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We are looking at a new school year, a new start, and most importantly, a new esport introduced into our NUEL esports family: CS:GO. That’s right, for the first time, we are going to be hosting and casting CS:GO games from the best teams universities around the UK have to offer. Best of all? You can join in on the action. Let’s have a quick breakdown of the tournament format and what we might expect to see in the upcoming year.

Format
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Here is the structure for the CS:GO tournament for the next cople of months. Unless you have eagle eyes, go ahead on click on the format layout to get a better look at how things are going down.

We are looking to try to give everyone a fair shot at playing for the top spots in the tournament so during weeks 1-2, we will put everyone in the tournament pool into 4 Best of 1 matches to play for the top 32 seeds who will move on to play in a double elimination bracket. Those who were not in the Top 32 don’t have to sweat it out too hard as you guys will still be back next week to play in the S-League for your chance down the line.

Those who made it into the top 32 will look to play Best of 1 matches in the Winner’s Bracket at the start of week 3 round 1, but half of them will be demoted to the Loser’s Bracket by round 2. Once we establish the top 8 in the Winner’s Bracket, we will start playing Best of 3 matches until we get to the finals, which will be a Best of 5. Those who have lost their 2nd game in the bracket will move to play in the S-League next week.

How does the map selection work you ask? Well, in a Best of 1, both teams get to ban out 3 maps each out of the 7 Active Duty Maps in rotation. The one left out of bans will be the one played. In Best of 3s, each team will get to ban out 2 maps, and in Best of 5s, both teams get a single ban. We will be playing on the competitive timer, meaning T-side will have 1:45 to plant the bomb before CTs get their 35 second window to try and defuse.

What to Expect to See

For this section, I enlisted the help of our CS:GO caster Jack to give a quick rundown of the places we might go.

Dust II (de_dust2) – The most popular map in solo queue by far, Dust II is just about the most balanced T vs CT map available as well. Who can argue with the exciting possibility of an immediate AWP v AWP battle down Mid seconds after the start of a round and a wide range of choke points at Long, Cat, and entrances to B? We certainly expect Dust II to be the most popular map played especially in the Best of 1 situations where most teams will be most comfortable playing in the most popular map in the game.

Mirage (de_mirage) – If there was a second most popular map, Mirage would hold that honor. Not only is it a balanced map for either side, but AWP battles Mid and fights around Apartments, Ramps, and Connector are all high impact and could swing the momentum of a round in a big way. Look for this map to be another played in Best of 1s as well as Best of 3s and 5s.

Cache (de_cache) – This map relies heavily around Mid. We expect this map to be slightly CT sided and will be frustrating for a team to pull out more than 6 Rounds on T side. All things considered however, this map is still relatively popular, particular in competitive matches. Expect to see a fair amount of Cache play in the Best of 3s or 5s.

Inferno (de_inferno) – Can you say Banana? This map features plenty of action on the curved fruit as well as down Mid. However, expect a lot more close quarters action than any of the other maps we talked about as there is not a lot of space to maneuver indoors nor in any of the long straightaways. This CT favored map means that you need to pick up around 5 wins on T-Side to feel comfortable in your CT rounds. This is another possible Best of 3s or 5s map.

Overpass (de_overpass), Cobblestone (de_ccble), and Train (de_train) are the other three maps on Active Duty, but are all certainly less popular than the previously mentioned maps. However, this could prove to be a game changer in Best of 3 or Best of 5 matches as teams who are familiar in one of these maps can look to secure a game there, thereby forcing other opponents to ban them out next round or give up the map in favor of one that they are more familiar with. Overpass and Cobblestone are both fairly big and thus, the initial positioning and scouting will be key in getting consistent round wins. Train, on the other end of the spectrum, features more close quarters bomb sites, although Long and Upper will definitely be prime AWP spots so look out for our high-end marksmen to make their mark on the game in those spots.

Warmup Ends in 0:00; Round Start

Are you ready for the first NUEL CS:GO tournament? It shouldn’t be hard to convince any hardcore CS:GO player to get in on the action with their university. But just in case you want to hear what else besides fun, friendship, and heart-pounding adrenaline is up for you, we are giving away £30.00 Steam Wallet Credit to all members of the winning team, £20.00 to those on the second place team, and £10.00 to the third place members. So get your team ready because the pistol round is starting in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Will “Reverbe” Xu