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Winter 2016/17. Free to a good home

Interviews with Sighh Designs, Luke Carey and Anna Pancaldi

What’s on over THe winter Football wonderkids of 2016

PLUS... Latest Autumn & Winter Fashion Trends, ESPORTS and much more!


What’s on over Christmas

04 FEATURES 04 An Interview With Polly Vadasz/Signn Designs 06 Illustration Exhibit 31 Graduate+

ENTERTAINMENT 08 What’s On over Christmas 10 Luke Carey 12 Birthdays over Christmas 13 Film Releases 14 Anna Pancaldi

FASHION 17 Winter Coats 19 Winter Wardrobe Essentials

14 20 AW16 21 Party Dresses

GEEK 23 World of Warcraft 25 eSports

SPORT 28 The Football Wonderkids of 2016 30 Just Season Ticket Holder Things


... to read The Scratch online



Take a look at what’s going on across the city over the Christmas period to get yourself into the festive spirit!

Sophie Hack Editor 0121 331 2499 Katy James Assistant Editor Sophie Hack Features Sub-Editor Becky Read Entertainment Sub-Editor Lorna Ricketts Fashion & Beauty Sub-Editor Josh Johnson Geek Sub-Editor Leila Mcintyre Sport Sub-Editor Dan Neuenhaus Lead Designer Joshua Iredale Media Groups Coordinator 0121 331 6820

FROM THE EDITOR Illustration by Dan Neuenhaus

Sophie Hack @500daysofsophie

Dear Reader, Semester one is nearly over! It seems like Welcome Week was only yesterday… Now that the hard work is (almost) over, it’s time to dig out the festive jumpers, cover everything in fairy lights and tinsel and sing brash carols and 80’s Christmas jams at the top of your voice! In this issue, we’ve got the low down on what’s on in the run up to Christmas, as well as the newest blockbuster movies

to keep you entertained over the holidays. If you’re more of a Scrooge than Buddy the Elf, we also talk football and E-sports and have the low down on the best fashion for the colder months. So, whilst the weather outside is frightful, kick back with your copy of The Scratch and get into the Festive spirit! Happy Reading! Sophie x Editor in Chief

Check out these events The German Christmas Market

17th November - 29th December Victoria Square, New St The German Christmas Market is back in the city from the 17th Novemeber until the 29th December this year just to get you into the Festive spirit. Check out a range of traditional goods and gifts... oh and don’t forget to try the beer! Photo by Mathew Bedworth

Apple Tree Art LIVE

11th December, 18:30-23:30 Apple Tree Art LIVE reinvents carbaret at the Glee Club on December 11th featuring a mix of music, dance and comedy.

The Nutcracker Ballet

25th November - 7th December, Birmingham Hippodrome Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker is back for yet another year!

The Scratch is part of Scratch Media, and published by Heron Press on behalf of BCUSU (Birmingham City University Students’ Union). Any views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Students’ Union, Scratch Media, or Birmingham City University. All information is correct at time of publication. BCUSU is an organisation independent from the University, yet with strong working ties, dedicated to providing and creating great student experiences. Not for profit, just for students.

The Wind in the Willows

21st November - 31st December, Old Rep Theatre Join The Old Rep on a magical journey along the riverbank in the classic children’s story production of ‘The Wind in the Willows’. Keep updated @


An Interview with Polly Vadasz Do you feel like making copious cups of tea is the main priority of the day? Do you wish you had more kitsch and witty home ware in your life? Does your phone need a little jazzing up in a totally unique way? Than look no further than Sighh Designs, created by 20-year-old Polly Vadasz. “Sighh was quite simply started after I received good feedback on the doodles I posted on Instagram, and decided to apply them to phone cases as people mentioned they would like to actually own my work!” Polly recalled. “It was quite a novelty that

Sighh as a “novelty” almost four years ago during her A-levels. “I started up Sighh just as it became a “thing” to create your own brand, I was only aware of a couple of T-shirt companies on Tumblr, but they had a big impact on showing how feasible it was!” Polly specializes in quirky lifestyle items, adding a touch of wit to any desk or kitchen. Her individuality shines through her work as everything is hand written and designed, a breath of fresh air from the run of the mill mug or notepad. “I hate when people ask me to choose my favourite child... but,

people would pay real human money for the things I created, but once I realised it could work, I took my hobby more seriously as a business.” The illustration student started up

probably the tote bags. I have a “This bag contains...” series where I list a load of possible contents for different types of bags (your food shopping tote, everyday handbag, gym bag...)

