nuel banner

A new season brings many things, new teams and new players to name a couple. Some major changes for the upcoming National Championship will be the introduction of a new tournament format. More specifically, we’re introducing regional leagues and a national league. Qualification on 1st November will be split into four regions with a number of the top teams from each region qualifying for the National League.

The four regions are:

– South West and Wales                                         –   London and Surroundings

– Midlands and North West                                    –   North East and Scotland.

The national league and regional leagues will run using the system from last year. Teams are separated into groups where winning moves you up and losing moves you down, teams earning points depending on where they finish every week.

Every second week there is a Bo3 Final and Bo3 3rd place match for the top four teams from the national league. At the same time, teams are either promoted or relegated from the regional leagues and national league respectively.

At the end of the season, teams with the most Championship Points from the national league qualify for the post-season, the top two qualifying directly for the grand finals and the next two spots determined by the Wildcards Tournament.

Regional league teams earn regional points with the top teams from each region qualifying for their Regional Finals. Thus there will be a Regional Winner for each of the four regions at the end of the year.

With all the talk about regions, we expect tempers to flare up and rivalries to come into play, but doesn’t mean there haven’t been big derby matches in the past. Here we take a look at some of the teams that we expect to see going at it in these clashes for local pride.

War of the Roses: University of York vs Lancaster University

The houses of Lancaster and York have been fighting since 1455 and League of Legends is the perfect platform for these two illustrious universities. In the Summer Tournament, the team from York “We are feather feather feather getting back together” put in a great showing as they claimed 3rd. Whether Lancaster can reach the same lofty heights remains to be seen.

More or Leicester: De Montfort University vs University of Leicester

De Montfort University has one of the larger player pools at the NUEL with 167 players signed up. However, history would seem to be on Leicester’s side as their top team managed to reach 11th in the most recent National Championships. With both universities keen participants and multiple teams waiting in the wings, this local derby might be about more than just points.

The Old Firm: University of Glasgow vs University of Edinburgh

Celtic and Rangers have always been big rivals on the football pitch, but with Rangers unceremoniously knocked down a few divisions, Scottish interest has turned away from the football pitch and towards the Rift. Last year their top teams saw Glasgow in 25th while Edinburgh snatched the bragging rights in 13th. With the introduction of regional leagues, these two titans of the north will be certain to get their warpaint on.

Welsh Pride: Aberystwyth University vs Cardiff University

Aberystwyth were a big name last season with their top team finishing in a mighty 5th while Cardiff languished in a cosy 62nd. However, a new year brings new players. An area famous for hordes of sheep and damp weather might be about to hot up.

Notting to See Here: University of Nottingham vs Nottingham Trent

The University of Nottingham could be seen as the bigger of the two. The Nottingham Bears are boasting a 5th placed finish with a roster lined with substitutes during the Summer Tournament. Not only that, but they were the previous winners of the National Championship meaning they certainly have the credentials. Nottingham’s player base of 182 also suggests an endless pool of talent. Trent have been less fortunate, their best team finishing in 41st during the National Championship with a 113-strong player base. The University of Nottingham won the Charity Varsity Series of 2015, so Trent will be looking to get their own back on the Rift and hopefully do what their sports teams could not.

Sheff’s Special: University of Sheffield vs Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield will be serving up some of the tastiest matches of the season. Their top teams were neck and neck last year finishing in 34th and 36th respectively. Both universities boast two huge player bases, Sheffield with 216 and Hallam with 191, so they should be fielding a large number of teams. Expect numerous clashes throughout the tournament with a side order of pain.

The Boat Race: Oxford vs Cambridge

There’s no love lost between these two titans. While the matches on the Rift aren’t as keenly followed as the Varsity Match or the Boat Race, they’re still fought with the same kind of vigour. Expect some explosive matchups as these two universities lock horns.

Midlands Madness: Birmingham City University vs University of Birmingham

Both of these universities are considered strong contenders for the upcoming National Championship. The University of Birmingham top team managed to claim the runners-up spot in last year’s tournament so they could be looked at as favourites in this matchup. However, the Summer Tournament saw Birmingham City University’s “Amir is Toxic” reaching a very lofty 4th after leading the pack throughout the tournament. Whichever university comes out on top, it could be Birmingham’s time in the sun.

I’m sure there are plenty more delectable derbies and raucous rivalries to look forward to in the upcoming National Championship, but this is it for now. Sign up before the 29th November to join the action.