The “Battle by Blaak” was hosted by the Erasmus University College (EUC) and the University College Student Representatives of the Netherlands (UCSRN). The annual UCSRN tournaments have been hosted for several years and are among the major events that bring together the university colleges in the Netherlands.
A first for many
This year is the first time that the UCSRN tournament has been hosted in Rotterdam and the first time that a public, outdoor space has been used. The UCSRN team had to get a permit to use Markthal Square, which took a whole 10 weeks of waiting. The different events were spread across the Binnenrotte, the EUC campus and the Erasmus Sport centre.
The eSports events were another new addition, featuring games like FIFA, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros, Melee and more. Students love to play video games and many from all the university colleges signed up to compete.
Participants and spectators galore
This year the number of participants numbered around 800 and there were also around 250 spectators. This was almost double the number of people who attended the UCSRN last year. The event had people sporting coloured sweaters from all the different university colleges, tiger costume mascots and Pikachu outfits.
Some of the more popular events like football had lots of participants, while others such as cooking and painting had only a few. There were also a mix of experienced players and newer players. Leiden University College, for example, has lots of sports teams that have regular practices and play in leagues, while other university colleges just try to fill all the participant spots.
The point of the events, after all, is to have fun. The winning university college is the one that earns the most points from all the events and just having someone participate in an event will score a point.
At Erasmus Sport, the volleyball players looked particularly intense. Cheers echoed throughout the sports hall with every point, and teams lined up to high-five each other at the end of the games. Chess spectators and players at the EUC campus had wrinkled brows in concentration, and would occasionally shush loud passers-by.
The improvisation events were filled with raucous laughter as the various students performed in pairs to entertain the sitting audience. Debates took a more serious tone, with judges evaluating the different arguments and questions posed by both and sides.
The tournament’s final events were an intense Battle of the Bands, dance offs, beer chugging competitions and an after-party at Café ‘t Fust. The university college students from different corners of the country gathered for the final time of the day to sing, dance and drink. A fitting end to a full day’s competition.