I like getting creative and thinking of amusing “ little details that people can connect with. 4


I like getting creative and thinking of amusing little details that people can connect with.” “I will openly admit A-levels were much more full on than uni has been so far - so I’m balancing both reasonably well… Although it saddens me that I don’t have the time to bring out as many new products as on my gap year, though.” Polly continued: “I’m hoping I’ll be able to bring out more stuff this year, perhaps more student inspired stuff! I’m thinking organisers/note pads for flat mates, student-y mugs and more bags/notebooks!” For any other creatives out there reading this, know that starting a business is no easy feat. However, Polly has some vital advice for all you starving artists: “Start Anywhere!” She added: “My first phone case designs were very bad. Very bad and cheesy indeed... I don’t want to talk about it. But somehow they did actually sell, and I have grown and improved

ever since!” One of Polly’s own products sums up the mind frame: “If it takes less than five minutes, do it now! What are you waiting for? Stop dithering and make it happen.” “With this career, you learn on the job, and in terms of getting noticed and getting your first few sales, get yourself on a marketplace website like Etsy. There, you can build a customer base, if you haven’t already got a substantial follower base on social media. Input days are as important as output days, so get yourself off to the park, a gallery, a stationary shop... anywhere the things you like to make will be. Don’t just sit on Pinterest in your bedroom, get those juices flowing by walking around in the fresh air. That way you can’t just give up and crawl into bed!” Fancy winning yourself some Sighh Designs goodies? Make sure to like The Scratch magazine on Facebook and follow on Instagram to find out more! @TheScratchBCU



Amazing Illustrators Check out some artwork by our very own BCU students!

Jake Bullock

Jake is an illustrator and concept artist currently studying at BCU on the video games development masters course. His stunning work can be seen at

Elanor Chuah

Jennifer Spooner

“Jennifer is inspired by animals and nature, creating 3-D artworks as well as impressive sketches. Jennifer said: “I want my artwork to be a diverse as possible.” You can find her work at JMSIllustration on Facebook.



Elanor is a third year illustration student from Malaysia, specialising in digital art. Elanor said: “I get my inspiration from music, feelings and other artists that I follow and adore.” You can see Elanor’s work at

Chloe Evans

Chloe is a second year illustration student who sells her artwork online. Check to see her amazing artwork.

Karoline Holhjem Karoline is an Erasmus student from Norway, staying in Birmingham to evolve her illustration skills. Karoline loves working with water colour and ink, exploring different techniques. You can find her on Instagram as keirosart.

Caitlin McGovern Caitlin has started up her own illustration business called Foxsoup. Her work ranges from homemade needle felt characters to beanies, T-shirts and art prints. Find out more at Foxsoupmerch on Facebook.

Harry Dunn Harry is a practicing illustrator specialising in the traditional mediums of graphite, watercolour and ink. His art stems from a love of fantasy, folklore and mythology. Check out his work on Instagram at @Anraiart





OVER CHRISTMAS By Judith Brenneis

Between now and Christmas, most of us will be struggling to find free time to do anything but attend lectures and complete assignments. However, if you can spare some free social time during this busy period we’ve got a few ideas of what’s on in the city this winter. Here are a selection of events that take place in Birmingham between November and the end of January.

EVENT Magical Lantern Festival

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Friday 25th November 2016 – Monday 2nd January 2017 Do you fancy a more magical experience as it’s close to the Christmas period? Well the Magical Lantern Festival makes its debut in Birmingham this year. Described as a fusion of “art, heritage and culture” you can expect to see giant lanterns in shapes ranging from flowers and animals to even Santa himself. Apart from the Christmas theme, visitors can experience traditional Chinese culture and its heritage to which the festival celebrates. So follow the trail around Birmingham’s Botanical gardens and dive into another world.

THEATRE A Christmas Carol

The Crescent Theatre Saturday 3rd – Saturday 17th December Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some classic Dickens. For those of you who agree, The Crescent Theatre Company, run by volunteers, have created their own adaptation of the Christmas classic. It’s being showcased over the first two weeks of December.




Biffy Clyro

Barclaycard Arena Wednesday 7th December, 7:00pm Scottish Rock Trio Biffy Clyro have just released their seventh album. Climbing to number one in the UK charts with their sixth album, Opposites, they are now touring with Ellipsis. From touching songs like Rearrange to the more powerful guitar riffs that feature on Wolves of Winter, this gig sets to be one you won’t want to miss!

GIG Two Door Cinema Club

O2 Academy Tuesday 24th January, 7:00pm

Two Door Cinema Club are back, bringing their new album to town. After the Indie-pop band took a break, they got back together in the studio to produce Gameshow, released 14th October. Fans can still expect to find the band’s famous Indie-hymns to dance and sing along to. Why not head down and sing along with them?


Three Places, Three Concerts, One Evening O2 Academy, O2 Institute, Barclaycard Arena Thursday 8th December

Bored? There is definitely no time for boredom, because tonight, three top bands will be hitting Birmingham’s stages. Whether you want to see something aural and psychedelic like The Pixies (O2 Academy), or Londonbased band, Placebo (Barclaycard Arena) or even Scottish rockers, The Fratellis (O2 Institute), grab your friends and get your tickets before they sell out!





I sat down with North London based emerging musician Luke Carey to discuss his latest EP ‘Stencils’ and how he placed higher than Kanye West in the iTunes charts. You’re currently on a tour of the UK, how is the touring life?

