The GAME National Championship is now finished for 2015. Over the past 5 weeks more than 350 teams from universities across the country have fought each other for pride and glory within the National League and Regional Leagues, not to mention a shot at direct qualification for the Grand Final. But that is over now and we can see who stands at the top as we go into the Christmas break.
At the pinnacle of the championship sits the National League, taking the best teams from the country and having them fight for the national crown. Of course it is too early in the season to actually award the crown, but that doesn’t stop us highlighting those teams leading in the fight.
First Place: Aston Aunties
At the top we have the Aston Aunties. A team containing a lot of freshers, they emerged from nowhere to take the league by storm and snatch the title of most dominant team in Birmingham. After achieving second place in the first split they climbed to first place in the second split, having only dropped 3 games in total over both. Expect more information on just how this team has gone from zero to hero in such a short time soon™.
Second Place: University of Birmingham Storm
In second place (surprise surprise) is the team they took first place off: University of Birmingham Storm. Storm had reigned as best team in Birmingham for years and are the only team to have beaten the Aunties this season, in the first split finals. Oddly, the team that is famed for being consistently second is the most inconsistent of the top teams; after beating the Aston Aunties 2-0 in week 2 they then lost multiple games in week 3 before going unbeaten in week 4. If they have a good day this team could certainly reclaim their crown.
Third Place: Grey Warwick
Third place is held by Grey Warwick. Of the top 4 they are the only team to not have gotten into a split finals so far. Featuring Challenger player, PrincePhilip, Grey Warwick are a team that have been around forever, always near the top but never quite taking the bacon. Staying in a constant place when the standard rises every year is still impressive, but this team could “click” at any moment and become the best.
Fourth Place: Huddersfield White
Down in fourth there is Huddersfield White. It was unclear how the Summer Tournament champions would stand up to the far tougher competition in the main season, indeed after Qualification and week 1 they weren’t even top 16. From there they turned everything around though, consistently climbing higher every week until they fell 2-1 to Aston in the second split finals. Even more impressive, perhaps, was that they beat both Grey Warwick and UoB Storm to get there.
Each Promotion Tournament sees 24 teams compete for 12 slots in the National League, 4 from each Regional League and places 53-60 from the National League (with 61-64 getting auto-relegated). Congratulations to all the teams fighting through successfully.
Newly Qualified with 2-0:
Typical Five – South West & Wales
Worcester Weaboos – Midlands
Shefeeders – Midlands
Newly Qualified with 2-1:
BECKETT IS BTEC AND KET – North & Scotland
DMU Kappa – Midlands
Abertay Aardvarks – North & Scotland
Yorick and Morty – North & Scotland
Retained Their Spot:
English Hopscotch Mafia – 2-0
Bangorladesh – 2-0
UCL Exodus – 2-0
KCL Red – 2-1
Rektangles – 2-1
Both Midlands and North & Scotland regions got 3 new teams promoted, with South-West & Wales getting 1. Do I sense London being left behind here? Better luck next time to the teams that dropped out or didn’t make it in.
In the Midlands it’s neighbours Derby and Nottingham fighting for first spot, with the inevitable Birmingham team right behind them. The UoB vs Aston rivalry is definitely doing UoB’s way in their Regional League.
North & Scotland:
This region is just a war within a war. Manchester vs Liverpool at the top and England vs Scotland elsewhere. The top 3 have broken away from the rest of the pack by a wide margin of points and Edinburgh could certainly push to take the top spot.
South-West & Wales:
Southampton may be a long way from Wales geographically but their Team Solent Mid is only leading by a single point and are being chased down by a hoard of Welsh teams eager for their blood.
London & Surrounding Area:
Do I spy a three-way tie? All having dropped down from the National League, Reading, UCL & Cambridge will be looking to pull ahead, who will succeed? Or will Imperial close the meagre 6 point gap to them?
HOLD YOUR HORSES
The GAME National Championship is now on a break until after Christmas, so you will have to wait to see who ends up crowned the champion. There is still one more split after Christmas for teams to earn points and after that top 2 teams will qualify for the Grand Finals. The next 32 teams will earn a spot in the Wildcard Tournament to fight for 3rd and 4th place.
Of course this doesn’t mean we will leave you bored over Christmas, keep an eye out for more NUEL action and content over the break!
~Peter ‘Aezure’ Dakin