As eSports has grown, so has the number of people participating in it, and the students at our university are no strangers to the challenge. This year marks the first year that Newcastle University's Gaming Society have formed numerous teams to take part in the National University eSports League (NUEL), a competitive organisation founded with the aims of providing students with the opportunity to represent their university in eSports, meet like-minded people who share their passion for eSports, and also gain useful experience and skills from within the eSports industry.
The Gaming Society is following in the footsteps of the League of Legends society, who have been entering their teams into NUEL for the past few years. Currently within the Gaming Society there exists three competing teams across two separate games - Overwatch and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) - and there are opportunities available not only for teams of players to take part in the competitions, but for aspiring casters/streamers and journalists to cover the NUEL proceedings as well.
The first Overwatch team is NaCL, the 'A' Team, boasting an average SR (skill rating, for those unfamiliar with the game) of 3,300. They are captained by Jack "Shovox" Golding (a very mean tank with strong picks in Winston and Zarya), and the rest of the team consists of Joe "BambooStickk" Pickles, Samuel "Ploksh" Haviland, Jake "NickelSheep" Wedge, Oscar "Gatronix" Gilley and Dylan "Dyllusional" Showler (known for his skilful DPS plays). They have two strong substitute players in Iwan "FlamingSquid" McGowan and Robert "FRX" McCormack.
The second Overwatch team, the 'B' Team, is The Dozy Elks - also known as NUDE - who have an average skill rating of 2,600. They are captained by Teddy "TeddyCox" Cox (a very skilled support player), with his team members consisting of Lewis "Saint" Danks, Chris "Hydramez" Ayers (a strong Reinhardt main), Lauren "Loz" Pugh, Luke "Lelito" Ellett, Mohammad "pewpewImSaad" Khan and Deanna "ParadoxPixel" Coates (known for her often-terrifying use of Pharah's ultimate). The team has one substitute player in Angela "Angeljho" Lukić, who also happens to be the Communications Officer on the organising committee of the Gaming Society.
Finally, the sole CS:GO team is NU-CS, captained by Edward "Xarvus" Vaudin and consisting of Jamie "Jiggins" Higgins, Anthony "-ANTHEM-" Beavis, Callum "Callum -KR-" Errington and Gunnar "gunR" Ford, with Sam "Ten Toes Down" Elliott acting as the sole substitute player for the team when necessary.
The team is currently 2:0 in their official qualifying matches, having won against De Montfort’s DMU Chickens and Portsmouth’s PUCS:GO (which you can read all about here), with both sets of games being available to watch over on the Gaming Society's YouTube Channel. NU-CS additionally had a friendly game against Norwich’s team, NUASU:OGS, where they also won 2:0 with both teams choosing one map to play on. This is a very positive start for the team, and indicates strong teamwork and communication - roll on the next matches!
On the Overwatch side of things, NaCL had a couple of friendly matches too. They gained a great 2:0 win against Durham’s team DurhAmpItUp in a best-of-three match-up; unfortunately, however, they also suffered a loss against Manchester’s team, NO MERCI, in a best-of-five match up with a final score of 1:3. NUDE similarly had an unfortunate loss against another Manchester team, the Luci-Oh’s, in a best-of-three match up, losing in the end with a score of 0:2. They also challenged NaCL themselves to an in-house friendly scrim, with NaCL only just coming out on top with four wins to three - close competition between our two skilled teams!
The team is currently 2:0 in their official qualifying matches, having won against De Montfort’s DMU Chickens and Portsmouth’s PUCS:GO
The aforementioned three teams are active and competitive both within the university league and beyond, and thus have numerous friendly game wins under their belts after facing off with other universities in addition to formal victories. Hopefully our teams can continue their good run of form in the future, and be sure to keep up with their progress both here at The Courier and over on the Gaming Society's YouTube Channel! You can also join their Discord channel here, or head over to Facebook to join their Facebook group.