With the dust settled on Week Four, eight teams from the each division have made it through to the next round of the competition. For those towards the lower end of the top eight, this means a place in National Division 2. Here’s an in-depth look at the groups complete with insightful analysis. If you don’t have the time, just read the headlines…
(Animals clash with hardcore Christians over evolution in 2017)
IC Monkeys (Imperial College) – London and the South-East
For Imperial’s supposedly top team, the Monkeys didn’t actually have the best record coming into the final week. However, a 3-0 week including a win against their sibling team ICawin meant they climbed their way past both ICawin and Extra ThICc. Extra ThICc will be particularly disappointed, having been in and amongst it during the first three weeks, but falling 0-3 in the fourth. Nevertheless, the Monkeys’ show of dominance was a two for one special that no Poundland or 99p Saver could match as it re-established themselves at the top of the Imperial food chain while grabbing a place in the next round. Their week also included a win over former table toppers Grey Warwick Academy, snuffing out Warwick’s hopes of a third team making it to the next stage. Captain Jeremy “Jez” Lam will be hopeful that the team can maintain their run of form and with a diamond-studded seven man roster, it looks as if he will have plenty of talent choose from.
Champions to look out for: Riven, Bard, Akali.
2017 KEELE ESPORT (Keele University) – Midlands
2017 KEELE ESPORT were one of two teams from Keele with a chance of making it to the next round. However, the Cereal Keelers lost out by one place on OMWP to the Midland Kings meaning that Keele have only one representative. Their captain Sunil “Invictus” Blaggan is a Darius main by trade, but with one-tricks traditionally struggling in the NUEL with the number of targeted bans flying about, it could be a struggle to get out of the group. However, the team is not without quality, jungler Liam “CrimsonLonginus” Donnelly standing out. Having placed better than a number of established teams including Aston, and finished on the same number of wins as DMUrGirl (even defeating them in the final week) and Compliments to the Sheff, they deserve their chance in the big leagues.
Champions to look out for: Darius, Warwick, Lulu, Janna.
Christian eSports Society (University of Exeter) – South-West and Wales
The most God-fearing of teams in the division had been among the chasing pack in their division. Sadly, League of Legends was a game invented by Satan himself meaning that their prayers had little effect as they went 1-2 in the final week. Nevertheless, they have made it into the second division ahead of five other teams. They are a rag-tag group of players united by their captain and aspiring Archbishop Callum Iles, otherwise known as “IvernTheDankLord”. The team possesses an incredibly diverse range of ranks from gold to diamond, but a fool would underestimate them. Some say (Callum actually) that their support will be bringing some “IgNar style picks” to the table.
Champions to look out for: Ivern, Blitzcrank, Yasuo.
Dankchester Duckys (University of Manchester) – North
The “dankest” team of aquatic birds in the NUEL overcame teams from Salford, Heriot-Watt and Liverpool to make it through to the next stage of the NUEL. Their rise came as a shock to the rest of the competition as they took the final spot for qualification at the expense of Team INT, a team that had looked strong going into Week Four. Nevertheless, Dankchester have earned their place in Division Two. They’ll be looking to captain Konstantinos “Hot Costa Coffee” Kamvysis and Ben “W0lfhaggis” Paterson to carry them to victory, and in doing so writing themselves into Manchester history (for at least 420 years).
Champions to look out for: Riven, Thresh, Fiora.
(Wolf confused when confronted with subversive humour, twerking and strange map)
Twisted Treeline mains (University of Exeter) – South-West and Wales
Unlike their Jesus-worshipping brethren, this team from Exeter do not rely on divine grace. Though they still identify Baron as Vilemaw (William to his mates), they’ve adapted well to what is for them an unfamiliar map. A solid 2-1 in the final week meant they narrowly missed out on a place in Division One to DRG. As one of the stronger teams in the group, they’ll expect to progress, with their captain and resident Gangplank main Tom “Toliam” Brandon leading the charge from the top lane. A quick browse of op.gg suggests they favour champions geared towards scaling for late game. It will be up to the other teams to take the fight to them.
Champions to look out for: Gangplank, Tahm Kench, Kog’Maw.
Watt Puns are cringe (Heriot-Watt University) – North
Having decided to buck the trend of Watt based humour with their team name, this team are looking to strike out boldly into the great unknown. Led by Ciaran “WoodyIsWashedUp” Woods, this team are not to be trifled with. Having seven wins going into the final week, they were able to upset second-placed team the bUoYs before an agonising loss to a resurgent Strathy meant they missed out on the top division. One to watch would be their Katarina main Edward “The Katapillar” Bush. However, with carry potential in the top lane and a six man roster, the team do have options.
Champions to look out for: Katarina, Riven, Lee Sin.
Tons of A$$ (Aston University) – Midlands
Long gone are the days of the Aston Aunties. Thankfully, their Tons of A$$ remain. They’re not the only team from Aston to make it through to the next round as the Midland Kings have also made the cut. Both teams did actually finish on the same number of wins and both only managed to scrape by with a 1-2 final week. It’s this kind of Aston chemistry that Simon “Simon” Hazeldine will be hoping to avoid. Nonetheless, strong performances in earlier weeks did them well and they now finds themselves in a challenging group.
Champions to look out for: Irelia, Renekton, Thresh.
Feral Warwick (University of Warwick) – London and South-East
This team from Warwick managed to scrape through to the next round of the competition with a remarkable 3-0 in their final week. They saw off CT MEngineers from City University before defeating Extra ThICc from Imperial in their next game. Finally, they faced off against their sibling team Marauder Warwick, the winner taking their place in Division Two. Feral were up to the task and the Marauder was vanquished, guaranteeing the society meetings and socials to follow would be that little bit more awkward. With the humbling fall of Grey Warwick Academy still fresh in the mind, captain Jacob “TeacakeWithJam” Mileson will be looking to set the record straight.