It’s good. It’s quite hectic and full-on. It’s only my first tour and it’s quite a small one so I’m doing a lot of sofa-surfing and living out of a suitcase, but it’s been good. I have been lucky enough to go home for a day or two and it’s enabled me to recharge.

Your debut EP, ‘Sketches’ hit the top 10 in the iTunes Chart although you’re an independent musician...

I did a lot of gigs that year, I did 100 gigs in 100 days to raise money for charity. Through doing these gigs I made a lot of friends and when I released the EP they bought it then they’d recommend it to their friends and it just kept climbing and climbing. It beat a lot of musicians that I looked up to such as Damien Rice, which was humbling.



What is your stance on music talent shows?

It’s alright. There’s a lot of scout people in London for these types of shows who approach musicians and say they can fast-track you to certain stages of the competition. I think if I didn’t write a load of songs and I didn’t play an instrument then I think that would make sense. I prefer the hard graft and the old fashioned way as I think there’s more longevity in it. In all honesty, I don’t think I’d be good enough to go far in a competition like that... I’m not great at singing!

Do you have any funny stories from being on tour & performing gigs?

The funniest stuff happened in the open mic days. One cool story is that I only found out recently that when I played my first open mic the guy who went after me was Jack Garratt!

Where has been your favourite place to perform?

Probably Edinburgh because regardless of if I’m on tour I go up anyway for the Fringe Festival. I’ll spend 2 or 3 weeks there playing different shows. It’s good because you’ll have your set dates at the start and by the end you’ll just get called in to do extra gigs. There’s always a rowdy crowd who are up for a good laugh so it’s always fun!

Have you ever been to Birmingham before?

I’ve been here to watch a football game. I quite like the architecture in Birmingham, it’s quite cool and quirky, especially the Bullring. I have been up with a guitar before but I’ve never played a gig here until tonight! I have also been up here to play Gaelic Football, I used to play in London before I picked up a guitar.

How do you cope with making mistakes?

I just don’t mention them. I think it’s quite a rooky error to be like ‘ooh, sorry.’ Most of the time I’ve found if you don’t mention it you can get away with it. I worry more about needing to burp instead of making mistakes!

What was the first song you ever wrote and what was it about?

It was called, ‘When I’m at the Pub with my Mates’ and it was the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever written in my life!

Tell me more about your new EP, Stencils

It’s out on November 25th. I named my first one Sketches and this new one Stencils is because I feel that technically they aren’t the finished product of where I want them to be and I’m still developing, but I just want to try and show people what I can do.

Quick Fire Round Singing or playing Guitar? Ed Sheeran or James Bay? Performing or Song-writing? Acoustic or Electric? Night in or Night out? @LukeCareyMusic





What it ’s like having a birthday at Christmas Words by Becky Read

If you’re one of the unlucky lot who has a birthday that falls near the Christmas period, then here’s an article just for you. I, personally, know all about the struggle as my birthday happens to be Christmas Day, of all the days! Here’s a small insight into what it’s like.

‘On Your December Birthday’ Cards

It’s bad enough that half of my birthday presents come wrapped in Christmas paper. So please don’t go and buy a card that says: ‘On Your December Birthday’ to add insult to injury.

Excuses for why people miss your birthday plans “Sorry, I can’t make it as we are visiting my uncle’s step-son’s cat that weekend.” “I haven’t got the money to come out for your Birthday.” “Can’t you have a night out in January instead?” I understand that people are spending lots of money on gifts for family and friends and that it is a very busy time of year for most people. However, it would be nice if one year I could go out for my birthday, when I want to, and not when it’s convenient for other people.

You get everyone’s unwanted, recycled presents Recycled packs of socks or nearly out of date Christmas chocolate, those who have a January birthday will know the struggle! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure as they say, though it would be nice to recieve a gift that was definitely intended for me!



“I bet that’s amazing” vs. “I bet that’s rubbish” The age-old debate, which I’ve been trying to answer myself all my life. I have always loved Christmas and the traditions that come with it. However, having a birthday on the same day has always proved to be stressful and hectic, which can make it a pretty rubbish time too. The main positive is that I’ve always had the luxury of having my birthday off school, college, uni and work and hopefully I will always be able to do so.

“There’s only one present, because it’s a joint present” Hmm, really? I’ll remember that when your summer birthday comes around. If I can buy two separate presents and wrap one in Christmas paper and one in birthday paper and buy two separate cards for each occasion, then I’m pretty sure you can too. Just because it’s the same day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the same amount of effort.


FILMS TO WATCH: CHRISTMAS 2016 by Jessica Chumber

Moana Disney brings us yet another animated adventure as we meet Polynesian princess Moana, who embarks on a journey with demigod Maui, voiced by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. The pair set out to find an island which leads them on an adventure alongside friends and sea creatures alike facing some challenges along the way. It’s a must watch for all ages. Who can say no to a Disney movie?

