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ESL UK Premiership – Qualifier 1 Teams

esl uk premiership

Finally after much waiting, and a lot of teasing from ESL UK, we have the UK Premiership qualifiers around the corner, and now we can look at a lengthy couple of months of pulsating action where anyone and everyone believes they could belong in the top tier of UK Counter-Strike.

The first qualifier is always the most exciting part of a “pre-Season” because the best thing about it, is that everyone really does believe they can qualify before they have set foot on the battleground, they believe they will qualify and will do so by beating various teams. Of course a lot of others will play your chances down, and many will laugh and taunt at your belief that you could be playing for some real cash.

The prize everyone wants (Credit: ESL UK Facebook)

Probably about four months ago I would have told these same people believing that, they were chatting shit and too over confident. However in that timeframe, we have seen Team CeX defy all odds and go on to win insomnia56. We have seen uFrag topple some of the UK’s finest stars, so much so that Tom “vertiGo” Rockliffe made a sarcastic comment that many of his usual suspects were too scared of being “smashed” by uFrag.

The case of turning up to LAN events without even trying before an event has long since been disposed, and these qualifiers will serve a great tester for both insomnia57 at the end of the month, and for the UK Premiership this season.

So let me take you through what these qualifiers are about. To make sure those people are well in the know, I will guide you through the format for the qualifiers, and who are the potential heavyweights that you should see in the Promotions tournament. Please note I began this when the sign up list was at only 57 teams, so since then we have seen a further 20 teams sign up, with some other potential hopefuls that could do some damage.

UK Premiership Qualifier Format

  • Three open qualifiers
  • All three qualifier cups are linked, which means the four teams that have the most points over three cups will progress to UK Premiership Promotions
  • Monday Nights from 7pm. May spill over to Tuesday nights due to demand.
  • Best-Of-One Veto
  • Single Elimination

The Schedule

  • Qualifier #1 – Monday 14th March
  • Qualifier #2 – Monday 21st March
  • Qualifier #3 – Monday 28th March
  • UK Premiership Promotions Tournament – Saturday/Sunday 9th/10th April

Just to re-illiterate that for teams to actually qualify you need to participate in all three cups and get enough points to make at least Top Four of the rankings.

The Teams

  • uFrag
  • Molotovs n Marshmallows
  • Monumentalis
  • nerdRage.Pro
  • The Last Resort
  • Exertus eSports
  • Girls Generation

At the time of writing there are 57 teams signed up to Qualifier One (74 now at further time of writing). I’d imagine final numbers will come to around 100 + depending on who checks in on the Monday evening. The seven teams I’ve listed above are some of the more talented sides I would consider, although I’d never fully write off anyone’s chances of making some headlines or upsets. However I will drill into some of these teams a little more thoroughly and help people understand what they are up against when qualifying.

uFrag

ashhh, adamxoxo, Powell, HypeIzBack, Yoshi

Achievements to date:

  • insomnia55 (August 2015) – 7th – 8th
  • insomnia56 (December 2015) – 5th – 6th
  • UK Ascending (January 2016)1st Place
  • GAMEFACE UK Cash Cup #1 (January 2016) – 1st Place
  • GAMEFACE EU Cash Cup #1 (January 2016) – 1st Place
  • epic.SEVENTEEN (February 2016) – 3rd Place

Participation in Other Leagues:

  • ESEA Season 21 Open League – 11 Wins – 2 Losses
  • ESL Open League – 5 Wins 0 Losses

uFrag are one of two potential teams I don’t see slipping up and actually being guaranteed a certain Top 4 finish after these three qualifiers. The obvious comments of “oh look Gumpster is once again talking up uFrag” will come out from some of the usual suspects in the scene. However make no mistake they backed up their top 6 finish at insomnia56 by then making to epic.SEVENTEEN and coming third by beating Team CeX in the process.

They are a unique lineup, as their team captain Adam “adamxoxo” Rotherham has built this team up around two upcoming UK CS:GO Stars in the form of Tautvydas “HypeIzBack” Paldavicius & Harry “Yoshi” Witt. In the aftermath of insomnia56, Adam, went on to acquire the services of both Ashley “ashhh” Battye & Mike “Powell” Powell to the lineup which added a wealth of experience to the team. The two upcoming stars put on some incredible showings at epic.SEVENTEEN and consistently played well in the Team CeX match.

They have managed to keep their lineup stable and are consistently looking to improve. Insomnia57 and these qualifiers will prove the sternest of tests, but hopefully they will pass with flying colours.

IMG_4011

Will adamxoxo be shouting at Charley at the LAN Finals?

Prediction: Top Four Qualifiers & will end up in the Group Stage of ESL UK Premiership.

Molotovs n Marshallows

EB, maxyB, chron1c, fearLess, BeRTY

Achievements to date:

  • insomnia55 (August 2015) – 9th – 12th
  • insomnia56 (December 2016) – 5th – 6th
  • UK Ascending (January 2015) – 3rd Place

Participation in Other Leagues:

  • None

One of the more interesting lineups we have come across in the UK Scene in recent times. ALL4 as they were known at insomnia55 have been long term players in the “fringe” elements of the UK Scene. They have always turned up to iSeries and caused a stir, however their real break out tournament came at insomnia56 where under the organisation Monumentalis, they managed to beat DSk.eSports (who had beaten Team Roccat in the groups), but then went on to beat Adam “adamxoxo” Rotherham’s uFrag side who were on a storming run at the time.

After that, despite losing the first map to CAZ eSports, they managed to extend the series by nicking a map from CAZ eSports in the Semi-Finals of the Upper Bracket. Unfortunately they went on to lose the final map, but they secured a respectable position. The team later faced off against Team CeX where they would end their run. But sure enough we had realised who they were and what they were capable of.

