We are now, at time of publishing, just over 24 hours from the start of our Summer Tournament. For some participants the tournament will be their NUEL swan song, having recently graduated this will be their last chance to take part. For others this will be their first tournament with a new team or a new roster.
Tomorrow evening teams will play through four rounds of games to determine their initial position at the start of the tournament. In eight weeks time a Summer Champion will be crowned. Here are the exact dates for your diaries:
- 19th July – Qualification
- 26th July – Week 1
- 2nd August – Week 2
- 9th August – Break Week
- 16th August – Week 3
- 23rd August – Week 4
- 30th August – Wildcard & Regional Finals
- 7th September – National Grand Finals
A total of 36 teams have signed up, from 25 different universities. Some teams are all new and others are teams who took part in the main season, a few of which are well known.
TEAMS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The Nottingham Bears
If there’s a team coming into the tournament as favourites it’s these guys. They won the main season in convincing style, going unbeaten in the finals. In fact the last NUEL game they lost was way back in March. Earlier in the week they participated in the Summer Collegiate Invitational, against the best collegiate teams from around Europe. After going 2-1 in the group stage they got knocked out in the elimination stage in a close 1-2 loss to the Turkish team.
Moving back onto the topic of our Summer Tournament and the team from the University of Nottingham are sporting a new roster. Hal, Billy and Bears are now joined by Artesh, The Freeshooter and OGN. Whether the different lineup will be to the same standard remains to be seen.
We are feather feather feather getting back together
There is one other team playing who ended top 10 in the main season, and yes you did read that name correctly. Under the name #TheFlappening at the time, just sitting outside of the super 8 these avians ended the main split in 9th place. Now with a new witty name and two new members supplementing their roster they’ll be hoping to leave their mark this summer.
It’s summer, so with all the people away there are far fewer teams competing than in the main season. As such I want to take a space to give shoutouts to the universities who got together the most teams for the tournament.
To get not one, not two, not even three but four teams together to participate in summer is a big achievement and only one university managed it: Staffordshire University. Staffs MEH, Staffs Salt, Staffs Scrublords and StaffsEnerds are the teams they a fielding. In addition two universities have three teams: University of Birmingham and Bangor University.
As a team captain myself I can vouch that organising teams for the NUEL isn’t an easy task. These universities have fostered strong communities to be able to field multiple teams in summer and so deserve applause for their efforts. *claps*
TOP TEAM NAMES
As ever in the NUEL some teams take serious names but others take humorous names. Some involve puns relating to their university, others just seem to be completely random. I want to take a moment to just share some of the best names out of this summers signups with you:
- Too Long; Didn’t Reading
- Urgot To Be Kidding Me
- We are feather feather feather getting back together
- Bangors and Mash
I might not be able to recommend your days jobs to become comedians but I applaud your creativity. I’m sending a completely fictional Humour Jellyfish award to each of your team captains to recognise your teams as the funniest of the not-so-funny.
ARE YOU READY?
Matches start on Sunday at 6:45pm, fixtures will go up before that. All the information you need can be found in the Captain’s Document which has been emailed to team captains. There is still some time for last minute practice, so polish those mechanics and finalise those strategies because the competition will be fierce.
Who will come out on top?
~Peter ‘Aezure’ Dakin