Star Wars: Rogue One As Christmas approaches, it’s about time for another Star Wars adventure. Follow the Rebel Alliance as they attempt to steal the Death Star’s plans. Felicity Jones and Diego Luna will star as the characters tasked with this challenging mission.






Assassin's Creed Michael Fassbender stars in the film production of the much-loved gaming classic, Assassin’s Creed. He plays a character called Callum Lynch who is forced to relive his ancestor’s experiences from 15th century Spain. He soon comes to realise he is part of a secret society, The Assassins. This is a must see especially if you are a fan of the game franchise or a lover of action-packed movies.



Collateral Beauty Will Smith stars in this moving drama about a man who becomes depressed after the death of his daughter. He begins writing letters to death, time and love, which become a catharsis for him to cope. He meets 3 people: Helen Mirren, Jacob Latimore and Kiera Knightley who personify each of the 3 elements, hoping that this will help him move on and let go of his past. You can expect powerful performances from Academy Award nominees and winners including Edward Norton and Kate Winslet.





Anna Pancaldi


Last time Scratch saw singersongwriter Anna Pancaldi was Autumn of last year, where we recorded a live session amongst the falling leaves. Almost a year later and Anna has released her new EP Dear Joey, alongside main single Keep on Keeping on. “I think as an artist you’re terrified you’re never going to write a good song again as everything relies on that, it can be quite a lot of pressure!” Anna admits “this EP is the proudest I’ve ever been about anything I’ve ever made. When you finally reach that point it’s an amazing feeling.” Anna’s launch party was at a breath taking church in Shoreditch, London, complete with violins and cellos. “That venue sold out six weeks in advance” recalled Anna. “I really feel like I come alive at live events, they’re my favourite.” Anna’s EP is perfect for those cold winter nights ahead.

RUNAWAY being an acoustic anthem, taking a moment of calm and reflection in the bustle of everyday life. Come on Love which Anna described as “the one that means the most to me”, is a beautiful ballad full of freedom and love, every note as soulful as the next. The final track All That I Am takes the fear everyone has of not being good enough and spins it into a stripped back bluesy track, with emotion pouring from the deep notes of the acoustic guitar. “I did my first US tour this year, I played a venue in New York called the Rockwood Music Hall and that was so special. I’d never played in America before and the room was packed out.” “That trip was born from a feeling of ‘I really need to just go to America’, when I’d booked my flights I was only going to open mic nights. I went with my gut… it’s

important in any career to just gamble.” “That opportunity to tour America led me to getting management in L.A. and sang live on CBS T.V. which was terrifying! Not every time you take a gamble on things it works out, but this one really did, and I’m so glad. It’s changed my life now.” When she’s not travelling around the world, Anna fills the room of houses with just her voice and guitar. “The experience for me as well as the audience is really special. Sometimes people can’t make it out to a venue or they don’t like the atmosphere, but this way people can surround themselves with a tailor made audience and they’re always wonderful.” Keep on Keeping on and the EP is out now. Anna’s next EP is due to be released March 2017.

by Becky Chivers and Sophie Hack





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22/11/2016 17:14



Winter Warmers The temperature has dropped and with that comes the return of more familiar UK weather. Saying goodbye to the sun does have its perks though, with perhaps the biggest benefit being a great excuse to go coat shopping. What's even better is that buying new outerwear is guilt-free because it is actually a necessary part of our wardrobes and key to staying warm in the

winter. Plus, no one can judge you for spending a little bit more of that student loan, as in England, a coat has got to last you until Spring at the very least. The High Street has many different but equally great coats to keep you looking warm and stylish for this

6 17:14

By Nisha Jaswal

Zara £59.99



Autumn/Winter. The biggest problem you'll have is picking just one. Who wouldn't want to wear a chic version of their dressing gown?

H&M £59.99

ASOS £85 Next £75 @TheScratchBCU



WINTER WARDROBE ESSENTIALS By Polly Vodenchirova Faux Fur Coat Now we all agree that real fur coats are way past their time. Faux fur, however is the new trend! From Cruella De Vil chic to Glam Rock Star, the fluffy faux fur coat has got your looks covered. And it’s so cosy as well.

Dark Green Faux Fur Coat, New Look

A White Jumper Less is definitely more in this case. Unlock your inner Snow Queen and be ready for everything from an important job interview to ice skating.

And as we speak of cosiness and cuddle time, what is better than snuggling into layers of warmth? Besides, those lecture rooms are never warm enough.

Cream Tartan Blanket Scarf, River Island



A ‘Blanket’ Scarf You know those super thick scarves that can also serve as picnic blanket in the summer? Get one of those and you can turn yourself into a burrito at any moment of the day. Particularly useful for those of us who like napping at random hours and places.

Cashmere Jumper, H&M

Knitted Cardigan, H&M

The Oversized Cardigan

A Large Sequin Handbag

Elbow Sleeve Dress

Sequins are definitely not reserved for New Year’s only. Be bold and adventurous and pair up with a minimalistic outfit. We guarantee the corridors at uni will turn into your personal catwalk.