Luke with a big cheque at Multiplay's i55.

Luke with a big cheque at Multiplay’s i55.

I should point out that their insomnia56 lineup was one that didn’t have the abilities of Luke “fearLess” Morris, and thus the extra weaponry he brings to the team will be a welcomed addition. Maybe Luke as a former iSeries winner, can propel these guys into the UK Premiership with some brutal AWPing.

Since insomnia56 they have been rather quiet, they haven’t played many tournaments and didn’t attend epic.SEVENTEEN.

Prediction: Top 4 place, possible group stage, but will need to be on top form.

Monumentalis

b8z, EXACT, CESKiE, JDD, Philo

Achievements to date:

  • None

Participation in Other Leagues:

  • ESEA Season 21 Intermediate – 13 Wins 1 Loss

I can’t really tell you that much about this side. They are one of the few teams I know very little about when it comes to UK CS, however in ESEA they have an impressive track record, with wins over fellow UK sides in Intermediate, Odin eSports, Impusle Gaming, Millwall Bushwhackers, & BASIC BITCHES. Meanwhile they have also managed to secure wins over some Swedish & Danish sides in the division.

Their only loss in ESEA Intermediate came at the hands of French team “Road to FPL” where they lost 16:8 in the first week of the league season. If anything their record whilst mostly against domestic opposition, gives you the indication that this team currently sits in the “fringe” elements of the UK Scene currently. When I say “fringe” elements, I mean they are not top tier of UK Scene, but they could certainly give a few teams in the top end a run for their money.

Prediction: Possible Top 4 here, may fall in Promotions though.

nerdRage.Pro

redsnK, Shaney, Lumji, Roma, Dream

Achievements to date:

  • PGL Minor Qualifier #1 (January 2016) – 9th – 16th
  • PGL Minor Qualifier #3 (January 2016) – 9th – 16th
  • Operation Kinguin #2 (February 2016) – Group Stage 1

Participation in Other Leagues:

  • AlienTech CS:GO League – 1 Win 1 Draw 5 Losses

The most talented lineup on paper here in the qualifiers, and housing a team that are no strangers to the UK Premiership. They certainly have the potential to do some damage and even make the LAN Finals come May. The addition of James “redsnK” Littlewood to the team is a bold but probably a good move that will pay dividends here. James is one of the most experienced UK LAN players, he has managed second placed at both UK Premiership Finals last year, he achieved second placed with the mix team he formed prior to epic.SEVENTEEN. He has won countless titles at epic.LAN over the years and so brings a wealth of experience when being faced with the big stages in the UK.

The rest of the team can really contribute too, and with the upcoming talents of both Jerome “Roma” Parramore & Chris “dream” Choat they could really have the potential to end up finishing with the trophy at the end of the season at the finals. Like uFrag, they have a good blend of experience and raw inexperienced talent in the team, and really could do something special.

Suffice to say this lineup has a considerable amount of weaponry to bring to the UK Premiership, and I had already pegged them as the second team that would be assured a Top 4 finish from these qualifier cups.

redsnk

Can James propel nerdRage to a title?

Prediction: Top 4 in Qualifiers and into the Group Stages.

Exertus eSports

doXi, Edgarz, m1thY, Redgar, Rexplite

Achievements to date:

  • None

Participation in Other Leagues:

  • ESEA Season 21 Open League – 8 Wins 5 Losses

Another team I know little of, they were one of the many teams who had signed up for epic.SEVENTEEN’s Waiting List after it had sold out. These guys are currently participating in the ESEA Season 21 Open League, where they sit half way down the league table on 8 wins & 5 Losses.

Judging by the statistics throughout the ESEA Open League, Andy “Rexplite” Armitage seems to be the most consistent player of the team. If he keeps playing consistent and the team around him plays well these guys could pose a serious challenge to many of the teams in the qualifiers.

It will certainly be interesting to see how well this team can perform on a big stage, whilst the qualifiers are just qualifiers, they could prove a good test for this team to see who they can pick off. If they face off against either uFrag or nerdRage, then it would be worth watching to see how these players fare.

Prediction: Outside the Top 4

Girls Generation

rennyS, Kunglebee, Sharpy, Jak3y, Kazuki (and many others)

Achievements to date:

  • None

Participation in Other Leagues:

  • ESEA Season 21 Open League – 8 Wins 6 Losses

The final team to really pick from the qualifiers are ones who have been around in some form or fashion for the last few years in the UK. They are a massive mix roster of various faces within the scene, and when they string together a proper lineup they actually go on to cause a bit of a stir anytime ESL runs something in the UK. I picked them because primarily they are always posing a threat in the qualifiers.

Many people bemoan Best-Of-One for such important qualifiers (rightly so) but if anything these guys will flourish under the Best-Of-One scenario because if they pick the right map, and against the right players they could and most likely will cause an upset. I pretty much guarantee it really.

Prediction: Outside Top 4, but will cause an upset in one of the three cups.

That wraps up my in-depth look into a few of these teams in the qualifiers, and what they potentially could achieve. If you and your team want to get involved with the UK Premiership Qualifiers then why not get signed up today over at Play ESL. The league season will be a cracking season with £10,500 up for grabs including £1,000 for the Promotions winners, £5,500 for the offline finals. I will do a more in-depth look at all the teams that make it to the Promotions Tournament which begins on Saturday April 9th. Let’s hope everyone enjoys what the qualifiers bring to the table here in the UK.

Stay tuned to UKCSGO.com for all the latest updates within the UK CS:GO Scene, and any event coverage we may do. We hope to be at the ESL UK Premiership Finals come whenever and whereever they are to keep you covered.

45 Comments

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Last reply was March 14, 2016
  1. ALL4maxy

    no offense but i don’t think you could have got our background more wrong.

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