The NUEL CS:GO Winter Championship is drawing to a close but the climactic culmination of the tournament promises some of the best Counter Strike we have seen so far. As such it’s the perfect time for a newcomer to either the NUEL or Counter Strike as a whole to tune in and enjoy the show.
Counter Strike is a very simple game to understand and even a complete stranger to video games could comprehend what’s going on and the skill required to make that happen. There are however some nuances that allow the watcher to appreciate the game even more. For those of us that are used to watching competitive Counter Strike the importance of the games, even within the relatively low-stakes of university esports, can help us appreciate the action more.
This week two important games were played to decide who made it through to the final, who had to play in the lower bracket final and who was knocked out of the runnings for Championship winners. We are guaranteed to see the Lancaster Bombers in the finals after their win over BATH A this Monday, but BATH A have an opportunity to get revenge as they still have a chance to make it to the final. BATH A will face UoM Team 1 in the lower bracket final as they beat Hiko Yorkidding Me, knocking them out to finish in a respectable 4th place.
So this coming Monday we will see a Best of 3 lower bracket final between BATH A and UoM Team 1, the winner of which will go on to face the Lancaster Bombers in a Best of 5 with the Bombers having a 1 map advantage going into it.
The Lancaster Bombers are likely pleased that this final won’t be held on LAN, having a 1-6 map record with this roster. Their online performance, however, is stellar. The team are consistently impressive, showing us last week that they are still strong favourites, even against this stacked final 16. Look out for their newest player, Enigma, for some impressive solo plays and their In Game Leader, Exparilis, for the calls that could decide the game.
With UoM Team 1 the big difference maker will be their own IGL, CiaranQ. Also filling the role of captain of the team, he has a lot to live up to after UoM won the first ever NUEL Championship under then-captain zxpppy. If they make it to the finals pay particular attention to his reactive calls on CT side and how he chooses to use his players to win out against those of Exparilis.
BATH A will be please that they are guaranteed to place above the Southampton Shufflers as their IGL, Mystery, still remembers his loss to the team from his hometown in a previous season. Mystery has a lot of trust in his players and was right in predicting his team’s success in getting this far. Keep an eye out for him also, as against the two experienced IGLs from Manchester and potentially Lancaster, he will have his work cut out for him.
For anyone not yet familiar with the ins and outs of CS:GO, check out this article for a quick idea of what to look for so you get the most out of watching the NUEL.
For the rest of you I look forward to seeing you in the Twitch chat this coming Monday and get ready to spam UKCS whenever anyone whiffs an easy play.