With the player break now officially over, the new season has arrived and with it comes the hundreds of teams flocking to ESEA leagues to try and make the big-time. This season 111 teams have signed up with at least one UK player on their roster.
To help track the ups and downs throughout the season, UKCSGO will be doing a bi-weekly (give or take) round-up looking at the winners and losers for the UK teams. I used the super helpful UKCS spreadsheet run by Oscar “LVN” Levin, to help find and observe all the UK team’s records so far.
With Pro League not starting until the 31st of August, we start our round-up with the second highest division within the ESEA pyramid. There are currently four UK majority teams in Advanced with three further UK players on international rosters.
Into the Breach have owned the spot as the best UK majority team for the past few months and with the additions of William “Draken” Sundin and Alfred “RuStY” Karlsson they are looking to take the next step in the European and International scene. So far it has been smooth sailing for the team where, despite mixed results in the ongoing RMR qualifiers, they have managed to secure a 2-0 record after losing just 10 rounds across two matches.
1PIN have continued their strong form from the past month and despite an extremely close opening match against Allstars (22-19), they also are sitting pretty on a 2-0 record after demolishing Cryptova 16-5 in their second match. 1PIN impressed last season making playoffs in their first Advanced run. With young stars like Oscar “AZUWU” Bell and Andrew “Wolfie” Allan firing on all cylinders, it would be foolish to not believe they can once again make playoffs and maybe this time take it a step further.
As for Kyle “Swaggy” Wilson and Sebastian “Volt” Malos international teams (Royals, Fnatic Rising) they are all yet to get their season underway, although Fnatic Rising have lucked out with an early FFW.
Katana Gaming recently signed the promising Insiders roster and the team have so far repaid that faith with a strong 3-0 start to the season. Recent EPIC36 top three finishers Earl “Earl” Stephenson and Mohammed “Mophoria” Abbas will look to continue their recent success with early signs looking good for the Katana team.
BLVKHVND are probably the most talked about UK team participating in Main this season, with the teams trip to Fragadelphia 17 LCQ around the corner and after benching Tim “TIMMO” Musters in search of more firepower (and a more open schedule). The pressure will be on for the Fraser “Frazehh” led team to show a noticeable improvement. BLVKHVND have found TIMMO‘s replacement in Oliver “Husky” Gollings, whose first ESEA official with the team was a 16-1 win over MONASPA. This win leaves BLVKHVND with a 4-1 record and in prime position to once again battle it out in the promotion playoffs.
K10 are a team that might have flown under the radar of some UK fans over the break. However, the recently established org look to have found a gem of a team for their first foray into counter-strike. Their roster, which includes EPIC36 winner Harry “moshi” Raines, currently sit on a 3-1 record, alongside qualifying for the Beyond NRG Summer UKIC cup.
Unfortunately in contrast to the top two divisions it has been a tough start to the Inters season for the majority of the UK teams. One of the bigger domestic names in the division Team Fatal started hot but have lost two of their last three matches to leave themselves a 3-2 record, the big positive for the team is that new pickup Tristan “Lake” Jones is performing well statistically, boasting the highest ADR and RWS on the roster.
Both Tinks CS academy and VivifyGG sit with a 3-1 record, although their wins have not been convincing. Tinks academy barely scraped through their last two games 16-14 and VivifyGG had to go to overtime and double overtime to secure the wins in thier first matchups.
Ghil’s Money Crew has become the landing spot for the teamless and retired this season with a roster made up of recent EPIC36 LAN winners Rory “cryths” Ursell, Jack “JackB” Burton and Josh “Yoshwa” Ryley. Despite the team being a temporary home for most of its players they find themselves sitting with a 4-1 record, with only a close 14-16 defeat to ILIN in the loss column.
There has been a number of UK teams to have strong starts in the Open division, with both Myth Esports and The milk men currently unbeaten with 4-0 records, and at 4-1 we have 4skin, OKSUCC, Wincel and MovEYEstar riders. On top of this there are a whole host of teams sitting at 3-1 including; Nova Talent, Avangrr, YeaahhBuvv, wash3dUP and No me Gustav.
The only team that it feels fair-ish to judge are EKO who after 5 matches sit at 2-3 which, whilst not great, is an okay start to the season. Bearing in mind the level of competition they have faced so far, which includes a win over Aleksi “Allu” Jalli’s new team JANO, it is hard to label EKO as ‘losers’ but they are likely to be disappointed with their opening run.
There are 15 teams participating in main this season that house a UK player so it is inevitable that whilst some have started the season on a high, there are others whose struggles have begun early.
By far the most notable of these teams is Temperate. The Man-Ho “mrhui” Hui led team have stagnated over the past few months, with an underwhelming Fourth place finish at EPIC and failure to qualify for the most recent Beyond NRG Summer Cup. This tough period has extended itself into the team’s start to the Main season, currently sitting at a 1-3 record the team will need to turn it around fast to reach the all important playoffs.
Clique Esports have endured a troubled start to life under their new org, and sit next too Temperate on a 1-3 record. The good news for Rhys “Rhys” Stumbles and company is that they have plenty of time to fix their mistakes, as their next match isn’t scheduled until 30th August.
Shuaib “Shoobie” Saddique’s ONE HAG has endured one of the toughest starts to the season, with only one win from their first six matches leaving them at 1-5 and a mountain to climb if they are to fight for a play-off spot. The team went four matches without a win, finally ending the streak last night against Sunburn x RECAST.
The Artic Raptors squad took swift action after a winless start to the season by switching out Ash “Xey” Xey for former Recognised Talent member Ben “C60” Saberton. Noah “naoh” Dalton followed Xey out the door which prompted the raptors to turn too Ethan “EJR” Ross on a trial basis. The team’s changes have had an instant impact with the squad now sitting with a 2-3 record and they will hope that the positive turn in form lasts.
At the time of writing, only three out of the 16 Inters teams with at least one UK representative house a winning record.
NeverLast Esports got off to a good start but after winning their opening game they have failed to impress, currently on a three loss streak leaving them 1-3. NeverLast will be hoping that the negative record sets them up with a few easier opponents over the next few matches to try and get their season back on track.
One of those opponents will be a fellow 1-3 team Bad News Pigeons, who recently picked up their first win, in a UK clash that could decide the direction for both team’s seasons. Matyas “eMv” Pecsi, who recently finished third at EPIC36 with AVA.mix, has also had a less than ideal start to life with Crescent Rose sitting at a 1-3 record.
Meanwhile Tinks Academy won thier British derby against Blackbeard 16-14 to heap the misery on the now 1-5 team. Blackbeard will need a sharp turn around if they are to keep their Intermediate spot, and hopes of play-offs are far away currently.
There are 76 teams to cover in the open division this season, so as much as UKCSGO would love to be able to cover everyone we have had to pick out a few notable teams.
There are a number of teams sitting at 0-4, Telos Gaming and The Golden Geese have failed to get double digits in any of their first four matchups. Nova Juniors have so far failed to replicate the form of Nova’s other teams and sit winless after four games.
It coul be worse for these teams though as we also have multiple teams sitting at 0-5 with Bastonicini, NinjasinParis and UKICSilver all struggling early doors. Meanwhile Harry “Pommey” Crawford’s Team ALIENATE are only spared the winless record due to a forfeit win, although they have had to take a forfeit loss as well.
We have also seen our first casualties of the season in the Open division, with Buzz Lightqueens being marked dead after playing one match, although that was one more than Team Strike managed, who were dead upon arrival.
All records are accurate at the time of writing, midday (24/08/2022).