Following Saturday’s qualifier, the team list for the inaugural UKIC Varsity Season has been decided. Taking part with a direct invite based on NUSELO rankings are:
– Podbots (Southampton)
– MamaP (Warwick)
– SuperCali (Glasgow Caledonian)
– Surrey Stags (Surrey)
– Half Natty (Lancaster)
– UoN Archers (Nottingham)
The remaining spots were won in the qualifier by the following teams:
– UEA Bluejays (East Anglia)
– Strathers Pink (Strathclyde)
– Staffs Swingerz (Staffordshire)
– Bath Boomers (Bath)
With Season 0 starting on the 16th of October, it’s time to take a look at some players to keep an eye on over the course of the tournament.
Those familiar with the UK scene will know Gizmy most notably by his time playing for Viperio at the Blast Paris EU RMR. At 19, alongside playing for The Prodigies in ESL Challenger, he will be making his Collegiate debut for Half Natty from Lancaster University. It won’t be up to the standards he faced at the RMR, making him a strong contender to be the highest-rated player in the tournament.
Dutchy is another name that people may recognise from the UK scene, having most recently represented Next in Line. He will now be facing a different type of challenge playing for Strathclyde University’s Strathers. Similar to Gizmy, this will be Dutchy‘s first time playing University CS, and he’ll be looking to make an instant impact by helping Strathers rise to the top of the University rankings
Those familiar with University CS will know Ting‘s name. He has led his Southampton team, Podbots, to numerous NSE high finishes, including victories in the Spring 2022 and Spring 2023 seasons, alongside a 2nd place finish in Winter 2021. As IGL he might not always be on the top of the leaderboard, but his impact on both his team and the university scene as a whole cannot be understated.
Also hailing from Southampton’s Podbots, Frosty used to be the team’s IGL but transitioned into a fragging role instead, and has been putting up impressive numbers since. Continuously over almost every season, Frosty has been at the top of the scoreboard for Podbot’s, including posting a 1.25 HLTV rating over 22 games in the Spring season. He has been a huge part of Podbot’s success across both NSE and NUEL and will be looking to continue this into the new competition.
Moving away from teams that have had success, UoN Archers received a direct invite to the first season of Varsity. This was helped by their strong showings in the Spring season, coming 10th in the NUSELO rankings. A bit part of their success came from Maza, who posted an impressive 1.55 HLTV rating over the course of 15 games. With the Archers looking to find their mark this season, Maza will be a huge part of any success coming their way.
With the strong players and teams entering into Varsity this time around, it’s not easy to call who will take home the winning spot. Will Podbots continue their success into a new game and a new tournament, or will players like Gizmy and Dutchy drive their teams to the top? My prediction for the end of the season is as follows:
2) Half Natty
3) Strathers Pink
6) Surrey Stags
7) UEA Bluejays
8) Bath Boomers
9) UoN Archers
10) Staffs Swingerz
Who have you got?