As the NUEL progresses from season to season, so too do the teams. The nature of the competition is such that eventually rosters are forced to change, but the ones that stick around and find success season after season are worth keeping on your radar regardless of if you’re a player or just watching.
Lancaster Bombers, perhaps the team with the most pedigree coming into this tournament are the Lancaster Bombers. Having finished within the top 6 in every season they played since winter 2015/16 and winning last season they are certainly the favourites to take this one too. Their only weak link is their LAN record which may be a factor when it comes to the finals, should they make it. Other teams would do well to observe Callum “Enigma” Merrill’s play as he attempts to hold onto the title whether it’s to cheer them on or beat them at their own game.
Duel of the Fates, previously known as UOM Team 1, seem to have taken my criticism to heart and picked a more imaginative name this time around. Last season was the first for the majority of their roster with the exception of Ciaran ‘CiaranQ’ Quilligan. We’ll see if he has made the necessary changes to elevate his team further after their impressive 3rd place finish in the Winter Championship. This time around there will be no excuses and high expectations as they are no longer the mix team. This will be one of the last chances Quilligan has to bring the title home to his university so you can expect some good Counter Strike out of these guys.
BATH A finished just under the Bombers in the Winter Championship, taking second place. For the majority of their players it was their first season, but the university has shown promise with Bath’s second team also placing within the top 16. Similarly to the Mancunians they have a lot to live up to this season and it will be tough to beat their second place finish and take the title with other teams having had the same time to prepare and improve since last season.
Finally the Brighton Panthers are one more roster that has stayed together and are looking to improve from their previous performance. Being another young team last season, they have all that they need to make a deep run this time around. Hopefully they’ll be able to continue their form and increase even further the exposure and funding for their Esports society that was so pivotal in the formation of this team.
Regardless of if it’s one of these returning rosters you’ve got your eye on or a new one entirely be sure to check out the stream on Monday evenings to keep up to date.