Team: DBC (Surrey University)
Lineup: 7opf (“zopf”), Masters in Networking; Sharm, Computer Science; Chewey (IGL), Music and Sound Recording; Kav, Business Management; OpToCo (Awp), Computer Science. Standins: napsterlove, Computer Science
Favourite Maps in Summer: Cache, Mirage
Path to the Playoffs: w1g1 loss vs LU Brexit (Cache), w1g2 win vs Keele (Mirage), w2g1 win vs RHUL (Cache), w2g2 loss vs Derby (Mirage), w3g1 win vs NTUGO (Cache), w3g2 win vs DMU (Cache), w4g1 win vs LU Brexit (Cache), w4g2 win vs I’m With SHdupid (Cache)
Second placed DBC have roared into the tournament in the last two weeks with statement wins against 5th seed Sheffield Hallam, defending champions DMU, and are significantly the only team to have beaten LU Brexit (and on Loughborough’s strongest map, Cache). With a favourable semifinal match-up with scrim partners Aston, against whom they own a 6-0 all time record in tournaments, DBC look set to progress and see if they can repeat their feat of giant-slaying.
DBC’s CS:GO team was founded two years ago by rifler napsterlove. Asking around at the freshers fair, he discovered that although Surrey possessed a videogaming society, they lacked a CS team and DBC was born. Competing against high school students in the Student Gaming Championships and facing off against varsity LAN opponents Kingston provided little challenge for the DBC lineup. It was only with their entry to the NUEL for the 2015 Winter tournament and an influx of new talent allowing the formation of a second team that created a truly competitive challenge for the team. A roster of A-Step, kav, chewy, 7opf and optoco was formed. Current starter Sharm was a substitute, lacking experience and suitable hardware to play at a high level. napsterlove moved to the second team to improve his mechanics and focus on a new managerial role of the teams as the new Counterstrike representative for the society. It was in this tournament that DBC began their run of wins against Aston, knocking them down to the lower bracket in a 19-16 overtime win on Overpass. DBC’s memorable campaign came to an end against eventual winners Manchester in the quarterfinal. In Spring, Sharm became a regular fixture of the team as a standin for either Kav or A-Step. After A-Step lost his composure and had a falling out with the team after a game, the team reluctantly replaced him with Sharm on a full time basis, although they remain friends and A-Step would play for them as a standin n future. The roster instability saw the team finish slightly lower in 9th place and then opt not to enter the King of the North tournament.
DBC were keen to make amends and make good on their talent in the Summer tournament, but got their campaign off the a bad start when they were drawn against Loughborough on their home map Cache. LU Brexit reeled off a 16-6 win in the first of a signature series of wins on Cach. “We got destroyed”, remembers Sharm. “It was our first game and we were very nervous”. Napster confirms “It wasn’t the best we could have been”. With A-Step back in the lineup due to Kav’s absence, the synergy was off. “Something just didn’t feel right”, chewwy suggests. Still mad about the Loughborough game, a raging Chewwy led his team in frags as DBC unloaded their frustrations on a Keele side caught off guard by their intensity and smashed to the tune of 16-3 on Mirage. Week 2 started out more brightly with a hard-fought 16-8 win against RHUL on Cache. “They were a good team but they lost a lot of clutches”, Chewwy recalls. The key round, an outrageous 1v3 clutch by 7opf, set the tone for the new lineup’s season. They followed their win with a surprising 16-13 defeat to Derby on home map Mirage. “They just kept coming out with clutches”, Sharm says. Although they lost, the team were not dispirited – the game had been close and it had shown them what they needed to do to up their game.
Heading into week 3, DBC began to uncork their full potential, embarking on a run that would cement their playoff appearance at the expense of the 1st and 4th seeds and the defending champions. They got started with an easy win over NTUGO on favourite battlefield Cache, and followed it up with a 16-7 defeat of champions DMU on the same map. “I don’t know what we changed, but it felt like we were all on the same page” adds Chewwy. Question Marks arose in week 4 with Kav again unable to make the fixtures. This time, the team fell back on former player napsterlove to fill in. Traditionally not requesting his services due to communication and synergy issues, napsterlove played like a new man, embracing the team mindset and top fragging against Loughborough on Cache to hand them their only loss of the tournament to date 16-13. Cruising on the high of beating the unbeatable team, the men of DBC dispatched playoff-contending Sheffield Hallam 16-5 on the same map to cement their position as second seed and avoid an early rematch with Loughborough, whilst dismissing the Hallam squad’s playoff hopes.
DBC are oozing confidence heading into the final. Their first game is a familiar one to them. After all, Aston have been their scrim partners for almost a year now, and have never beaten DBC in six attempts. “We know how Aston play”, explains Chewwy. “I’m confident that we can beat Aston – I have been putting in the hours after work to prepare” adds napsterlove, returning to the main squad after his big week against Loughborough. After all of the matches, there is a personal dimension to the rivalry between the two sides according to Sharm: “We have this thing against Aston. We have to keep up our perfect record”. As for a future match up against Loughborough, the team realise that they will need to be on their best form yet to stay on top of a Loughborough team who were on cruise control during their last meeting and still took the game to the wire.
For DBC, the time has never been better to claim their first title. They sport a new and improved lineup, a favourable – historically one-sided even – matchup against the Aston Clutchers in the semi-finals, and more motivation than ever before to win thanks to 7opf’s looming departure from the team to pursue an admin role. DBC are getting hot at just the right time and may even be the team to beat this summer.
You can catch all the action from the NUEL Summer Playoffs on twitch.tv/thenuel this Monday at 7PM!