So many weeks have passed and gone, and now the NUEL Campus Clash Spring Season is almost done! We’re up high in the final stages of the tournament, and play-offs often bring a considerable amount of extra pressure for the involved teams.
This week was no different, as we saw a rematch of last years final between Y E E T from the University of Staffordshire and Underwatch from the University of York for the first series in the winners final, while BU Esports from Bournemouth University tried to battle it out with the Caledonian Chargers from Glasgow Caledonian University in the losers semifinals.
For this week’s Match Report, we are going to go a little less in depth in turn of play by play, at is is my honest belief that you should just watch both of the games as they were some of the finest games we’ve seen thus far in the NUEL, as well as to look a little more at the teams performance as a whole.
For our first match, Y E E T played their grudge match against Underwatch. The last times these teams faced in the finals of the Winter Season, it was Y E E T who unfortunately took the loss. Y E E T is mainly recognizable by their incredibly aggressive play, relying on their Main Tank Callum’s tendency for forward play and supplementing him with an inappropriate amount of damage from Jellis’ Zarya, who always seems to have at least 99% on his Energy levels. This is bolstered by forward support play, as Zefhus and Jseven are both capable of fragging multiple people in the space created by Callum’s aggressive positioning. Pulse and Evy fill out the roster, able to flex multiple heroes to allow Y E E T to not just play GOATS (although that is usually what happens regardless, as it is still GOATS). The flipside of this aggression is that Y E E T can have consistency issues. Against teams that are on the weaker side of the spectrum, their binary play allows them to absolutely steamroll through, as the constant hammering away and rapid ultimate charging leads combined with the sheer amount of damage and mechanical prowess from the individual players blows away anyone who dares stand in their way. However, against teams that are able to punish their (over)aggression, we’ve seen that Y E E T have trouble adjusting their style. Instead, they keep trying to bash through with conviction, which doesn’t work when the other team seems to be a brick wall.
Meet Underwatch: a brick wall. Undefeated in the regular season, winners of last season and they show no sign of shutting down. What scares me and presumably the other teams the most about Underwatch is their impeccable teamplay and their consistency. It would be hard for me to point out a specific player on Underwatch that could be designated a hard carry, as it feels like they are all carrying equal weight. Whether it is Mya who snipes people on the Zenyatta, Jimbo who seems to eat so many ultimates that I don’t know why other teams bother even trying to go for them or Rusoto’s incredibly long holds, it is the way that these players play off one another and fill in for each other’s mistakes that impress. If Mya does get taken down, Derf2000 and Kamui pick up the pace. If Rusoto doesn’t find the Soundblast, Wallabeh cuts through the opponents with a Zarya laser. There doesn’t seem to be a star player for Underwatch, as they are all the star players when the need arises.
This ties into their other main characteristic: the consistency. Unlike Y E E T, they aren’t prone to over aggression. Because everyone on the team can carry and they always play as a cohesive unit, it is so incredibly hard to punish them or try to find a consistent opening to take them down. Combine this with the high level of individual skill of each player, and it is easy to see why they are yet undefeated.
Coming into this series, the main question was whether Y E E T’s high roll potential was enough to bulldozer through the line up of Underwatch, or whether the brick wall holds once again.
On Busan, we see an incredibly strong Y E E T. On MEKA Base, we start of with what pre-patch is still the most popular composition in Overwatch, GOATS, although Y E E T has Evy on the Mei. The teams are very equally matched, although Y E E T picks up an early advantage and runs with it from there on out. An incredible contest from Rusoto keeps the dream alive for a little bit longer for Underwatch, but on their subsequent push Y E E T capture the point despite an ultimate disadvantage thanks to a cheeky swap to the Wrecking Ball by Callum, and take the round.
Both teams go for some crazy compositions on Sanctuary, with Y E E T running hypermobile dive with Callum on Wrecking Ball, Pulse on Sombra and Evy and Jellis on Genji and Widowmaker while Underwatch goes for more traditional dive with a Mya on Sombra and Wallabeh on Tracer, backed up by Derf2000’s Winston. The ensuing chaos is something that Y E E T seems to thrive on, and they take the win in the end, although Underwatch gets fairly close.
