, including competitions and industry leading content production, connecting its partners with the esports community in authentic and innovative ways. Partnerships include EA SPORTS, F1 Esports Series, Halo World Championship and the Forza Racing Championship.
 
Gfinity connects directly with competitive gaming consumers through its owned competition platform, the “Gfinity Elite Series”. The Series enables competitive gamers to be part of the Gfinity community, testing themselves and developing new skills, while providing a pathway for those who aspire to a career in esports to join a leading professional team. “Gfinity Elite Series” content is distributed through linear and digital channels and is enjoyed by tens of millions of esports fans around the world.
 
All Gfinity managed service solutions and owned competitions are underpinned by its proprietary technology platform delivering a level playing field for all competitors and supporting scalable multi-format leagues, ladders and knock out competitions.
 
More information about Gfinity is available at www.gfinityplc.com

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