Champions to look out for: Jayce, Orianna, Zac (but funnily enough, not Warwick).
(Brummie monarchs and Satan compete in Bronze 1 promos while naked)
NUDES (University of Newcastle) – North
Newcastle’s top team had been there or thereabouts coming into Week Four, but a 3-0 in the deciding week meant that they were challenging for spots in the next round of the competition. While they missed out on Division One on OMWP to teams from Hull and Strathclyde, a place in Division Two was their reward. Captained by Joe “Joe Dixon” Dixon, they boast a diamond studded team. They’re a team with large champion pools and players with the ability to play multiple roles. With a seven man roster, it will make them even harder to predict. However, if Ali “Expired Data” Ridley plays, expect Kindred to make an appearance, being the #52 Kindred (according to lolskill.net). Despite the NUDES, this will be a tough nut to crack.
Champions to look out for: Kindred, Jax, Yasuo, Kassadin.
Bronze 1 promos (University of the West of England) – South-West and Wales
Wins against Swansea, Chichester and Portsmouth in the final week saw this team through to the next round. Fresh off the back of going 2-2 in their promotions for silver, these guys had been lurking just under the radar before stealing up on the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know the result of their epic climb from elo hell, but I do know that this team have some quality players. Jungler Jamie “Jebb” Webb and top laner Anthony “xX420picklerickXx” Adams will be key to their success while Vel’Koz main Ajeet “Big Boii Waheed” Singh pins down the enemy midlaner. However, with the new runes and a weakened Ardent Censer, their bottom lane may be put to the test.
Champions to look out for: Vel’koz, Elise, Darius, Viktor.
SKTeemo (University College London) – London and the South-East
UCL’s seconds are another team to have put in a late dash for the line. Wins against teams from Essex, Cambridge and London rivals Imperial meant they soared up the rankings. Going by solo queue ranks, you would expect them to be one of the weaker teams in the group, if not the weakest, but if they’ve managed to get to this stage, looks must be deceiving. The team’s ADC Mo “Violp” Afshar will be crucial to their plans while their captain’s Irelia will likely draw bans, that is, if Ali “Murkle Man93” Talebaoui is to be in the top lane. Already the surprise package, they’ll be hoping they’ll be hoping to spring a few more.
Champions to look out for: Irelia, Jhin, Orianna, Ezreal.
Midland Kings (Aston University) – Midlands
Despite losing two games in the fourth week of the competition, the Midland Kings joined Tons of A$$ in making Aston proud again. Gone are the days of the Aunties, but Matthew “Matty Triceps” Cheung remains. While his dream of “resurrecting a top 3 team” hasn’t quite been realised, the NUEL’s very own Patches O’Houlihan will be hoping their new plucky underdog tag will be enough to make them the kings of dodgeball. Expect a focus towards the top lane, Simon “Diggdogsp2” Montgomery providing some much needed backup from the jungle. Hopefully no one will be crushed by any falling signs.
Champions to look out for: Jayce, Ahri, Zac.
(Chef struggles with dyslexia while ghosts haunt freezer once a week)
Compliments to the Sheff (University of Sheffield) – Midlands
The team from Sheffield had been chasing a place in Division One, but a loss to DMUrGirl meant that they missed out on OMWP. Nonetheless, they now find themselves in Division Two. Captain Alex “Nymaera” Hapgood will be spoilt for choice with his incredibly flexible six-man roster including two Sion players, an Ekko main and a versatile AD carry. With access to such a balanced diet, they’ll be out to prove that they’re a big fish in a small pond, a huge cow in a small field, a multi-award winning Michelin Star chef in a greasy backstreet diner.
Champions to look out for: Ahri, Sion, Ekko, Xayah.
Reading is Hard (University of Reading) – London and South-East
You have to feel sorry for Reading. Going into the final week, they were top of the league and riding high. Come the close of play and they’d fallen down the table to sixth on OMWP. With six teams on nine wins in what was the most competitive group, those two final week losses made the difference. They’ll still be feeling the effects, but much like their ongoing battle with dyslexia, they’ll be forced to persevere. Captain Anton “Antballen” Chambers still has another six good men to choose from. They have quality in abundance and should be considered favourites to progress from the group.
Champions to look out for: Singed, Renekton, Kha’Zix, Jhin, Evelynn
Icey Dead People (University of Durham) – North
I won’t hide it. I went to Durham, so I’m pretty chuffed these guys have made it this far. These six fine players (no bias) managed to claw their way past York before a loss to Team INT from Manchester put things in the balance. Matched up against their own sibling team Hardstuck Silver V in OCE, they crushed their dreams of Silver IV to take their spot. With a very flexible lineup (genuinely, they can all play anywhere to be honest), I’m not entirely sure what they’ll put out. Frank “PureRuminate” Yin and his men will be hoping their run of good form continues.
Champions to look out for: Tryndamere, Lee Sin, Orianna
PlayOnceAWeek (University of Southampton) – South-West and Wales
This team sat joint second in their region with five others going into the final week. Losses to their fellow Southampton team (Soton Smurfers) and Bristol Palace meant both made it to Division One while PlayOnceAWeek are forced to battle it out in Division Two. Thankfully, playing once a week has its advantages as they will now be fresh and ready for the games ahead. Captain Pariksit “im spiffy” Dogra has a plethora of options to choose from with his seven strong roster, but a surprisingly shallow tank pool may be a hole to exploit. Expect snowball top laners and a wave-clear bottom lane. Maybe even a rogue Annie thrown in somewhere… anywhere…
Champions to look out for: Gragas, Graves, Jayce, Annie.
Good luck to all our teams!
James “Nilknarf” Franklin