For our second map, we move to Dorado where Y E E T try to replicate the success of their previous team comp by sticking with the same composition, only swapping Jseven for the Mercy on defence. Meanwhile, on offence, Underwatch sticks with tried and true GOATS to contest the chaos. Unfortunately for Y E E T, while their composition was successful in the previous match, on Dorado it simply doesn’t do enough. They seem to lose almost every fight, which would have been manageable in of itself, but they also don’t switch the full comp around (only swapping Tracer in for the Widowmaker) until Underwatch is almost at the second point. By this point, York has built up an incredible advantage in ultimate economy and still has a sizeable timebank and they ride out that lead by getting the full push with almost 3 minutes left on the clock. Y E E T, now fully committed to GOATS, show that they can match Underwatch to a certain extent in straight up 6v6’s, and they are themselves able to push the whole way through. This is done in overtime, meaning that Y E E T need to beat a pretty sizeable timebank lead. Underwatch holds incredibly well in the third round, and Staffordshire is barely able to move the payload with the small timing window that they have. When it is Underwatch’s turn to push through, they have 4 minutes to win a single fight, as that would be enough for them to get past where Y E E T ended up. Unsurprisingly, they are able to do so, and the score is evened up 1-1.
For our third match, we move to Volskaya. I say we, but unfortunately, it is just Phil, as some internet issues make me abandon him. Phil, however, decides to press through and does an incredible job solo casting a game filled to the brim with action. The first point barely gets held after an extended initial fight, but as soon as Underwatch comes back in and Callum gets taken down, the first point falls. Moving on to the second point, there is no immediate snowball as we sometimes see on Volskaya, but their first push is enough to keep them on top of the point for an extended amount of time. When Jellis and Callum find some kills, they halt the momentum from York. A follow-up push also gets held off, and it looks like maybe Y E ET will be able to turn the tide. When the point finally gets taken after another slugfest, 36 seconds remaining on the clock, and there is definitely plenty of room for Y E E T to even up the score. Unfortunately, they are unable to even cap the first point. Callum’s aggressive positioning gets repeatedly punished by Underwatch, and the rest of Staffordshire is unable to find an opening themselves. The synergy by Underwatch is to be praised here, as they are able to capitalize so well on every ultimate that they throw out. All of a sudden, there are only 20 seconds left on the clock, Y E E T go for a hail mary push. It gets halted, and despite Wrecking Ball trying to stall for just a little bit longer, Underwatch completes the hold and are up 2-1.
The final match of the night is arguably my favourite, as we see ShadOATS (my copyrighted name for Sombra GOATS) from Staffordshire against the never-changing regular GOATS from Underwatch. We previously praised Underwatch for their incredible capitalization on every single ultimate, and it’s proving to be harder for Y E E T here, as a couple of big cooldowns go completely wide. They are able to pull their act together regardless, and as we’ve seen during the night – when Y E E T do well, they do so rather decisively. In the end, Underwatch has a single second left as they take the final point, but Y E E T are looking a lot better than they did on Volskaya, bringing promise for their offence. The first push from Y E E T confirms this, as Jellis slices through Underwatch like a hot knife through butter and Underwatch seems a little bit over eager to get something going, with Derf2000 taking an uncharacteristic risk and getting punished for it, and the final push from Y E E T is as good as we’ve seen them play all night. They end with an incredible lead in terms of time, as they have 4 and a half minutes while Underwatch needs to get it done in just shy over a minute. When the frontline falls, Underwatch captures the payload and goes for the famed overtime push. Evy on the Brigitte puts an end to those dreams eventually, and the payload halts at the Saloon. Underwatch, surprising everyone, goes for a completely off meta composition featuring a Bastion and Pharmercy composition. A pause throws a wrench in those plans, and when everyone is back in the game, the first point gets taken rather quickly. Underwatch, not discouraged by their first curveball not working out, goes for a double sniper composition backed up by Winston and Wrecking Ball, and they absolutely demolish Y E E T. The architecture from the second point, combined with how strong Mya and Wallabeh look on the Widowmaker and Hanzo, mean that despite all the odds, Underwatch manages a miracle hold and takes the series 3-1.
