Project Guardian to Raise the Future Generation of Esports
Following the success of the first Lions Clash tournament, Lionscreed has established partnerships with Wilmington Academy, Queen Mary’s College, Manchester Metropolitan, and the City University of London to support education and progress in esports. ‘Project Guardian’ aims to reignite the UK esports scene by actively engaging with the next generation of esports talent.
Lions Clash gave teams from universities, colleges, and academies a chance to qualify for and compete in broadcast tournaments, with the LAN finals held at ESI Next Gen in March. This year, the University of Birmingham triumphed over the University of Bristol’s “Bristol Bagels” to take the win.
However, the Lions Clash journey is far from over. Lionscreed’s new partnerships with Wilmington Academy, Queen Mary’s College, Manchester Metropolitan and City University of London solidify a legacy of allyship for the future of the esports industry.
What Will Project Guardian Provide?
Students from the participating educational institutions will be able to directly impact Lions Clash tournaments and the wider esports scene, collaborating with the Lionscreed team to make the competition a continued success. They will also have opportunities to work directly with the Lionscreed brand, strengthening our organisation’s ties with growing grassroots scenes.
At Lionscreed, we recognise the challenges young people face to begin working within the esports and gaming industries. Students and aspiring esports professionals often need help to work directly with brands while taking their first steps in the industry. These experiences working directly with established organisations are incredibly valuable.
In recognition of these challenges, Lionscreed is ensuring that students working with us during Lions Clash and beyond have productive access to brands, content creators, players, and businesses within the heart of London’s esports scene.
Through our educational partnerships, the next generation of esports professionals will have new and exciting opportunities to explore.
Product Manager for Lions Clash, Mertz, knows the value of these opportunities through his position as President of City University of London’s Esports Society. When asked about his thoughts on the potential of Lionscreed’s new partnerships, he gave the following response:
“We were all very pleased with how the first Lions Clash played out. However, we believe we have just set our base level. The second Lions Clash will be bigger and better. Lions Clash is so much more than a tournament for students; it’s a gateway into esports and the chance to join a new community of like-minded people. We have had the chance to work with students in so many different roles, from players, coaches, and team managers, to writers, referees and producers, as well as the audience themselves. The students were the highlight of the show. The Lions Clash education project and partnerships will keep this going and ensure that students have the opportunity to shine!”
Building Relationships With Educators
Lionscreed recognises the value found in collaboration and is working closely with partnered educators to ensure that Project Guardian will provide the tools, opportunities, and experience that young people need to advance their esports journey.
During the first Lions Clash tournament, Lionscreed worked closely with Wilmington Academy to provide mentorship and crucial experience to students. James Marriot, the Director of Esports at Wilmington Academy, pioneered the school’s relationship with Lionscreed, making the institution the first to be introduced to the Lionscreed Buddy System. This allowed students to find industry mentors to learn from.
James Marriot expresses that it is a “tremendous honour to have been approached by Lionscreed to join their team as an advisor for education in Epsorts”. He continues to say: “Ever since my venture into Esports in September 2020, the journey of collaboration with businesses and educational institutions in Esports has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of. Together with Lionscreed and its remarkable staff, we have achieved outstanding progress, turning Wilmington Academy into one of the best performing Esports schools in the United Kingdom. There is an undeniable correlation between Esports and Education, and with Lionscreed at the forefront of this, success is bound to follow.”
Following the incredible enthusiasm brought forward by Lionscreed’s partnership with Wilmington Academy, the organisation is proud to announce that Queen Mary’s College is joining Project Guardian to expand access to experience and opportunities for students.
Queen Mary’s College – complete with its own Esports team, QM Samurai – will join Wilmington Academy in the Lionscreed Buddy System, providing students with opportunities across the Lionscreed Network. As Head of Esports at the college, James Fraser-Murison is optimistic about the future this collaboration will provide:
“QM Samauri is bringing their swords to fight with Lionscreed’s claws! Queen Mary’s College, national champions within the British Esports Federation and largest provider of esports students in the UK, are proud to partner with Lionscreed for the 2023 academic year. This is the next step to ensure our students get the best industry experience. The opportunties provided by Lionscreed and Project Guardian mean that we will receive quality support and experience, with bespoke content that is incredibly valuable for those students completing their BTEC qualification. We are beyond grateful for the partnership and can’t wait to get started!”
Expanding Connections With Industry Professionals
Essential to the success of Project Guardian is the involvement of industry professionals who understand the importance of experience and opportunity for students. To ensure that Project Guardian is guided by the needs of both Esports students and the Esports industry itself, Lionscreed is also partnering with Lizzie Squires.
As the co-owner and CEO of Vulpine Esports, Lizzie Squires is incredibly knowledgeable and has unique insight into the Esports ecosystem. She also works as a lecturer in Esports and has extensive experience within the education sector at both college and university levels. Her focus on providing support, mentorship, and encouragement towards a more diverse and inclusive industry has earned her a place as Finalist for the GameHERS Global Educator of the Year 2022.
Looking ahead to the future that Lionscreed and Project Guardian can provide she has expressed the following:
“I am really honoured to be working with Lionscreed Esports as an Advisor for their educational programs. The importance of industry led and focused programs for young people is paramount, and as a professional in both the esports industry and education, it is truly a pleasure to be supporting a UK-based organisation that is looking to lead the pack. I am looking forward to helping and being involved in this journey Lionscreed is undertaking to create something extraordinary in the UK esports education system.”
Lions Clash and the educational opportunities that await exemplify Lionscreed’s commitment to supporting grassroots growth in the esports industry. Students deserve the chance to show their passion for esports and gaming. We are incredibly excited to develop our relationship with up-and-coming esports talent.
Keep watching for Lions Clash updates – Lions Clash 2 is coming soon!
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