The University of Waterloo and the University of Warwick Collaborate on Esports

Monday, February 28, 2022

Representatives from the University of Waterloo (Canada) and the University of Warwick (United Kingdom) are exploring ways in which each of their burgeoning esports activities can be enriched by trans-Atlantic international collaboration.

Waterloo and Warwick have been long-standing international partners, with successful research collaborations, student exchanges, and a joint academic programme.

Each has also emerged as a national leader in esports – innovating and growing ways in which esports can contribute positively to campus experience, student learning, research impact, and community development in higher education. 

This initiative builds upon strong bonds with a valued international partner, and it offers the opportunity for two world-class universities to bring together their respective experiences, perspectives, knowledge, and insights to explore this innovative new area.  Indeed, esports seems to offer such great potential to advance Waterloo’s strategic priorities, with opportunities across learning, research, and community.  I am excited to see how this collaboration continues to unfold!”

- Professor Ian Rowlands, Associate Vice-President, International, University of Waterloo

Catalyzed and connected by their respective international offices, representatives from the two universities have been meeting to share experiences, to learn from each other, and to explore potential collaborations. Discussions have focused upon student experiences (not only competitive and recreational play, but also skills development), curriculum development, research potential, and community engagement, among other topics.

“It is our strategic intention at Warwick to extend and deepen our relationships with university partners in North America. This includes pursuing opportunities for collaboration in research and teaching, knowledge exchange and staff and student mobility. The global esports industry is at a pivotal moment in its evolution. Understanding how we, as a university, can leverage our strengths to better understand and innovate in this field presents an exciting opportunity. Finding the right international partners to work with on this will help us have the greatest influence in this emerging field, and provide unparalleled opportunities for our staff and students.” 

- Professor Carsten Maple, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (North America), University of Warwick

It is anticipated that ongoing meetings will soon be supplemented by more focused inter-university collaborations, be they virtual or in-person. Individual units involved in the collaboration include the Department of Athletics and Recreation, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, the Games Institute and Waterloo International at Waterloo in liaison with the International Strategy Team, Innovation Group and the School for Cross-faculty Studies at Warwick.

One area of focus will be the upcoming Commonwealth Games which will be hosted in Birmingham UK this summer. Following the announcement that esports will be included as a pilot event during the Games; and the Commonwealth Games Federation recently agreeing a partnership with the Global Esports Federation, Waterloo and Warwick are both excited to explore how they can contribute.

For anyone who has any questions or comments about this initiative – or about Waterloo’s engagement with Warwick more generally – please contact Eric Jardin, International Relations Manager, Waterloo International, at international.relations@uwaterloo.ca.

Note: A slightly-revised version of this article was published on the University of Warwick website in February 2022.

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