Dresses are not just for the summer, and with a pair of warm tights, the elbow sleeved dress gives a classic and sophisticated look.


Velvet Yes, 2017 is totally bringing it back! Boys and girls inclusive. Vintage, sexy, classy. What more do you need?

Dark Green Long Sleeve Dress, New Look

Velvet Sequin Sack Bag, Topshop

Special buy!

Knee High Boots Too cold but you want to wear skirt or shorts? You want to introduce some celebrity vibes into your everyday outfit? Or just to make your legs look longer? Then knee high boots are what you need.


A Christmas Jumper

Christmas Bears Snowball Jumper, JD Williams



Correct price at time of writing

Over the knee boots, Deichmann

Velved and Lace Dress, ZARA

New Christmas. New jumper. That’s the rule.





Fashion trends that you can wear this season By Katherine Vella

The time has come where we’re starting to feel the cold and sadly have to put away our summer dresses and lace-up sandals until next year. However, this means that it’s time to re-introduce yourself to your favourite heeled Chelsea boots and woolen coat. Since the beginning of the season, high street designers like Zara have been creating new pieces and working on earlier designs to show you what you could have in your Autumn/Winter wardrobe.

Fantastic Florals Florals used to be the design that you only saw your grandma wearing but in the past decade, florals have become more of a wardrobe necessity. Offering a range of looks, a floral pattern can either resemble an elegant and sweet look or vintage and classic. Through out stores, you wont be able to enter without seeing some kind of floral pattern and this is because the natural and flowered designs are all the season. Working this into your Autumn/Winter wardrobe, you could either pair your floral blouse or shirt with a plain design coat to avoid patterns clashing and emphasise the floral tones underneath or wear a florally embroidered jacket that will add that extra element to your outfit. (Below, bottom right)



Elevated every day outfits These pieces define the time when designers were more focused on the luxe every day look that do the job that simple pieces do, however, interestingly included smaller, more refined details like unusual pattern cuttings, embroidery and fabrications to help pull together the whole outfit. Some might think that this look can be boring but, paired with the right shoes and accessories, these subtle pieces can make a big statement. Styling for the winter temperatures, this style could be mirrored in a coat with an embroidered lapel, crinkle cut trousers, a jumper with a flared turtle neck or shoes with either a sheen, metallic or suede look. This is a style for everyone that can truly reflect your personality depending on how you chose to style/accessorise the look. (Top left, below)

Velvet...thats all I need to say From velvet blazers and jumpers to knee-high boots and accessories; it looks like designers have delved into the world of velvet clothing for the AW16 collection. This year, the designers have reworked the classic velvet design to give it more of a shimmer and oomph than before. Velvet is on the rise and is being seen paired with simple sets of clothing and accessories to help emphasise the velvet or the designers have just paired it with more velvet because, why not? Adding it to your Autumn/Winter wardrobe is easy as you can either pair it with a simple ensemble to add attention to the velvet item like a blazer or pair of boots or you could embrace the velvet and wear two or more velvet items. (Top right, below)

Bring back the 80s

All photos used are from the Zara website

As fashion evolves, small elements of previous fashion trends are brought back to life and recycled into todays fashion industry. The 1980s were spread across the Milan, Paris and London runways this year with the main theme of power dressing but this time focusing more on evening wear. Spiked stilettos are back in fashion along with satin, ruching, more gold jewellery than you can imagine and asymmetric cuts. The key point is that no item of clothing is left without a hint of shimmer. The photos above show the ruffle and satin look being brought back into today’s fashion but more subtly which could work as a small injection of the 80s into your evening wardrobe. When shopping for your new Autumn/Winter wardrobe, if you want to still keep it quite subtle, look for items with exaggerated features like the sleeves and arms, blazers with sharper shoulders or a simple pair of pointed flat boots which will give your wardrobe a taste of the 80s. (Bottom left and below)




Christmas Dinner Dress Ideas By Andreea Cristina

I dare you to mention a better time than Christmas. All the delicious food that your family prepares, all the decorations that light up the city, all the time spent with your loved ones, all the hot ginger or pumpkin drinks, all the nice soft jumpers... this could go on forever. The Christmas dinner is the event that makes the dasuch a special experience, because everyone gathers together, no matter where you spend it or with who. But the big question is: what are you going to wear? If home is not the place for you to spend your Christmas night, and you feel like you want to go out and make the most of it, clubs are full during holidays. For a night out, a short sparkling dress would be perfect. You can match the outfit with barely-there heels, an envelope clutch and bold lips. Boohoo, £40.00 Going to a fancy restaurant for Christmas is the second most common option. No cooking, no worrying about the guests, no cleaning afterwards. For those kind of events, a formal outfit is definitely required. If you want to stand out, a bright glamourous dress will give you the attention you desire. With your hair laid down and accessories to match, the night will be yours. Topshop, £52.00 Most Christmas dinners are spent at home with the entire family. For this kind of atmosphere, you would like to feel as comfortable as possible. Christmas is that time of the year when you’re happy to see those relatives that you’ve been trying to see the whole year. A simple red dress will not stop you from enjoying the little things. It will give you a chic, elegant vibe without looking like you tried too hard. New Look, £49.99

