The grand finals for the spring season of UK university league NUEL concluded between March 28th and April 2nd, after 15 weeks of competition.
As the culmination of a season with a £25,000 prize pool, the action took place on NUEL’s Twitch stream and was co-hosted by almost 30 student content creators from the university esports community.
Jake Nordland rounds up the winners across eight different titles, as the remaining 69 students of NUEL’s 6,500 student participants faced off in the grand finals.
- University of Southampton (Immoral Free) – All-expenses paid trip to a Valorant event + winners hoodies
- University of York (Cecil’s Finest) – £625 + hoodies
- University of East Anglia (UEA Bluejays x RootKit) – £375 + hoodies
Southampton’s Immoral Free led for most of the first map in Valorant’s grand final, but York’s ‘Cecil’s Finest’ staged a surprise late comeback to win Bind 13-11.
Immoral Free, who had a 1-0 map advantage coming from the upper bracket, took revenge in the second game with a 13-7 win on Split putting them up 2-1 in the series.
Map 3 on Ascent initially appeared close, but Cecil’s Finest pulled ahead for a 13-8 win to bring us to a deciding game 5.
Cecil’s Finest spent most of Ascent a few rounds behind their counterparts from Southampton. They almost tied it up at 9-10, but narrowly lost a clutch that led to Immoral Free reaching map point.
Cecil’s Finest brought things back to go to overtime – but it proved short-lived as Immortal Free won out the overtime 14-12 and took the Valorant Champion title.
This Varsity tournament is in addition to the £750 Open Playoffs, won by St. Georges Hospital Medical School’s ‘SG Bandits’.
- University of Portsmouth (Portsmouth Paladins) – £450
- University of Warwick (Warwick Angels) – £300
- University of Bristol (The Real B_east Scissor Clap G) – £150
In the Overwatch Campus Clash, the Portsmouth Paladins took a clean 2-0 win in the first game of the grand final against their counterparts, the Warwick Angels.
Warwick quickly bounced back on Volskaya Industries and followed it up with a convincing win on Hollywood.
But the Paladins took Escort map Route 66 directly after to tie the series up, and followed up with another win on their map pick Busan to take the lead 3-2.
Warwick and Portsmouth reached a draw on Numbani and brought us to map 7, Warwick’s pick, Rialto. But the Angels were again unable to convert their pick into a win as the Paladins came out swinging on the Hybrid map, closing out the series 4-2 to claim yet another Spring grand final win for the University of Portsmouth.
- University of Bath (Bath A) – All-expenses paid trip to a CSGO event + winners hoodies
- University of Derby (Derby Gods) – £625 + hoodies
- Swansea University (Swansea Storm White) – £500 + hoodies
- University of the West of England (UWE Sea Stags)- £375 + hoodies
- Lancaster University (half natty head tappers) – £250 + hoodies
- Oxford Brookes University (Oxford Brookes Vipers)- £250 + hoodies
- Bournemouth University (BU and a Half Men) – £250 + hoodies
- Queens University Belfast (Back Six) – £250 + hoodies
Derby’s Derby Gods took on Bath A in CSGO’s grand final, with Derby receiving a 1-0 lead coming from the upper bracket. The teams kept it close for all of the first game on Inferno, but the Gods edged out a lead towards the end and took the map.
Maps 2 and 3 on Train and Mirage respectively saw similar stories of close, back-and-forth affairs, but this time Bath took late leads to win out both maps.
The deciding map, Dust 2, saw Bath pull decisively ahead for the first time in the series with an 11-4 T-side half. Derby proved unable to turn the tides in the second half, allowing Bath to take the map 16-4 and win the grand finals.
This Varsity tournament is in addition to the £750 Open Playoffs, won by the University of Lincoln Swan Patrol.
Rainbow 6: Siege (Varsity)
- University of Staffordshire (Pew Pew) – All-expenses paid trip to an R6 event + winners hoodie
- University of Lancaster (Lancaster Brownies)- £625 + hoodies
- University of Leeds (Leads) – £500 + hoodies
- Swansea University (Swansea Storm Green) – £375 + hoodies
- University of Liverpool (Liverpool Arctic Foxes) – £250 + hoodies
- Newcastle University (Neocitadel) – £250 + hoodies
- University of Derby (I like ya cut G) – £250 + hoodies
- Swansea University (Swansea Storm Red) – £250 + hoodies
It was the Lancaster Brownies versus Pew Pew (Staffordshire) in the Rainbow 6: Siege grand finals, which was broadcast on the Rainbow Six_UK Twitch channel.
