On November 23, The University of Staffordshire opened its doors and hosted the National Student Esports Super Smash Bros. Ultimate University Championship Midlands Qualifier, with the Salford University Esports society also taking part..

This year, Salford University esports society was the only team representing Manchester in attendance.

The team consisted of Kudzai Mutikani, Jake Trotman and captain, Samir El Kout. They placed 3rd overall, as a team and Kudzai placed 9th overall in the individual rankings.

Jake Trotman mid-game

When asked about his gaming career, Kudzai said: “ I have been playing since the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in 2018. “

“I spend about two hours practicing by myself and we train as a team twice a week”

A successful practice match for Salford Esports team member Kudzai Mutikani

He continues: “The game is not the hardest thing to get into. It isn’t mechanically demanding and it’s simple to start, but hard to master. Once you find your character, you perfect it”

Entering as individuals and teams alike, students flocked to the qualifiers in hopes of making it to the British University Esports Championship live winter finals in December. The qualifiers event was open to anyone, however those in the teams consist of three players and all players battle it out as individuals in singles matches. 

Sam Hibbert, head of partnerships for NSE, said: “Just under 50 students participated at the midland qualifiers, we had students from Keele, Leicester, Derby, Birmingham, Salford and Warwick universities show up! ”


With five regional events as well as online qualifiers, it is estimated that approximately 400 students will participate overall.

One of Kudzai’s favorite and strongest characters – Isabel (Left).

Sam comments “The singles winner and team winners go on to the British University Esports Championship finals, which are played live from the Metronome in Nottingham, December 6th.”

The event will be live-streamed on Twitch.

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