If you love traveling and you want to try something new, like spending Christmas abroad, in a hot tropical country, where New Year’s Eve usually happens on a beach, that means you like to treat yourself. If you dress to impress, then spending a little bit more on an outfit should not be a problem for you. With this long sleeve glitter maxi dress, you will definitely steal everyone’s heart. Lipsy, £75.00

For a cocktail party, mini dresses are the most obvious choice. A silver dress with sequins and a covered neck will definitely work on a night like that. It will give you a stylish attitude and you don’t even have to over accessorize the outfit. Silver shoes and small earrings and you are good to go! ASOS, £180.00



For a party at a friend’s house you don’t want to exaggerate but you don’t have to feel too plain either! Choosing a simple, one colour dress with a split neckline and superskinny cami straps that crisscross at the front will give you a delicate look without looking too opulent. Forever 21, £49.99

Geek W



Edit by Adam Hingley

Blizzard Entertainment®

Words by Ryan Adams


orld of Warcraft is a giant name in the MMORPG universe (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). For many who have never played it, with the release of the recent Legion expansion now is a better time than ever to start.

off level boost to make that character your permanent level 100. This is perfect for new players giving them a try before you buy experience to find the class they will enjoy the most, and for returning players giving them the chance to play a new class in the current expansion.

The success of the recent film Warcraft: The Beginning, WoW has one of the most in-depth lures to any game has catapulted World of Warcraft to a more mainstream on the market today. Every specialisation (the talents audience, since many of the people who watched the you pick for your character) has its own story line and film have never played WoW before. So why should its own legendary artefact weapons. As well as being they start? And why given your own super now? Well, with the In Legion you can now quest from level cool weapon, Blizzard release of the most recent went even further and expansion you get a level 100 to 110 in whatever order you please. gave every class their 100-character boost own order hall, which is a meaning you can jump straight into the action, no more private location only accessible by everyone of that class grinding levels to catch up before starting the legion and is the central hub for launching your attack on the quest lines. You can also try a class at level 100 before Legion. It’s also a great way to see what other players of deciding what you would like to play with the new class your class are doing and what talents they are taking, trial feature. This means you can test out the class and what gear they are wearing, the stat priority they have find which you enjoy the most before using your one gone for and much more.


Photo courtesy of Blizzard




Geek W


which you can complete with a group and each boss has the chance to drop an item, which also has a chance of being upgraded to even higher item level with three different difficulties of dungeon. There are normal, heroic and mythic dungeons each rewarding better items than the previous. A big part of WoW is raiding, but not everyone has time to commit four hours or more to the hardest difficulties of WoW raiding. Blizzard have released ‘looking for raid’ which is an easier, less time consuming version of the raiding content. This version can be completed

This is the best time for any new or returning player to start Word of Warcraft.

the player a choice of four zones that can be completed in any order, as well as an initial max level zone that can only be entered once you reach 110. Gearing up to be ready for battle in Legion has never been easier even for the casual player, all the gear from quests scale up with your level and item level (the combined average of your items). You can also complete world quests that reward better gear, after completing four of the factions assigned for that day it gives you a treasure chest which has a chance of giving you epic items. This means, even if you only have an hour free you can still get better gear. There are also dungeons




rather quickly, but still gives even the most casual players the chance to experience the best of the end game content, giving everyone the chance to step into the raid and try it out without committing the time it takes to be part of a top raiding guild. In conclusion, this is the best time for any new or returning player to start WoW. With all the content open to everybody and such a large variety of content from PVE (Player Versus Environment) and PVP (Player Versus Player), there is something for everybody to enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Blizzard


In Legion you can now quest from level 100 to 110 in whatever order you please. This may seem like a small thing, but to any returning player this is actually one of the most enjoyable parts. This is unlike all previous expansions which have been very linear in progression, where you would have two zones for the first few levels, then two more for the next few and finally for the last level or two everyone would be in one zone. Thanks to Blizzard’s new scaling technology, it means you can start and finish in any zone of your choice because no matter your level, the quests and mobs (monsters) will always scale to be an equivalent level to you. This gives