Coming from the upper bracket, Lancaster built on their default 1-0 map advantage by running away with an initially close first map on Villa.
Staffordshire retaliated quickly with a resounding 7-1 win on Kafe Dostoyevsky in an effort to tie up the series. And tie up the series they did, eeking out a win late in game 4 as they fought their way back into form.
Staffs had a strong and early start on Clubhouse in the final game of the series. Lancaster took two rounds in return and fought valiantly, but ultimately couldn’t stop Staffordshire from capitalizing on their match and closing out the series, winning the title and securing the reverse sweep.
This Varsity tournament is in addition to the £750 Open Playoffs, won by University Centre Leeds’ ‘UCLE R6’.
League of Legends (Varsity)
- University of Bristol (Bristol Whipped) – All-expenses paid trip to the LEC + winners hoodie
- University of Kent (Cabbage Family) – £625 + hoodies
- De Montfort University (DMU T1) – £500 + hoodies
- University of Surrey (Surrey Stags) – £375 + hoodies
- University of Leicester (CareLeic) – £250 + hoodies
- University of Bath (Robin’s Cringers) – £250 + hoodies
- University of Essex (ESSKT) – £250 + hoodies
- University of Warwick (Grey Warwick) – £250 + hoodies
Going up against Cabbage Family (University of Kent) in a BO5, Bristol’s Bristol Whipped took a fast-paced, furious and decisive first map win.
Cabbage Family turned things around in a back-and-forth in the second map and followed it up with another quick, convincing win. They put up a fight in the last, but proved the weaker side after a 39-minute game.
In game 5, Bristol Whipped handed Cabbage Family their second back-to-back 2-3 defeat in a Grand Final and took for themselves the title of back-to-back Spring Champions.
This Varsity tournament is in addition to the £750 Open Playoffs, won by Lancaster’s ‘lancaster top team’.
- Loughborough University (Loughborough Lions) – £225
- University of Salford (Salford Lions) – £150
- University of Warwick (Tim X10) – £75
The NUEL entered the lion’s den in Rocket League, with the Loughborough Lions taking on the Salford Lions.
Coming from the lower bracket, Loughborough showed fierce domination as Salford played without ‘Camo’, one of their strongest players, taking the series 4-2 and securing the bracket reset.
Loughborough only increased their domination in the second series, comfortably sweeping Salford 4-0 to take the NUEL Rocket League Champion title. Having lost to Loughborough in the lower bracket, Warwick’s Tim X10 took third place.
- King’s College London (Stelfalador) – £125 Amazon vouchers + 1000 RP + 5 Heroic Hatchlings Eggs
- Teeside University (Huhmit) – £110 Amazon vouchers + 500 RP + 3 Heroic Hatchlings Eggs
- University of Edinburgh (SirSalty) – £85 Amazon vouchers + 500 RP + 2 Heroic Hatchlings Eggs
The final week of Teamfight Tactics pitted the NUEL players against each other in three final games. The tournament was run on a ladder system, where first place gives the player 12 points, down to 3 points for last.
Coming into the last week, while many people could win, the two favourites were Hermit and Stelfalador. While SirSalty put on an incredibly strong show throughout the three games, getting himself close to that top spot, going into the final game of the season it all came down to Stelfalador vs Huhmit, with whoever placed higher taking the season.
Taking the pressure in his stride, Stelfalador played a strong game, finishing second and claiming 10 points in the final game, securing his season win with 138 total points, to Huhmit’s 136.
- Bournemouth University (WillCR) – £75
- University of Dundee (Soprobro) – £50
- University of Bath (Mushroom) – £25
WillCR took the NUEL’s Clash Royale crown, representing Bournemouth University.
He spoke highly of Clash Royale after the win, on the NUEL Twitch stream, and said he looked forward to taking part in the University Esports Masters with Soprobro.
(Note from editor Dom Sacco: ‘As someone who studied at Bournemouth Uni it’s nice to see a fellow student doing well on the esports stage for Bournemouth!)
A recap of NSE’s Spring 2021 Grand Finals can be found here.