The UK Esports League (UKEL) – the unofficial second division below the UK League of Legends UKLC – returns once more on February 3rd.
Following the first UKEL split in 2019, the next split features some returning teams and hungry new competitors. Megalodontus asks all of the teams about their goals for this split, so if you’re wondering which team to cheer for, look no further! Here’s what they’ve had to say.
But first! A quick recap on the UKEL story so far
In their maiden voyage across the British Isles, the UKEL certainly landed on much sturdier shores than anyone could’ve expected.
In their inaugural split eight well known organisations threw their support behind this project, culminating in a nail-biting fight to the finish in the regular split.
With Clique Esports’ undefeated 7-0 record and an unassailable spot at the top, they entered the playoffs as the team to topple. And topple them, Viperio did, in another heart-arresting 2-1 grand finals.
This crowned Viperio as the first ever champions of the UKEL.
But Viperio did not run away with glory. They have chosen to continue to support the UKEL and commit to develop local talent, returning as defending champions for 2020 Spring Split. They now dare all who’ve tasted bitter defeat at their fangs to rise up and snatch the crown.
Five of the original teams from the first edition have doubled down on their continuous support for the UKEL, with London Esports, Peak Esports and Vector Gaming replacing Clique Esports, Lionscreed and Radiant Esports.
And before we now wait in bated breath for the UKEL to once again pull the curtains wide open, we’ve spoken to each team about their goals for 2020.
UKEL team statements on their aims and goals for 2020
Christopher Sword, founder and MD
“Viperio had a successful end to 2019, winning the inaugural season of the UKEL League of Legends tournament. Having secured a spot in season two, we’re obviously looking to replicate the success of our previous roster.
“Last season, we were fortunate enough to acquire a pre-made 5 man roster, which meant the pressure of building a team was reduced. This time around, we’re building our line-up from scratch.
“Our hope is to create a roster that can contend with the other larger organisations within the league, whilst also giving young, untapped talent the opportunity to showcase their skills.
“We’ve also ensured that the players have a supportive management structure around them, as we feel this was one of the factors that enabled us to be successful previously. I have no doubt that the UKEL season two will be a success, and look forward to the next few weeks of competition.”
Trevor ‘Nudo’ Harwood, CEO and founder
“We have been trialing some fresh UK talent, and we have been working with some players from last split as we have continued their development or at least stayed in contact.
“I would say our main goal is to finish better this time around, continue to develop our players and to help grow the UKEL!”
Tony ‘Newt’ Newton, founder
“This split we have picked up the team from Brunel University. We believe the UKEL is about discovering new talent and these guys tick that box.
“They are NUEL and Belong champions so it will be interesting to see how they do in the league.”
Alfie said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve finally entered the UK League of Legends scene, it’s been a long time coming as we’ve been scouting the scene for several months now.
“I believe that the UKEL is the perfect place for us to enter the scene and start our first split off with a win. With the roster that Jake & Sam have built we’re sure we will see you in UKLC.”
Jakey added: “London Esports is coming for UKLC. We have a vision to develop UK prospect players with huge potential, and we are hungry to see the players develop and improve from each and every scrim. Our training ground: the UKEL. 1st place is our objective.
“Whilst the UKLC is strong, I see at least a team or two that we can easily prey on and turn them into a feast for us.”
“Our goals for the season given the pool of the talent currently in the UK, is inherently to compete for a UKLC spot. However our primary objective is to promote grassroots esports and pick up new faces and talent, then develop them into top tier players.
“Given our coaching staff, the org, myself and the players we have in mind, we all have the same goal and we’ll all be on the same page moving forward, on those grounds we’re very excited for the split ahead.
“Whilst we’re not going out of our way to build a god squad and take 1st, we are expecting to compete at the top and for us to give the new talent at our disposal the best platform possible to show their worth to the UK scene.”
Nuclear Storm Gaming
Stuart McAllister, director
“Our goals for the upcoming split are to win it and push towards being one of the strong teams heading into the Forge of Champions. We are also competing in the SQ1 League which is a European league which we fully expect to win as well.
“We’ve set our expectations and standards high for this split.”
Ethan ‘Kaya’ Holmes-Good, co-owner and founder
“Being accepted into the UKEL is an unbelievable feeling for myself, Sam, Iliaz and the entire staff team at Peak, It’s something we have been considering for a long time and when the opportunity came about it felt like the correct time.
“To be part of a league as great as the UKEL really helps to develop us as an organisation and a brand and it is a fantastic opportunity to have. We are extremely grateful for the chance.
“Going into the split, we believe we’ve built a roster we’re fully confident in both as players and professionals. As long as our players give their all, that is all we can ask. The rest is down to our management team to ensure that the players have the smoothest and easiest split possible.”
Elliot Griffiths, founder and co-owner
“Our goals are to build a stable organisation where staff and players can grow as players and as people. We’re not going to be the org that recycles old talent. We will try new up and coming players to help the grassroots progress, as well as give them a platform to grow.
“Also, we are aiming to beat Absolved, as they are our competitors in more than one game. So I have my eye on them the most!”
Which team are you looking forward to watching the most? Let us know! Keep an eye on UKEL’s Twitter page for more announcements and ENUK for continued coverage.
Megalodontus is a miraculous survivor from the mass extinction and somehow learnt how to use his stubby fins to operate complicated mechanical equipment and drink tea. Worryingly for cryptozoologists, he’s been writing League of Legends articles too.
A self-taught writer who’s had the privilege to work with good editors who aren’t terrified of his pearly whites, Megalodontus is often seen writing either independently or for various websites such as this one. When not writing, he usually runs it down mid in real life and is fascinated with watching paint dry.