The E-Sport School League association brings video games to the stage in a professional format for students. This year, the final of the Salzburg regional championship in Valorant, a computer game from the genre of online tactical shooters, will take place at LEVEL UP. The prize pool for the tournament is €4500. 

eSports, short for electronic sports, is a fast-growing global scene in which players compete against each other in tournaments. Competitive titles are played with fixed rules and modes of play. The competitions inspire fans who cheer on and support their favorite teams and players, just as they do in traditional sports. For talented players and organizers, lucrative career opportunities are opening up. As the industry continues to grow, new opportunities are constantly emerging on the border between entertainment and sport. eSports connects people around the world through the thrill of competition and the resulting camaraderie. 

HTL Salzburg even has its own eSports teams that train regularly as part of a free subject. © ESSL

eSports school league in Austria

Dorian Dobler has been active in eSports since he was 14 years old. Now he's advocating for the next generation of eSports players. © ESSL

In Austria, the association ESSL, short for E-Sport School League, is a leader in the development and organization of tournaments and support programs for students. In addition to the competitions, workshops and training sessions are offered. These impart skills and knowledge, leading to greater chances of success in an industry that is rightly described as the future of the entertainment industry.

Dorian Dobler, chairman and founder of the association ESSL, says: "eSports offers many opportunities in professional life, be it to work directly in eSports or simply to benefit from the learned soft skills. One thing is clear, eSports is more than a simple hobby. Over the years, structures have been built up in the eSports scene, just like in any other major sport, e.g. fixed training times and game days. Even own houses, where the athletes live together. Unfortunately, society doesn't see that yet, and that's why we exist. Our motto: From students for students."

Dorian is 19 years old. When you meet him, he radiates competence and a pioneering spirit rarely found at that age. A man with a vision. Since he was 14 years old, he has been active in the field of eSports as a player and later as a coach. The decision to found a school league followed at the age of 16, and he immediately followed up with action. With the support of the HTBLuVA, short for Höhere Technische Bundeslehr- und Versuchsanstalt, Salzburg and the active members of the club, he organizes tournaments and workshops all over the country.

The Salzburg National Championship at LEVEL UP

The current project is the Salzburg State Championship in Valorant. Here, teams of five high school students or high school graduates from this or the previous school year compete against each other. The minimum age is 16, and participation is open to teams from all over Austria. In order to keep the competition exciting and fair for everyone, there are separate scores for professionals and amateurs. The prize money is 3,000 euros for the professionals and 1,500 euros for the amateurs. 

The qualification rounds will take place online, starting on 03.06. The final will take place during the gaming festival LEVEL UP at the Messezentrum Salzburg on July 1st and 2nd. With 10,000 visitors expected, LEVEL UP is the largest stage on which an ESSL tournament has ever been held. The tournament registration runs until 28.05.2023. All information and the registration can be found at the ESSL Website.

Looking for partners and sponsors

As a rising star in the industry, ESSL is looking for partners or sponsors who want to enable further professionalization of the scene while presenting themselves to a young, open-minded and tech-savvy target audience. Interested parties please contact the ESSL directly.

Partners in the field of eSports are at the source of potential customers or employees for their own company. The industry offers numerous interesting possibilities for presentation, all of which are on the rise. The best known of these are integrations into streams, influencer content, but also more traditional methods such as logo or product placements at events and in the competition program.

The funds directly benefit the development of eSports and the active players.

This year's state championship in Valorant promises to be a highlight of the gaming year. Interested teams can still register until 28.05..

About the ESSL: 

The ESSL was already founded in the school year 2019/2020 and since then regularly holds (pilot) tournaments in preparation for the first national championship at LEVEL UP 2023. The goal of the ESSL is to support students and to connect eSports with the economy.

About LEVEL UP: 
LEVEL UP is the first Austrian gaming and eSports festival that brings together gamers, gaming fans, as well as creators and stars of the scene in an experience-oriented atmosphere to experience new trends and celebrate the common passion.