Last week’s streamed games (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/228059202)*
- Game 1: 50 Kent vs. ICawin 2.0
- Game 2: UAE Monkey Cage vs. Super Duper Giant Truck
- Game 3: The bUoYs vs. noTt mE daDdY
1. 50 Kent (3-0, South & Wales, University of Kent)
It’s no revelation that last split’s winners should come atop this list. Led by veteran jungler Skudzy, the team has not shown any sign of weakness so far, starting off week 1 with a comfortable 3-0. Although the meta has changed significantly since the last split, Skudzy’s shot calling presence and the collective team atmosphere built throughout their domineering run in the last split makes them the ones to beat this split as well. They even bagged a win vs IC Monkeys (2-1), a team fresh from a comfortable varsity victory vs UCL Exodus, a top 12 team from the last split. If you particularly enjoy visualising the defeat of Imperial teams, their win vs IC a Win 2.0 can also be viewed on Twitch*.
2. UAE Monkey Cage (2-1, South & Wales, University of East Anglia)
Perhaps the biggest surprise of last week was Monkey Cage’s loss against Super Duper Giant Truck, Exeter’s 2nd team. The game (VOD available above*) was won largely through Exeter’s clever inter-play around Lolman’s early jungle pathing, which was enabled through the fast-pushing solo lane picks of the Mid-Lane Morgana and the Top-Lane Singed. Despite the fact that Monkey Cage were beaten swiftly, the loss does not concern me when placing Monkey Cage as #2 in these power rankings. If anything, they appeared to show a lack of respect for the Exeter B team and their picks in the draft, perhaps owing to the fact that they dismantled Exeter’s A team back in the semi-finals of the last split. Unless they continue to post surprising losses in the weeks to come, Monkey Cage is still set for another deep run in the NUEL this split.
3. Sponsored by Hyper-Exe LUL (3-0, South & Wales, University of Exeter)
Although it was indeed the Exeter B team that secured victory vs Monkey Cage, no-one shall forget that it was the Exeter A team, led by Jeedos who were placed as the second runner-up of the last split. Much like 50 Kent, their position in the last split and their strong showing in Week 1 gives me no pause when placing them as 3rd on this list.
4. Prelude Gaming (3-0, South & Wales, University of Southampton)
As the new NUEL split rolls around, so does a new Challenger. Southampton’s top laner Prelude in C is officially the only current challenger in the league. It’s been no secret that the teams with the best talents usually do well in the NUEL, and I have no reason to believe this would hold untrue for the Southampton team, who are also bolstered by several other high-elo players. Historically, this team has not done poorly either, given that they knocked out Grey Warwick in last split’s playoffs. The team and its players are certainly trending upwards in terms of individual performance, but only time will tell if they will cement themselves with a podium placement for this split.
5. Noltey’s E girl Squad (3-0, North & Midlands, University of Leeds)
Self-referential to its play-style, the Leeds team led by Noltey (a perennial Master tier player in the UK scene) is once again looking to make strides within the NUEL. Although much has not changed since their last playoff run in the Winter split, I can only expect another top placing from the Leeds A team. It’s worth noting that while the Leeds team are ranked #5 currently, they were actually the 4th placed team from the last split. This is largely due to the importance I’ve placed on Prelude in C’s newly attained Challenger rank. Perhaps Noltey and his teammates might prove me wrong when the playoffs roll around.
6. Grey Warwick (3-0, South & Wales, University of Warwick)
Undoubtedly the best team of the previous academic year, Grey Warwick is a name synonymous with UK university competition success, and many will remember the way in which they agonisingly took apart Aston Aunties over their straight-set win with their 4-1 split push composition. However, despite still harbouring Kerber0s in the top-lane, the team’s complacency last split’s play-off groups cost them a spot in the top 8, as they were knocked out in 3rd place in their group. Since then, the roster has been revamped with hungry new talent across the other Warwick teams. My reasoning for putting Grey Warwick in these power rankings is largely owed towards their historical success in the uni scene, but also their aggressive and bold decision to revamp last year’s winning line-up.
7. the bUoYs (3-0, North & Midlands, University of York)
Among the splits past, the York teams have boasted many a talent on their rosters, and have as such always secured high-placing finishes within the NUEL. This split is no different, as the current York roster is filled with one of the highest average elos amongst all NUEL teams. Given their performance last split, I would not be surprised to see the York team up there when we close in on playoffs. If you’re interested in paying closer attention to the York team that capped off a comfortable 3-0 start to this split, you might be entertained by their swift demolishing of one of the Nottingham teams, another game featured on our Twitch stream*.
8. Super Duper Giant Truck Team (3-0, South & Wales, University of Exeter)
Although I am not usually one for being swept up by recency bias, a look at Monkey Cage’s run in the regular season the last split tells me that any team who managed to beat them did indeed make it to the play-off groups as well. That and a review of the excellent game in which they beat Monkey Cage tells me that the Exeter B team does pose a lot of potential for causing damage in this split. They are a bit of a wildcard in the #8th spot, and I look forward to any changes in the guard over the next few weeks if there are to be any, particular from the dark horses listed below.
Despite not appearing in the playoffs of the last split, these teams appear to have a potential to create a stir in this split, given the average elo of their players. Look out for them in the next few weeks to be among the top few teams in both the North and South regions!
LU Gon’ Give It To Ya (3-0, North, Loughborough University),
Watt Puns Are Cringe (3-0, North, Herriott-Watt University),
IC Monkeys (2-1, South, Imperial College)