The Growing Phenomenon

By Ryan Adams


ince the beginning, man has competed against man for money, fame and glory. From football to the Olympics we have many varieties of sports, but now we have a new sport: Electronic sports. And it’s a phenomenon sweeping the world. Although it has been organised for many years, it hasn’t been until recently that it has swept the West with professional video game players competing for prize pools of thousands, perhaps millions of pounds and teenagers signing lucrative sponsorship deals with brands like Red Bull and Razer, all because they are the best at a video game. Why is this so popular and growing even larger week by week? Just like any other sport, gaming is something people enjoy doing and there will always be some talented individuals who appear above the crowd. It makes sense that if you like a certain game you want to see

the best of the best competing on the biggest stage and support your favourite team, not only is it entertaining but it’s inspiring for young gamers and it’s finally getting the spotlight and recognition that it deserves. The biggest of these games are League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, although there are many more such as Call of Duty, StarCraft 2 (which is much larger in South Korea than the west), FIFA, World of Warcraft and Halo. League of Legends is arguably the most popular title in the professional gaming circuit now with more than 67 million active players a year and around 7.5 million peak daily players. In 2014 the League of Legends world championships held in Seoul managed to sell out 45,000 tickets in the Seoul World Cup Stadium within a matter of hours. Most recently the Dota 2 TI (The International) world championship tournament had the largest prize pool to date in eSports with over $20 million, the top team taking home just over $9 million and just over $3 million for second, even 13th-16th place taking home just over $100,000 each. Comparing this to traditional sports, the prize pool for The Masters is a mere $10 million with the winner only taking home a tiny (in comparison) $1.8 million. The winners of the Cricket World Cup took a cheque just shy of $4 million comparing this to the $9 million won by the Chinese team of Wing Gaming with an average age of just 18 years old. @TheScratchBCU


Geek Although the prize pools are staggering amounts of money, professional gaming is not without its risks. Just a few months ago a professional League of Legends player, Hai Lam, who played for North American Organisation Cloud 9 had to retire from professional play after suffering a repetitive strain injury in his wrist. Professional gaming isn’t the easiest of career paths. Just like any other sports, only a select few make it. However, for those at the top who make it there are prospects after the end of their career as, whilst professional gaming may not count for a lot on most CVs, it’s assured to benefit a host of industry-specific roles including coaching, managing teams, or working within an eSports organisation. With the growth of eSports, and the interest of organisations such as Fnatic and Cloud 9, it is opening up more opportunities to work every year. As eSports grows so do the names involved in it. Samsung, best known for smart phones, have since the 2000s owned and ran their own professional



eSports team in South Korea known as Samsung Galaxy with its own StarCraft 2 and League of Legends teams. But this isn’t the only big name invested in eSports, other big names include the likes of Coca-Cola, Nissan, Red Bull, Intel, Razer and American Express. Most notably, traditional sports teams have started investing into their own eSports division with FC Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga purchasing their own League of Legends team to compete in the European LCS and as of most recent, French giants Paris Saint-Germain have purchased a spot to compete in the LCS for about $70,000 The main place to watch eSports is Twitch TV, this is where not only the largest tournaments in gaming are streamed, but it’s where you can watch the pros and your favourite personalities stream and interact with the community. Anyone can stream on the platform free of charge, but of course there is also YouTube with fan made content and video replays of the biggest games and tournaments.


JOIN SCRATCH MEDIA! SCRATCH MEDIA is located within the PARKSIDE building, city centre

campus. From here, Scratch Media record TV shows, broadcast on a live radio station, create a magazine and photograph all aspects of the university. We are a family of hardworking creative people wanting to show all that is great about Birmingham, and want you to join the team!







The Football Wonderkids of 2016

Footballers aren’t getting any younger, are they? Well, these ones aren’t, but they’re pretty young as it is. Signing players with a lot of potential whilst they are young is something many clubs do in hopes that they will one day develop into a legend. Here are six youngsters you should definitely keep your eyes on. Written by Andrew Hollands

Gianluigi Donnarumma Tipped to become the best goalkeeper in the world by football agent Mino Raiola, Donnarumma is a 17-year-old with a fantastic career ahead of him. He currently plays for AC Milan, and made his debut for the club at only 16, claiming the title of the youngest goalkeeper to debut in the Serie A. Since 2015 he has made 37 appearances for Milan, as well as being the youngest goalkeeper to make an international debut for Italy.

José Giménez Since joining Atlético Madrid in 2013, this 21-year-old defender has rightfully earned his place in an already strong squad. His Uruguayan partnership with teammate Diego Godín is hard to beat, even for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. He has made nearly fifty appearances for Atlético as well as over twenty for his national team of Uruguay, even picking up three goals in each category. After losing out on both the title and the Champions League trophy in the previous season, José will be vital to Atlético’s future success.

Ousmane Dembélé There was quite a gap to fill after the departure of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from the Bundesliga’s Borussia Dortmund football club. Despite being 19-years-old, Dembélé managed to score 12 goals in 26 appearances for his former club Stade Rennais F.C. – earning him the Ligue 1 young player of the year award. Dembélé claims that someday he will play at the Spanish giants, FC Barcelona, and it was said that Barcelona was keen to sign him after his impressive performance in Ligue 1. It is early days, but perhaps he is the player to one day replace legendary Lionel Messi.



