The final days are upon us with teams concluding their fight for those precious championship points. The next stages of the competition start this weekend. Who made the cut and who was left high and dry? Let’s find out.
With Grey Warwick and the Aston Aunties taking the top two spots in the National League, the former managing to winning the split final against Loughborough, and ensuring their places in the semi-finals, it was left up to the rest of the pack to fight over those wildcard spots. After a Sunday packed with excitement, here are the thirty teams that made it to the Wildcard Tournament.
The Wildcard Tournament starts this Saturday at 6:45pm and continues on Sunday at the same time.
Last week saw a last minute scramble for places in the National League and not to mention bragging rights. Here’s a list of who made the climb or survived the drop in what was a big week for teams from the regional leagues.
MMU Popolinos (Manchester Metropolitan University) – North and Scotland
GU Tigers (University of Glasgow) – North and Scotland
Hulligans (University of Hull) – North and Scotland
Lincoln’s Last Knights (University of Lincoln) – Midlands
UoB Tempest (University of Birmingham) – Midlands
Sheffield 5 (University of Sheffield) – Midlands
UKC Red Pandas (University of Kent) – London and Surrounding Area
Monarch (Aberystwyth University) – South-West and Wales
Team Swansong (Swansea University) – South-West and Wales
Retained Their Spot
SHU Tigers (Sheffied Hallam University)
KCL Red (King’s College London)
Rektangles (Lancaster University)
As a result, these teams will be competing in the Lower National League Finals along with the rest of the National League outside the top 32 starting on Sunday at 6:45pm. Good luck!
The top 24 of each region, including recently relegated teams from the Promotion Tournament will play in their own tournaments to determine the champions of those regions, and end of year finish. This will start at 6:45pm Sunday so be there and be ready for some huge derby clashes.
Blue: DeMontfort’s Final Hour – King Lobster Man (Dr Mundo), Dreyter (Udyr), Jyu Viole Gráce (Ahri), Fatalwarning (Lucian), Azradel VII (Alistar)
Red: Leeds A – NinjaInDrag (Trundle), salty batman (Kindred), 886 (Le Blanc), Georgeanator (Ezreal), Voodoojuji (Thresh)
Our featured match sees Demontfort’s Final Hour facing Leeds A. Both teams had already qualified for the Wildcard tournament as they comfortably sat in the top half of the table and were playing their last match of the day. However, this match was far from a damp squib as you’ll soon see, the match ending in very dramatic fashion.
Both teams looked eager to start fighting as laners traded blows across the map. However it was King Lobster Man on Dr Mundo who managed secure first blood. He solo-killed NinjaInDrag’s Trundle in the top lane to snag a welcome bounty. Dreyter on Udyr tried to snowball the Doctor by investing a gank into the top lane, but a nice counter-gank from salty batman on Kindred turned things around, netting a kill for the team from Leeds and going some way to neutering Lobster Man’s advantage.
This was the signal for salty batman to start exerting more early game pressure and by fifteen minutes had picked up four kills via skirmishes across the map.Yet despite Leeds A getting the better of fights, the gold remained even. The only thing separating the two teams was DeMontfort having better control of the neutral objectives and they soon exploited this to full effect. At twenty minutes a big fight erupted around dragon which was secured by DeMontfort. This saw the teams go even in the fight, but it was Leeds A who came off worse, losing a turret as well as the neutral objective. Soon it was time to turn the teams’ attention to Baron Nashor, again secured by DeMontfort with Leeds A this time haemorrhaging members and turrets.By twenty-five minutes, DeMontfort had established a 7k gold lead.
Final Hour found another pick, this time onto the out of position NinjaInDrag, Dreyter using Udyr’s huge movement speed to full effect. With baron buffed minions, taking the inhibitor was easy pickings. Although King Lobsterman was killed shortly after, there was little Leeds could do to grab an advantage, instead forced to react to whatever play their opponents made next. There was not much they could do to get through the huge frontline comprised of Dreyter, Azradel and King Lobster Man. A siege in the bottom lane meant no kills exchanged, but an inhibitor and nexus turret secured by DeMontfort.
Leeds A needed to find a favourable fight against the odds. They managed to secure one around Baron. Both teams were looking to secure position on the purple worm, but it was DeMontfort who tried to start it. Leeds made their presence known and forced DeMontfort to peel off and fight. Salty batman’s Kindred had nine kills and as a result was focused down by the whole of DeMontfort to try to remove one of their opponent’s huge damage threats, but this left the rest of Leeds to hit the squishier targets of DeMontfort, managing to get an ace for the price of three members. However, with minions wreaking havoc in their base, nothing more could be secured, their final nexus turret in fact going down leaving them somewhat exposed.
Both teams were still looking at Baron Nashor with trepidation, Leeds knowing that DeMontfort securing it would spell the end of the match. Skirmishes erupted in the midlane and around the pit resulting in the teams trading two for two. King Lobster Man and Dreytus saw their chance for glory and made a beeline for the nexus, Azradel’s Alistar running interference. Leeds tried to struggle through the crowd control, but could not reach the two members of DeMontfort. But lo and behold! A Valentine’s Day miracle! The League of Legends gods looked down favourably on Leeds as their nexus, one hit away from going down, remained standing. For lo and behold, an inhibitor was risen from the dead unto the sons and daughters of Leeds, cleansing them of their sins. Such a magical moment was drowned out by shouts of disbelief from the casters Tridd and Lastsaber yelled into their mics that you would have thought them to be speaking in tongues, proclaiming the good news. Alleluia! Thanks be to Riot! The offending inhibitor soon fell to the attentions of, in the words of our resident prophet Tridd, the “crazy man-bear-tiger-turtle thing”. Thank you Tridd. Thank you.
Leeds A were looking to capitalise on this slice of fortune and immediately headed for Baron. However, their desperation was their downfall as an incredibly smug King Lobster Man, not at all dissuaded by their previous attempt, looked to backdoor the nexus via teleport once again. Dreyter sacrificed himself, but in doing so snagged the buff, preventing any empowered recalls to deal with the rampaging Dr Mundo. Jyu Viole Grace on Ahri made sure no recalls would get through, interrupting Leeds, but the nexus was already falling. After all that drama and despite the best efforts of the League gods, DeMontfort emerged victorious.
There were some impressive performances across the board. Honourable mentions go to salty batman of Leeds A on Kindred and Jyu Viole Gráce on Ahri for DeMontfort’s Final Hour. However, the MVP award has to go to Dreyter who’s Udyr was a nuisance throughout. In the words of newest NUEL caster lastsaber: “Udyr should have been banned.” He even managed to steal Baron at the end, putting the purple worm on top of the metaphorical cake.
Thanks to everyone who has played in the NUEL so far. Join us this weekend for heaps of action. Popcorn is a must.
– James “Nilknarf” Franklin –