For our second series, the Caledonian Chargers take on BU Esports to fight for a spot against Y E E T in the losers finals. The Caledonian Chargers are a team we haven’t seen perform thus far on stream at the Campus Clash, and looking at their performance here it is rather unfortunate. They look incredibly strong and well-rounded, with Ben and Cameron anchoring the team, backed up by the support duo of Heart and Padorian, while Notan and Echoic close out the ranks. Like many other teams, the Chargers are masters at the 3/3 tank/support composition, and we don’t really see any other pocket strategies come out from them during tonight’s series. On the other hand, BU Esports are also a team that lacks diversity in terms of different strategies, but the strategy that master is somewhat unorthodox: instead of regular GOATS, the D.VA gets replaced by Riz on the Doomfist. Goldenfish and Huayta make up the frontline, with Blizzardstar providing additional flailing and tanking on the Brigitte, while Cloud and Strebor do their very best to keep the rest of the team alive (specifically Riz, who dives in deep as Doomfists do).
As we start off on Busan yet again, it is the Caledonian Chargers who look incredibly dominant. The Doomfist doesn’t find anyone, and the fights picked by BU Esports seem highly suspect, and we see a 100-0 game to start off the series. To everyone’s surprise, considering that first game, the subsequent game sees that getting completely turned around. BU Esports look incredibly dominant, seemingly out of nowhere, as Riz is able to put out so much pressure on the backline of the Caledonian Chargers, and the rest of his team is always quick to follow up as soon as Heart or Padorian get caught in the knock up’s that Riz has available to him. After a 100-0 in favour of the Chargers in the first game, BU Esports almost are able to get a similarly dominant performance, but in the end, Caledonian is a little too strong for that to happen. They still take the second round rather convincingly, and that bodes well for BU Esports heading into MEKA Base. Once again, BU Esports somehow repeats their incredible performance of the second game, and it’s starting to feel like whether or not they are able to win depends on whether or not Riz can find the picks on his Doomfist. With a binary character like that, every team fight on MEKA Base feels onesided one way or the other, as so many fights start off with the backline of the Chargers getting punched in the face incredibly hard and the rest of Bournemouth Snowballing from there on out. They lose control of the point, and Goldenfish and Huayta show that they can also find some kills in case that Riz is unable to, and BU Esports take Busan.
On Dorado, the Caledonian Chargers have some pressure put on them. They need to solve the problems that allowed BU Esports to take advantage of them with the Doomfist in the span of minutes. A pause breaks up the action for a little bit, but not before BU Esports completely zerg down the first point. The second point falls rather quickly after the pause, and eventually, we start to see the Chargers adapt successfully to the Doomfist, as the final point holds and BU Esports are unable to push through all the way. Things start to get more and more worrisome for BU Esports as Riz is unable to find more kills. Considering how Doomfist works within the composition, the stronger 6v6 coming out of Caledonian Chargers is a bigger and bigger issue as Heart and Padorian have seemingly adapted enough to not get taken down anymore. Just past the second point, Cameron has a particularly great play where he baits some surviving members of BU Esports to chase him into a small building, where they promptly get greeted with an Earthshatter, and the second point falls rapidly as the Chargers want to keep their momentum going. An absolutely devastating ultimate advantage makes this relatively easy, and it just doesn’t feel like there is that much that BU Esports can do, despite their great team play, as the Chargers take Dorado.