Marcus Rashford A player probably known to every football fan in the country, if not in the world. Rashford joined the Manchester United academy at age 7, and a decade later burst into the scene scoring two goals during his first team debut, making him the youngest Manchester United scorer in European competition. Three days later, he scored another two goals during his Premier League debut against Arsenal, and then went on to become the youngest ever scorer in a Manchester derby in the Premier League, at only 18 years old. Since his debut, Rashford has made sixteen appearances for Manchester United, scoring 8 goals altogether, as well as earning five England caps, bagging one goal in the process. Pretty impressive for someone who was still in school only a few months ago.

Jonathan Tah Standing at 1.94m tall, Tah is the type of defender that forwards struggle to get through. The Bundesliga is no easy place to be, particularly when coming up against teams like Bayern Munich, but this 20-year-old youngster is willing to take on that challenge after signing a five-year contract with Bayer Leverkusen in 2015. Since then he has made 34 appearances for the club and played an important role in Bayer finishing third in the 2015/16 season. Tah has over twenty national youth appearances for Germany, as well as two official caps on his belt. It’s hard to compete with some of the best defenders in the world, but I’m sure we will be seeing Jonathan Tah performing for Germany on a regular basis in years to come.

Will Hughes When it comes to players that can individually influence the success of a club, particularly one seeking promotion, Hughes is the one to watch. After joining Championship club Derby County as an academy player aged 12, he signed as a professional for the Rams in 2012 and has made 134 appearances for the club. Having now played for the England Under 21s on 17 occasions, and having attracted interest from a whole host of top clubs, what the future holds for the 21-year-old is yet to be discovered, but it would not be a surprise to see him playing for England in the next couple of years, possibly one day as captain.



Things You Need To Know Before Becoming a Football Season Ticket Holder


Words By Dom Sweeney Edit By Adam Hingley


By Dom Sweeney

Away days truly are the crème de la crème of having a season ticket. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a glorious day out at The Emirates, or the ultimate garden shed experience away at Scunthorpe in the cup, you just know it’ll be a belter. Truth be told, you’re not even there for the match itself. As long as you’ve been soaked in beer before the game, and ended up with a slight concussion after nose-diving off the top of the men’s toilets at half time, you know it’s been a good day.

PRISON TIME WILL CARRY MORE APPEAL THAN AN INTERNATIONAL BREAK It’s that time of the month again. England are playing Macedonia in a World Cup qualifier for the millionth time, and you literally won’t have the first clue what to do with your life for the next two weeks. With nothing to do on Saturday, your options are fairly bleak. Do you reluctantly say yes to an extra shift at work? Do you have a quiet night in watching Green Street on Netflix? Do you accept an invitation to your Auntie’s barbecue, where Val from next door will inevitably ask you why you’re still single? You truly are caught between a rock and a hard place.



Any season ticket holder will tell you that the age old pre-match ritual of sinking what may be considered a socially unacceptable number of pints before kick-off will soon become socially acceptable. We all know that you don’t have to drink to have a good time, and that tanking 10 pints and jumping out of the window will decrease the expiry date on your liver and will make you look a bit silly. However, in football land, many people think the pre-match pint will make what you’re about to witness slightly more bearable.

Football is the ultimate love-hate relationship. There will be the odd miracle where you’ll see the most unlikely player ping one into the top corner from thirty yards in the last minute in your local derby, and you’ll think you’ve fallen in love all over again. And then come the days when you’ve suffered your twelfth successive defeat, have sold your best player, or have rather seen him miss an open goal in the dying minutes of the game, and you find yourself wondering why you even bother anymore. But despite everything you put up with, you still remember the good times and find it in you to stick by them forever more, just like you’ll have to do many times after you’ve sealed your own fate at the altar. If the prospect of marriage scares you at all, then maybe football isn’t for you.



By Dom Sweeney




Degrees take a lot of work, but you could always go the extra mile to make you stand out from the crowd and bag that graduate job you’ve been studying so hard for. Graduate+ is a new scheme where the work you do alongside your degree amounts to an award that can boost your journey to your dream career.



The activities and events are designed to reflect what makes you stand out to employers. Be it a part time job, setting up a LinkedIn account or even winning an award for your work, you can log it towards your Graduate+ award. Graduate+ looks to offer and promote a range of events whilst recognising all that you do as an individual. Volunteering, placement activities and parttime work can all be included within your award.

BCU is committed to helping you grow and develop your potential. The attributes expressed in Graduate+ reflect the qualities employers look for in graduates. As a student you are already a member of the Graduate+ community, you just need to log on the website by using the Graduate+ iCity tile or going direct graduateplus. Why don’t you start your award with you very own personality questionnaire and log it against the Bronze element of your award?



Get to know what you like and discover what you can develop for this award.


Testing and building on your Extending your skills and skills is a step up for the silver challenging yourself will help you finish off your Graduate+ award award. to the highest standard.

Find out more at

BCU Graduate+





The scratch issue 2  

Issue 2 of BCUSU's The Scratch Magazine!

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