By NUEL caster John Allen

Team: Staffs CSGO

Lineup: Ellowain; keeno (IGL); JSabino, Digital Film and Post Production; Jimentoon, Games Design and Programming; Joey (AWP), Digital Film and Post Production

Favourite Maps in Summer: Cache, Mirage, Overpass

Path to playoffs: w1g1 win vs Soton, w1g2 loss vs Aston Clutchers, w2g1 win vs Solent Boi’s, w2g2 loss vs 2ez5u, w3g1 win vs Royal Ulster, w3g2 win vs NTUGO, w4g1 loss vs RHUL, w4g2 win vs Solent Boi’s

Fourth-placed Staffs CSGO are the new kids on the block (not to say they don’t have the skills). They’ve been gaining momentum towards the playoffs and plan on continuing that into their matchup against our number one seed and tournament favourites LU Brexit. With only one game on the books against a playoff team in qualifiers, they are a relative unknown. If they can use this to their advantage, they could be the dark horse of the summer tournament.

The origins of Staffs are still written in fresh ink, the squad having only been formed at the start of the 2015/16 academic year. Their founder (Martin, no longer plays on the team) brought them together as the first team to come out of University of Staffordshire playing just for a bit of fun. With the video game society being one of the largest at the uni, they thought it was high time to forge something great for Staffordshire in CS:GO. As it came to exam time, Martin had little time to dedicate to eSports and decided to step down from the roster, resulting in the addition of new rifler and IGL keeno. With a fluid and less structured approach to roles within the team, they’re going to have to give it all they’ve got if they want to take on a highly tactical LU Brexit and come out swinging.

Staffs history in the NUEL tournaments has not been steeped in the same glory as many of the other playoff teams. Spring in particular was a disappointment with the side unable to make the cut for playoffs. Now with keeno on-board guiding their tactics, they jumped up the table and are poised to win redemption for their spring split. JSabino described how the team are already pleased with their achievements this year: “We just wanted to get to get to playoffs, and now we’re here, we may as well try our best”. The team has been carefully studying the large amount of stream footage from LU Brexit, trying to identify weaknesses in their performance. This diligent approach, coupled with their relative anonymity to their opponent, could be the key to their success in the first semi-final. The team are so confident that they are already looking towards the grand final next week. Staffordshire’s only game against the top 4 was a closely fought loss against Aston all the way back in week 1. The squad are itching to play Aston Clutchers once more and take revenge on their rivals: “I want to play them again, just to beat them in the final”, Jsabino vows.

It seems the key to their game is to try and keep an even morale: “As long as our players are having a good day, I think we’ve got a good chance” says JSabino. If they work together and focus on the directions of IGL keeno, they could carry their momentum based but effective gameplay into this semi-final and come out on top. One thing is for sure: this close roster cannot wait to show us what they’re capable of on the playoff stage.

NOTE: Between the writing and publication of this article, Staffs were defeated 2-0 by LU Brexit. They now face DBC in the third place playoff, determining the winner of some great prizes from our sponsors TT eSports –  a black Element Mouse and a White-Ra mouse pad each. 

You can catch all of the action from the grand final of the NUEL CS:GO summer tournament on Monday at 7.15PM!