On Hanamura, BU Esports need to show that they can deal with the adaptations made by the Caledonian Chargers, as the previous map didn’t bode very well for the rest of the series. It is the rest of BU Esports who really show up, as Blizzardstar, Cloud and Strebor keep their team alive through so much of what the Caledonian Chargers throw their way, and both the first and second point fall incredibly fast. Almost 4 minutes are still left on the clock for BU Esports, and it looks like they might be able to gain an advantage in the series after all. This gets further reinforced by their strong performance initially on the first point, as they hold off the first 3 minutes expertly, and as the Caledonian Chargers lose a fight one-sided just 30 seconds before the time runs out on the first point, things look dire for them. Ben and Cameron are having none of it. In the very end, they manage to get themselves an overtime push, and Cameron disconnects just after that push has effectively been won, saving the Chargers from getting in a disadvantageous position. The second point isn’t balancing on a razor’s edge, as they snowball one of the team fights rather effectively and they end with still 2 and a half minute left on the clock. BU Esports are in an advantageous position, as they have an extra minute and 20 seconds available to them to lead the series 2-1. However, this feels a lot less good as the Caledonian Chargers seemingly completely overpower BU Esports, as Ben and Cameron completely demolish the entirety of BU ESports, while Padorian and Heart haven’t been caught by Riz in a very long time. Now, the pressure is on for BU Esports, as they have a lot of time still available for them in general, but if you need to push all the way at Hanamure that can still feel rather daunting. They take the first point rather convincingly, but it is the second point where the pressure is really felt, as they take a lot of good fights, one after the other, but it is never really enough to deal with the short reinforcement distance that they’re facing, and with 38 seconds left on the clock and a team fight bell ringing for Caledonian Chargers, it looks like BU Esports will be unable to once again get ahead in the series. An absolutely dominating teamfight from the Chargers also serves to send a message to BU Esports, as Echoic lights up the kill feed and Riz’ Meteor Strike is too little and too late. Caledonian Chargers lead 2-1 and have seemingly solved the Doomfist, and it is up to BU Esports to show us on Hollywood whether or not they can still find the moments we saw them find earlier on.
Initially, it definitely seems that way. BU Esports look revitalized, as an early pick on Cameron leads to a quick snowball, as Riz once again finds the space he has been looking for for the last two games, and the first point falls rapidly. An early contention just past that goes awry for the Chargers, as a Graviton Surge doesn’t find the impact necessary, Cloud picking up a great number of kills and Riz being able to stay alive and drop a Meteor Strike. Eventually, the snowball gets halted, as Echoic gets a kill on Cloud in the backline, leading to a team wipe. Prompted by this, BU Esports completely switch around their strategy, picking up the Wrecking Ball, Ashe and Pharmercy, and proceed to get shut down incredibly hard on their first teamfight. Despite some initial difficulties, the compositional switch seems to work out rather well. Instead of just dealing with Riz’ Doomfist, Cloud and Blizzardstar create additional threats for Caledonian Chargers to deal with, and it initially seems to be rather hard for them. They are able to stall for the time a little bit, but the triple DPS composition still gets the better of them in an overtime push. BU Esports, now on defence, opt into their initial composition once again, which was deemed solved initially.
After a onesided teamfight in favour of Caledonian Chargers in which they take the first point, BU Esports swap back to their triple DPS composition, and it is now up to the Chargers to solve this composition as well. Unfortunately for the Bournemouth fans, they do so incredibly quickly. The second point gets taken almost as convincingly as the first, and with no more tricks left up their sleeve, BU Esports fall back to their initial Doomfist GOATS composition in an attempt to burn up the timebank from the Chargers. They are somewhat successful, but a hold is nowhere near as a minute and a half are available for Caledonian Chargers as we move unto what might be the final round of the evening. They only need a single tick to take down their opponents, and when Goldenfish falls and Riz finds no opening kills, the Caledonian Chargers take Hollywood and are the team to face off against Y E E T in the loser’s finals.
Two amazing series and I wholeheartedly recommend that you check them out! That is going to be all for this week’s Match Report. Make sure to tune in for the finals next Monday at 7:15, as always at twitch.tv/thenuel