As a new year of Counter-Strike begins a new circuit of UKIC invitationals have arrived now being powered by CeX rather than Beyond. There will be four invitationals this coming year, one for each season, however, the setups have changed. The first qualifier commences tomorrow at 13:00 GMT, and the second starts on the 11th of March at the same time. You can check out the dates for all the UK tournaments in our brand new events page.
The difference this year is that two teams from each of the two open qualifiers will go through to a closed qualifier instead of making it straight to the main event. Within this closed qualifier there will be four teams already invited. For the first invitation of the year those invited teams will be dripmen, Arctic Raptors, 7AM and Royals. From this closed qualifier there will be four teams progressing to the main event on April 1st.
Here are the invited teams to the Closed Qualifier stage of the @CeX Spring Invitational 🔥
Which two teams will join them from our first Open Qualifier this Saturday? 🤔
Sign-up Info below 👇 pic.twitter.com/v8yaLsX2lw
— UK & Ireland Circuit (@UKICircuit) March 2, 2023
With the first Open Qualifier close to beginning we can take a deeper look at some of the teams that are playing, and some that are not.
Fresh off a top-eight finish at EPIC.LAN 38, K10 will be looking to build upon that momentum, and make it through this first open qualifier. The one issue, however, is that they will not be playing with their full line-up, and will have a familiar face in the form of Elliott “fett1s” Fettis as Nino “NiNo” Roos for the first couple of games.
Another mighty foe who has just recently made roster changes is NHR which boasts the likes of veteran Shane “Shaney” Smith. This roster has just dropped Michael “Zal” Chapman “due to attitude problems” and is still searching for a new rifler. In the meantime, they will be playing with Jamie “jamie“.
The next full team competing is the core of Legates who, similarly to K10, are just off a successful EPIC.LAN run, but after not making playoffs in Main, they will be looking for a big win. However, they will not be using their full roster and shall be replacing Tom “Praisy” Panting and Kerran “K6y” Bartlett with Zal and Sebastiaan “Acorn” Wehnes.
With roster-mania well under way, there are a lot of stacked mixed teams with some of the top UKCS players. The likes of Fizan “Fizzy” Anjum playing in One Hag, Harry “moshi” Raines and Rhys “Rhys” Stumbles fragging out in ‘5hitcombo’, and Igor “Igor” Kochany playing for ‘Teletubbies’.
The first Open Qualifier will kick off tomorrow at 13:00.