NUEL Live for Spring 2018 is almost upon us. The event at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere will see the two titans of this season’s championship face off in a best-of-5, tune in to find out if Warwick will be the ones to break Lancaster’s streak.

I spoke to several players from top teams to see if their experience playing with and against the finalists can offer any insight into who will ultimately be crowned victorious.

Zelan from the Southampton team Big Shuffley Bois has Lancaster pinned as the winner: ‘as a teammate of theirs in esea intermediate, I know that they have the aiming ability and the strategy to win on all maps’. But this confidence is apparently shared by the members of Lancaster, a factor that Zelan believes might make the final closer than it should be. He says: ‘I know from speaking to the Lancaster players that they do not rate the Warwick players very highly. And this may come to bite them in the ass as they may underestimate their opponents. So I think that this final will be close.’.

CiaranQ from UoM has a different view, he thinks that Warwick will take the trophy because they take the matches more seriously and have their coach to thank for this preparation. ‘I believe Warwick will win due to a couple of reasons: a) they have a coach who actively participates in their games and strats that they run. I saw him before the KoTN final running through the team all the maps they were going to play and exactly what each individuals role will be. Comparing that against Lancaster who were incredibly chilled about the whole event, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just think Warwick take playing a LAN match far more seriously than Lancaster. and b) they have a much wider map pool and can play 2 maps very well, being train and cobble, that Lancaster perma-ban. I believe Nuke is also a curve ball that Warwick can play but i’m not too sure. Saying all that, I do believe if Lancaster tried to widen their map pool and took things more seriously they would beat Warwick, they are actually the better players.’

Robert ‘BCG’ Thomas of York’s ‘rid mush’ makes a similar point to CiaranQ, accrediting part of Warwick’s advantage in his eyes to their coach and the part to their wider map pool. ‘I think Warwick will win due to their map pool advantage. Lancaster are forced to ban out Nuke and play Train, but I was surprised Warwick won Overpass at KOTN. Also I have to support Warwick due to the Roses rivalry. Also credit to Lynxx, the Warwick coach, I always see him online watching demos’

It’s hard to go against the incumbent champions as favourites going into this final but if the split in opinions we have from those who know them best is anything to go by, the final will be well worth watching. We’ll find out if Warwick’s hard work and dedication can overcome Lancaster’s skill and teamwork forged through several seasons of games, though it’s important to note that Warwick are certainly not lacking in skill nor teamwork.

A big thanks to all the players who contributed and as always to ADD. I hope everyone enjoys the match up and good luck to both sides.