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Society of the Month October: Durham Uni Esports and Gaming

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NSE

Durham Uni Esports and Gaming were chosen as NSE's society of the month for October due to their efforts to raise money for charity and their enthusiasm shown in the last few months! We asked the society to tell us a little about themselves.


Amy (LadySnowhawk) - Welfare and Inclusivity Rep

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 the 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).

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. However, although I still don’t fashion myself as being spectacularly good, I’ve come to love my weekly tournaments with NSE, and formed many close bonds with my teammates both in and outside the game, despite coming from a range of colleges, degrees and backgrounds. 

Becoming the Welfare Rep has allowed me to now be able to contribute to the community in a much more significant way, from promoting the mental wellbeing and team based gameplay of our main competitive teams with our new collaboration with LDN UTD and Team Durham to maintaining the casual side of DUEG for people who would prefer to play more relaxing or cooperative games, such as Minecraft, Animal Crossing or Mario Kart. I’ve also helped to run a large number of more chill or non-drinking socials, from Mario Kart tournaments to the Charity Stream alongside online events like quizzes, society intercollegiate tournaments and streams. 

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 tailored for our top Uni squads to compete in. I’d also love to host more charity events and custom speaker talks more oriented towards the careers or professional aspect of esports that has previously been quite underrepresented at Durham, culminating hopefully in an Esports Scholarship we’ll be able to offer in future academic years. This being said, from a personal standpoint I couldn’t be prouder of our teams or our community; I feel 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. I can’t wait to see where DUEG goes next and hope you’ll join us on that journey!

 

Kai (maj3stic) - Sponsorship Secretary

I only joined DUEG less than a year ago, but it’s already become one of the biggest parts of my life. Growing up I loved playing video games and by my teens called myself a gamer, but I had to give it up for several years when my laptop could no longer run anything more intensive than Minesweeper (my best expert time is 97 seconds, yes that’s a flex.) So when I came to university, I never even considered even looking for the gaming society. 

Shortly after I eventually made my way to the DUEG Discord in the hope of finding someone to watch a CS:GO tournament with, they launched a laptop loaning scheme allowing me to get my hands on a Lenovo Legion gaming laptop and finally fall back in love with the world of gaming and esports. I’ve now made so many friends through it and am having a great time as an exec member to hopefully help others have the experiences I’ve had of connecting with people through esports. 

Overall I’m incredibly excited for the future of DUEG and university esports as a whole - we’ve already done some cool things already like our charity stream, Smash Ultimate tournament with BeamOut Studios and of course our partnership with LDN UTD, and I can’t wait to continue to build the scene and contribute even more! We’re currently working on getting a room of our own and planning bigger and better things for the coming year, so watch this space...

 

Lordie (Lordie) - President

 Gaming has always been a big part of my life, even from an early age with fond memories of me and my dad playing together on the PlayStation 2, and later, taking part in the National Championships, and subsequently the World Championships, for Pokemon X&Y. My love of video games and esports only grew over time, and once I knew I was Durham bound, I sought out the Esports Society, keen to get involved with the scene and participate in the university tournaments. Despite being a nervous fresher, the community made me feel welcome and brightened my outlook by being surrounded by passionate people. The weekly schedule of game nights gave me something to look forward to every week and led to the strong bonds between myself and my teammates, people I call friends today.

Now I have entered my term as President, I am extremely proud and excited for what we have done, and plan to do in the coming year and beyond. From our charity streams, partnership with LDN UTD, and even socials put on for the community, I’m happy that as a team, the exec and I can continue to go from strength to strength, and provide a space in university life for others to enjoy themselves through esports, as I did. With our laptop scheme, enabling students to play and get involved with esports who otherwise couldn’t, and the promise of a dedicated gaming space, the future of esports at Durham University is looking bright.

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