Loughborough’s first team have made a strong showing this year, achieving 3rd place in the Winter tournament and going 6 -2 so far this Spring Campus Clash. I spoke to Mojo and Colonel Rookie, two veterans of the team from last academic year, who are confident that they can go all the way and reach the Grand Finals.
While the team had been on the stronger side since its inception, making the playoffs in their first tournament, they hadn’t been able to replicate the achievement until 2018’s Winter Split. Bearing this in mind, I asked Mojo how it felt finally making the play-offs, and achieving a third place finish to boot. “I’d say not really surprising as much but it was nice. We went from like struggling against the good teams to suddenly being with them.” Colonel Rookie put the team’s success up to hard-work and refinement. “It’s working on our strategy, our roster and all that. Working on all the little things and its paying off. It’s quite nice.”
Following on from such a result, it can be easy for players to choke under the pressure and expectation to perform. Mojo, however, is confident that it won’t affect them. “We’re beating teams we know we should beat and it’s not putting pressure on us. We just know what we expect of ourselves, its more confidence than stress and worry.” Colonel Rookie also hit on this note of the experience being more beneficial than harmful mentality wise. ” It’s just motivating, coming third last term is motivation to do even better this term.”
Some people said they didn’t wanna play, others said they did wanna play so we just shuffled them around.Colonel Rookie
While at the beginning of the Winter Split, Loughborough’s teams had been “mostly done by SR,” Mojo has been able to able to make more player specific roster decisions as the Campus Clash has gone on. “For the Spring one that was a bit more loose because we already knew the teams.” One of the changes was FrostyDog joining L.U Press Q, replacing Tim233 which Mojo elaborated on. “It’s just that small improvement, just bringing in someone who’s a bit more comfortable on the hero we need. It helps, yeah, and we can try different comps with it.”
While the tier 3 pro and collegiate scenes share many things in common, there also several key differences. I wondered how Mojo’s preferences in picking players might differ from if they were forming an Open Division team. “Look for players who can come in and perform immediately and just give them as long as you can. So we’ll pick based on skill at first and then just try and get strats in later because it’s a lot more freeform than forming an actual OD team.” With decisions being more impromptu, I asked the two if the Collegiate scene had much less of some of the out-of-game work that many pro teams have to put in. “I’d say on the basis there would be but we still do a lot of vod reviews and theory crafting.” “Yeah, first we get the players in, and then we move on to vod reviews.”
L.U Press Q have been having a stellar record so-far this split, in 8 matches only dropping 2 games to Winter’s finalists. ” We expect to be challenged by York and Staffordshire, its annoying we lose but we always take them close. We’ll go out there and try every time. We’ll beat anyone. Even if it’s York we’ll beat them finally and get to the final.” That said, Colonel Rookie and Mojo do think it was a good experience to face both teams early on. ” Yeet and Underwatch do provide good vods.” “If you play the best you’ll improve, that’s the way to look at it.”
For the Spring, we made some changes to the format of the tournament which have, overall, been well received. Mojo echoed the general sentiment “I like it because it means that if you get an absolute stomp you can just go. ” That said, he worries for the experience of some of the weaker teams at the start of the tournament. ” I don’t know personally what its like for people on the lower scale, but I cant imagine being paired with YEET (Staffordshire) or something at the very beginning would be fun.”
It’s fun, I wanna beat them .Mojo
Of all of Loughborough’s teams competing in The NUEL, L.U Press Q has achieved the best results. Mojo and Colonel Rookie wear it as a mark of pride and look forward to the future of Loughborough esports as a whole. “It’s a mark of pride that we’re better than them because we’ve got some insane League of Legends teams and I think our CounterStrike team are quite high. But I just think, if we can challenge them to be better and to win then why not. We’re doing well, we’ll keep going. In the years to come we’ll keep adding to it, keep bringing in good players.” That said, they don’t intend on letting any of the other games getting ahead anytime soon. “I have friends who are in charge of the other games, like, overall leader of them and they rib me a lot about trying to better.” “There’s always a competition. You have to beat them.”
While Loughborough Esports Society is still relatively young, L.U Press Q look poised to lead them to ever greater tournament finishes. Many thanks to Mojo and Colonel Rookie and we wish L.U Press Q the best of luck in the weeks to come.