Last month, Warwick University Esports announced their partnership with Chillblast in the form of a £2000 CS:GO Championship for UK students, taking advantage of the university’s state of the art esports centre on campus.
Photo credits: Gfinity Esports
This was the first larger scale offline CS:GO tournament to be hosted by a specific university rather than NUEL or NSE, both of which have been very popular over the past few years. LAN finals for previous events have been held at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London, with the eventual winners of each season being treated to a juicy cash prize and even VIP tickets to one of CS:GO’s most prestigious and renowned events, IEM Cologne.
With proceedings kicking off on Friday the 25th of November, a total of 32 teams battled it out at the offline event. The event led with a single elimination BO1 round of 32, whittling the team-count down to four by the time Sunday rolled around, with BO3s following to determine who would take the two spots up for grabs in the grand finals.
The first team to reach the semi-finals were the UWE Sea Stags, who are no strangers to the university CS:GO scene. Hailing from the University of West England, Oscar “LVN” Levin, Cole “crit” Kearns and James “bevve” Slinn formed the core of the roster at this event; a core which has stood above the rest of the pack holding the 1st place spot in university leagues for almost 12 months. Josh “JAUSTERE” Philpott and William “wfn” Maskrey rounded out the roster for the weekend, both attending Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University respectively.
They faced off against fierce competitors D4, representing Kings College London, led by none other than Fnatic Rising’s Sebastian “volt” Malos. He joined arms with his international compatriots, most notably Xuchen “Kisynergy” Dian, a Chinese student who has taken the UK University CS:GO circuit by storm, putting up some serious numbers throughout NUEL and NSE. volt and the rest of D4 were outclassed on the server, suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the UWE boys, granting them a spot in the grand finals.
On the other side of the bracket in the semis were podbots, representatives of the University of Southampton. This team has been making waves recently, placing 2nd in NSE Winter 2021, and increasing their placing to a 1st place finish in NSE Spring 2022.
Facing off against the reigning champions of NSE was SuperCali, a Scottish team from Glasgow Caledonian University. As well as a 2nd place finish in Division 2 of the NSE Spring 2022 Split, SuperCali recently placed 3rd in Esports Scotland’s Scottish Esports League. The two teams went toe-to-toe with each other, but ultimately landed podbots the victory with another 2-0 score, taking the second spot in the grand finals.
The LVN-led squad had an impressive run through the tournament, keeping their heads high above the crowd as they advanced to the finals without dropping a single map, and ultimately besting podbots in a 2-0 fashion for the trophy. They took home the 1st place prize worth £1000, with the runners-up of podbots taking £500. D4 and SuperCali both take home £250 in vouchers for placing 3-4th.
Fun day with the boys and finally get to put a trophy on the shelf 🏆
— LVN (@lvnCSGO) December 2, 2022
While it may not be held in as high regard as other UK LAN events, this marks the first LAN win in the books for 4 out of the 5 Sea Stags. bevve took home the 1st place prize for EPIC.LAN at the end of October, with a helping hand from UK legends Owen “smooya” Butterfield and Thomas “Thomas” Utting.