This week is Qualification week. Every team has been initially ranked according to the soloq rankings of their individual members and will play four games to determine their initial group in the tournament. Further information about the format can be found here.
In total we have had a huge 351 teams from around the country sign up. New for this season, these teams have been split into 4 regions: North, Midlands, South-West and London.
TEAMS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Nottingham Krakens (Midlands Region)
The Nottingham Bears won last season’s championship, and now the Bears are the Krakens. I think 1v1 a kraken would beat a bear, so it must be an upgrade right? Only Billy remains of last year’s championship-winning roster (though OGN did play in the Summer Tournament) so it remains to be seen how the new roster will stack up. The Krakens are in the Midlands region.
Huddersfield White (North Region)
Huddersfield White were our Summer Tournament champions. They stayed near the top during the League then surged to victory during the playoff finals. But that was in the Summer Tournament, with most of the big name teams not playing. How will they stack up in a tournament which is more than 10 times the size?
University of Birmingham Storm (Midlands Region)
If you don’t know this team what rock have you been living under? Not only did Storm finish second last season, but the season before as well. And third the season before that. With a roster that is largely the same and stacked teams from both Birmingham City University and Aston University challenging for the top spot in Birmingham, this will be the biggest challenge Storm has faced.
Portsmouth White (South-West Region)
Portsmouth have had talented teams in the past, but have never quite had the results to match. This might all change this year though. Portsmouth White officially boast the most stacked roster, including past superteam member Dynasty and current member ShavenTortoise. They have the honour of being the highest seeded team in the entire league. Will they live up to it?
Grey Warwick (London Region)
Grey Warwick are a mainstay near the top of the League. Last season they were a member of the Super8 (rest in peace) but never really challenged for the top spots. As the highest seed of all the many Warwick teams (they have 10) and their whole region they will be looking to take it to the next step and aim for the very top.
As mentioned, Warwick have 10 teams participating in the tournament, but they aren’t the university with the most. Getting so many teams playing is a big achievement; a total of 13 universities got 8 or more teams. Who had the most?
Sheffield Hallam – 15 teams
How on Earth did they manage this? I have little doubt this isn’t just highest for this season but highest ever. The next best university isn’t even close. Pat yourselves on the back guys.
University of Kent – 11 teams
University of Kent – 11 teams
University of Hull – 10 teams
University of Nottingham – 10 teams
University of Southampton – 10 teams
University of Warwick – 10 teams
TOP TEAM NAMES
And now it’s time for the bit I’m sure some of you have been waiting for: what are the best team names? As usual the creativity is through the roof and it’s been a pleasure going through all 351 teams to pick my favourites, not that it’s easy to choose.
First you have the champion name puns:
- Lee Sin to your Heart
- Namilade on Toast
- We Used To Live in Kha’ZixStan
- LSE MonetAhri Policy
Then you have the university name puns:
- Better Read Than Dead
- Kent Touch This
Then there’s all of Sheffield Hallam, who get their own category:
- Baron NaSHUr
- SHUffle Truffle
Their name game is just too strong, and I only picked the best ones from them.
And then there’s these guys from Manchester, who make the list because one must always go the appropriate amount of Ham:
- Going Ham, but not too Ham
Finally we have:
- UoB Birmingham
Because you need extra Birmingham in the name, right?
That’s enough with the tuns of puns. Check-in closes at 6pm, Captain’s meeting is at 6.30pm and matches start at 6.45pm. You have all afternoon to practise, so play those final scrims and re-read my Strategy Workshop.
The fight for the National Championship begins today!
~Peter ‘Aezure’ Dakin