Esports Insider & the University of Warwick announce the agenda for ESI Next Gen, the UK’s first conference dedicated to esports and video games in education

By | February 23, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes


The leading B2B esports events and media company, Esports Insider (ESI) and the University of Warwick are pleased to reveal the agenda for the inaugural ESI Next Gen, a one-and-a-half day conference dedicated to esports and video games in education. Offering interactive sessions, networking and insights on March 22nd-23rd, 2023 at the University’s Esports Centre.

The UK has steadily increased the number of esports-focused qualifications on offer, moving beyond competitive play there are now 39 esports courses through 14 providers (according to UCAS) across the UK, now providing three-year degrees or Higher Education courses on the wider industry or specific aspects such as Event Management, Digital Marketing, or Coaching, Health and Well-Being.

As two leading authorities in esports business and education, Esports Insider and University of Warwick have crafted the first ever ESI Next Gen conference to bring together leaders from universities and colleges from across the UK and beyond, alongside professionals from both the esports and games industries to discuss the skills the industry can offer young people. This includes game developers, publishers, esports teams, tournament operators, education sector service providers, and regional government all under one roof, right on the doorstep of one of the UK’s largest creative clusters. There’ll be ample industry related and education-focused content, as well as extensive networking opportunities and interactive workshops for students looking to get into the industry.

The event is supported by Gold Sponsor IN4 Group, Official Youth Esports Partner Esports Coaching Academy and event partners Chillblast, Viperio, NSE, Esport1, Swipe Right PR, UKIE and NUEL. ESI Next Gen is set to welcome over 250 attendees, with over 30+ speakers across more than 9 live sessions.

Speakers this year include educators & industry executives such as:

  • Meg Daintith, Talent Acquisition Manager at Electronic Arts
  • Phil Bale, Operations Manager at Ubisoft Leamington
  • Kalam Neale, Head of Education at British Esports
  • Gina Jackson OBE, Founder of SKILLfull
  • Ólafur Steinarsson, Co-founder & COO at Esports Coaching Academy
  • Mikayla Sinead, Founder & CEO at Bridge Network Group
  • James Fraser-Murison, Director of Esports at Queen Marys College
  • Becky Wright, Senior Partnerships Manager at NSE
  • Dr Bianca Wright, Curriculum Lead: Immersive and Associate Professor at Coventry University
  • Shahneila Saeed, Programme Director for Digital Schoolhouse

At ESI Next Gen, there will be five panels and two workshops, all designed to support education staff, industry stakeholders and students equally. The event will explore leadership in esports and gaming education, navigating the obstacles of curriculum development, potential graduate opportunities, policy matters, and sector growth.

Esports Coaching Academy will host a ‘Pathways to Building a Career and Business in Grassroots Youth Esports’ workshop, which will provide attendees with valuable insights and resources on the grassroots esports industry and how to build a career and business in it. Topics will include the current landscape of youth esports, career pathways, business opportunities and best practices in grassroots esports.

Sam Cooke, Managing Director and Founder at ESI stated: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Warwick for our first inaugural ESI Next Gen. This event will provide a great opportunity to explore and promote the collaborative relationship between the esports and video game industries and educational institutions, so as to create a strong foundation for the new emerging talent.”

The event will kick off with a networking social and the final of Lions Clash, a Valorant tournament for UK universities and colleges, followed by an evening reception on 22nd March 2023, allowing attendees to register early, experience a live esports event, and network in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

Jack Fenton, Head of Esports at University of Warwick says: “This is a huge landmark for Warwick as co-creating the ESI: Next Gen concept has been an exciting strategic goal for both us and for Esports Insider. I know that this will be the Esports Centre’s biggest and most impactful event to-date and we’re really proud to be acting as a catalyst for the creative and digital sector. I can’t wait to see the collaboration that spins out of this event!”

Join us for ESI Next Gen 2023 to celebrate the convergence of esports, video games and education on March 22-23 at the Esports Centre, Coventry.

Bring your team of 3 or more and save with our Group Registration rates. Currently enrolled students may register to attend #ESINextGen at a special discounted rate. Tickets are available now, including an option for inclusive accommodation.

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