It’s only been two weeks, but we already find ourselves at the halfway point of the group stage. There have been some upsets as some of the more established names have stumbled out of the blocks. However, a lot can change in two weeks. Here’s a quick look at the current state of play.
Warwick Angels University of Warwick (6)
Underwatch University of York (6)
Björn to Win Manchester Metropolitan University (5)
Brookes Back Mountain Oxford Brookes University (5)
Rogue Swan Swansea University (5)
UoB Zeus University of Birmingham (5)
The Last Bathstion University of Bath (5)
Cambridge University NUEL Team University of Cambridge (5)
LU Press Q Loughborough University (5)
Kebabaru and chipsu Staffordshire University (5)
BUEsports Bournemouth University (5)
IC9 LUL Imperial College (5)
It’s been an interesting first two weeks as Warwick and York have pulled ahead of the pack. With both teams with six wins, they’ve managed to upset some of the more established teams. The Warwick Angels saw off the Nottingham Bears, followed by SHU’d have gone to Uni of. Their final Week Two clash saw them pitted against the much favoured Cambridge University NUEL Team. Warwick were able to beat the perpetual semi-finalists to make it six wins out of six. Meanwhile, Underwatch had an arguably easier set of games, facing namesakes USW Underwatch in their final game after seeing off the Squirrel Supremacists from Keele and Glasgow Caledonian’s Positive Mental Attitude. Either way, with both teams sitting atop the table, a mouth-watering clash looks to be on the cards for Week Three.
Despite losing to current table-toppers Warwick, this remains Cambridge University NUEL Team’s only loss so far. Wins against A Respectable Surrey Esports and fellow contenders Björn to Win mean that the loss to Warwick could be seen as a minor blip in an otherwise solid week. Similarly, Björn to Win are still looking strong after their Summer Championship triumph as they beat Kebabaru and chipsu from Staffordshire as well as Elephant and Castle from Imperial College. They won’t be too disheartened by their loss to one of the top teams in the tournament.
Last year’s winners NO MERCI suffered two defeats this week at the hands of Kebabaru and chipsu from Staffordshire and Rogue Swan from Swansea. Both of the victors now sit pretty with five wins each, Rogue Swan having an undefeated Week Two.
UoB Zeus were seen as a potential contender for the Winter Championship title. This week, they did not disappoint as they managed to 3-0 their competition. They managed to fell DMUrMada followed by U-POW from Portsmouth. Their last game saw them clash with UEA Hackstreet Boys on stream. UEA had started the day with a loss against Brookes Back Mountain on stream and seemed determine to prove that winning under the eye of the NUEL casters was possible, but UOB Zeus fought well. Solid performances from Kirkmania and Sewon meant that Birmingham were able to sustain a first point defence before breaking a stubborn UEA fightback in overtime in the following round.
Brookes Back Mountain managed to defeat UEA Hackstreet in the first game of the day, but suffered their only defeat to Kebabaru and chipsu. The Staffordshire team would go on to lose to the summer champions Björn to Win, but otherwise it was a solid week for both teams.
As mentioned, Rogue Swan were able to defeat last year’s champions NO MERCI in their final game of the day. This completed a 3-0 week for Swansea as Warwick Mercy Mains and the Luci-Ohs from Manchester were also defeated. The latter of the two matches was caught on stream, the teams fighting on Nepal. The first round was a somewhat easy victory for Rogue Swan, but the second round was anything but. Both teams were able to cap the point to 99%, but a late push from the Luci-Ohs meant that the match would be going to three rounds. Rogue Swan were able to grab the point first, but a fightback from Manchester meant that things were still up in the air. However, Rogue Swan regrouped and, despite some back and forth on the point, were able to secure the game. MVP goes Chimpy who managed to dish out 30% of his team’s overall damage.
Elsewhere, Last Bathstion put in a 3-0 week to establish themselves towards the top of the table. Wins against De Montfort’s Spicy Boi$ (I’m not typing out the emojis, sue me), Shimada Steel of Sheffield and the Nottingham Bears keeps them in good company. LU Press Q matched them with a 3-0 themselves, defeating teams from Lincoln, Surrey as well as Imperial’s Elephant and Castle . IC9 LUL secured a 3-0 week to keep up the pressure, as did BUEsports, both sitting on five wins.
Meanwhile, it was a poor week for NO MERCI who succumbed to defeat in two of their Week Two games. However, a 3-0 in Week One means that last year’s winners still have the potential to pull themselves back into the running. Similarly, last year’s finalists DU Like Jazz seemed to struggle in Week One, going 1-2. Yet things have started to look up with the team posting an impressive and much improved 3-0. Captain Elliot “Munkfish” Moffatt has been quoted saying that the week’s play saw them “grow as a team”. Whether they’ll be able to mount a late challenge is to be seen.
It’s only been two weeks, but that means only two weeks remain of the Winter Championship for teams to stake their claim for the knockouts. Check-in deadline is 6:30pm on the Thursday with the Captains’ Meeting at 7pm. Matches start at 7:15pm so make sure to get yourselves online. Good luck!
James “Nilknarf” Franklin