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New College Swindon became the first Further Education College to gain Schoolhouse status. Since then, the College has delivered creative computing workshops to over 1000 pupils and 100 teachers as part of Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse, powered by Playstation programme. The College also took part in the 2018 Digital Schoolhouse esports competition, where New College student, Dan Parker, won best shout caster and is returning this year to design the official trophy.

A team from New College will be joining other schools and colleges around the country to compete in the Overwatch Digital Schoolhouse Esports Tournament 2019. It’s an immersive careers experience, which allows students to take on a whole range of roles, while gaining valuable knowledge from games industry experts. Students take on the roles of pro gamers, shoutcasters (esports commentators), event producers and media professionals.

The game played throughout the tournament is the massively popular Overwatch, from Blizzard Entertainment, which counts tens of millions of players worldwide. The tournament also sees invaluable support from Edge Esports, who are providing the platform that makes the bones of the tournament possible, as well as a wide range of support in different areas from esports body ESL.

Dan started the trophy design process by hand drawing sketches of his vision. He explained that his initial ideas and inspiration came from designs seen in retro gaming, with an aim to create a trophy that highlights and represents the retro gaming aesthetic. Once the design is finalised, it will then be created using a 3D printer and delivered to Digital Schoolhouse (DSH), ready for grand finale at London’s Gfinity Arena in April, as part of the London Games Festival.

Dan commented:

"This year I was lucky enough to be involved with Digital Schoolhouse's esports tournament again! This time around I will be taking on a more managerial role and am so pleased to say that I’ll be working on designing the trophy for the tournament. I’ve received some fantastic guidance from DSH and had some great mentoring from my Lecturer Tony. This has really helped me develop a design that I feel highlights the main elements of gaming and the things that bring this amazing community together."

Tony Gilbert is Assistant Curriculum Manager in IT and Computing at New College and is leading on the project. He said: "Being asked to create the DSH esports trophy this year is a great achievement. Dan has been super excited about helping out and he has taken ownership of the project. He has been able to develop new skills and apply them to his coursework. We are so excited for DSH and the winners of the esports tournament to receive the trophy!"