Find out what life is really like at Durham University

SocietiesSportStudent experience

Get into Gaming with esports

To anyone who knows me, they’ll know that one of my favourite stories I love to recount in conversation is about how I got into gaming at Durham. To cut a long story short, it all began with a Republic of Gamers duck I spotted at a Fresher’s Fair stall back in 2020 (very much during the pandemic). From there sprouted a conversation on Discord, the main messaging app used by gaming enthusiasts, that began a close friendship and led to me becoming first the Overwatch, and now the current Welfare Rep for Durham University Esports and Gaming (DUEG).

Growing up I was surrounded by games, the lore behind many stories being passed down to me by my extremely enthusiastic older brother. This being said, I never really engaged with competitive gaming or esports (no capital letter or weird hyphens, mind you) until I came to Durham. I never envisioned myself as being spectacularly good (nor do I think I am yet!), but despite having very little experience, I’ve come to love my weekly tournaments with NSE and NUEL, the main university esports bodies, and formed many close bonds with my teammates both in and outside the game, despite coming from a range of colleges, degrees and backgrounds.

Durham University esports and Gaming Society

DUEG was established first as a more casual society, focusing heavily on a select few games, but over the years we have managed to grow into one of the largest student groups on campus. Just for this term alone, we now have nearly 200 players competing in around 50 different teams across all kinds of esports, from League of Legends to Valorant to Rocket League. Furthermore, the Discord server now has over 1,000 members, and we have maintained our casual side of the community as well for people who would prefer to play more relaxing or cooperative games, such as Minecraft, Animal Crossing or Mario Kart (not sure how relaxing that last one is, but we’ll let it slide). With a wealth of in-game and in person socials, alongside online events like quizzes, society intercollegiate tournaments and streams (including our Charity Livestream last August, where we raised £616 for The Survivors Trust), DUEG has now blossomed into a bustling hub connecting both avid and casual gamers across the university.

Support for esport

Alongside our growth as a student society, we are now also trying to expand into the more professional aspect of gaming to focus on esports careers, which were largely underpromoted at Durham. Career opportunities are now being targeted with our transition over to Team Durham, as well as our most recent partnership with LDN UTD, who will be helping us lead talks on player mental health and coaching, hosting bigger tournaments as well as eventually aiming to set up a new Esports Scholarship at Durham. By helping contribute to the university scene in a more established way, we hope to advance the industry as a whole and also emphasise how important esports can be to those who don’t typically play or know much about video games, and to see them in a whole new light as we do!

In terms of what we envision for the club nevertheless, DUEG still has a long way to go; some of our main plans include expanding the number of rentable gaming laptops we rent out for free to our paying members as well as getting a permanent room custom tailored for our top Uni squads to compete in.

Get involved in gaming!

This being said, from a personal standpoint I couldn’t be prouder of our teams or our community; when I first joined the University, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to find or connect with people who had a similar love for gaming as I did, particularly as a girl in a genre that is largely (but increasingly less so) dominated by men. Instead, I’ve been completely accepted for who I am as part of DUEG and have met some wonderful people that I am glad to call my friends and teammates.

Whether you’re a gaming pro who have been searching for a society like ours since arriving at Durham, or a complete novice when it comes to videogames, DUEG has something for everyone and with these recent partnerships, I’m super excited for what lies in store next, and hope you’ll join us and be a part of that change as well!

Find out more

There are loads of ways to find out more about DUEG and esports here at Durham, follow us on our social media channels and join in!

Amy Jiang

I'm Amy, a 2nd Year Geography student (really a Fresher at heart), Welfare Rep for DUEG, TUFG Publicity Exec and DESA Pres. Also rocking a part time job at Labstep (somehow). Love putting way too much on my plate, and then adding an extra dollop of another project on top for good measure, just to make sure I’m successfully swamped. Will never stop talking about Geography when provoked, but in the rare instances that I do stop, you can find me gaming, blogging or playing any one of the three instruments I play (piano, clarinet and singing!)
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