As the 2021/22 British Esports Student Champs winter split is coming to an end, teams will be starting to prepare for the next stages.
We spoke to the most recent winners of the Student Champs to get their advice on preparing for the spring split and making it to the grand finals event.
Overwatch – Circinaes
Roger ‘Gjallarhorn’ Quilliam captained the Circinaes throughout the 2020/21 season of the Student Champs and took his team all the way to a victory undefeated.
Gjallarhorn said: “I am filled with pride and satisfaction when I think back to the grand finals LAN in Nottingham and our dominant performance throughout the season, and I’m sure all my teammates are too. All our hard work and dedication paid off, and I’m confident it will again this season with my new team.”
Practice makes perfect, and the Circinaes were not going for anything less than perfection in their gameplay. Throughout the Spring Split, and in the running up to the finals, they pushed themselves immensely hard to perform at the highest level.
“We did a 2 hour scrim on 5 days of the week, as well as a 1 hour VOD review on 2 days of the week. This helped us to establish and maintain an effective communication structure and clear plan of tactics and strategies. We also took part in a couple external tournaments which helped us to refine our competitive mindset and attitude, by practicing against a higher level of competition than what we were used to,” Gjallarhorn said.
“My biggest piece of advice to any teams or captains looking to create teams is to get to know players very well as close friends, and to establish your common aims and objectives. It is of critical importance that you are aligned in your attitude and mindset to create a successful team.
If there are only a couple players who want to take the game seriously and you are one of them, you should accept that there are players on your team that are more casual, and you should maybe distribute your resources into what suits you best as an individual.
Having said this, if you think that there is potential in your more casual teammates to improve, I would definitely recommend improving your leadership and teamwork skills by stepping up as a coach and/or manager,” he added.
Rocket League – AGSB Esports
Nicolas ‘NXC’ Harney, player for the AGSB Rocket League team, looked back on their progress as a team, and how they worked together to take the victory!
He said: “It is amazing, and it feels great to know all of the practice we did was worth it. One to two weeks before the finals, we started to focus in on what we needed to do via scrims and replay analysis. We were very confident in our own abilities and our ability as a team, and trust in each other was vital in a situation like this.”
Even throughout the Spring Split, AGSB were working tirelessly to try and stay on top, but they took time to step back and enjoy their time in the British Esports Student Champs too.
Nicholas added: “The best advice I can give is to enjoy the competition and the experience you gain from the Student Champs. The rest and I of the team met so many students and made good friends, and we are still in contact with them!
Other than that, I would say to try and stay as relaxed as possible when going into these games, especially when on stream it can get quite overwhelming and can make you nervous. But the more you have fun, and the more you stay relaxed, the better you will play!”
On top of AGSB winning in Rocket League, their Overwatch team also dominated division two, and Will McMahon, Student Lead of AGSB Esports gave some insight into the process behind the success.
Will said: “Since I’m not one of the players on either of the Rocket League or Overwatch teams, I can’t provide any insight into what it feels like to win a Championship while playing on stage. However, from a management point of view, being the reigning champions means we need to perform and live up to expectations again this year.
It’s great winning once but to become a top team with a reputation for winning, in my opinion, you need to be doing it year after year.”
“Going into the spring split last season, we knew we could come out of it in Summer with multiple championships. Some things didn’t go to plan and there were some issues in some of the other teams but both the Rocket League and Overwatch teams practiced and scrimmed regularly and we’ve taken several factors that contributed to their success and tried to implement those in all of our other teams,” he added.
With two titles in one season, AGSB are aiming to continue their winning streak and develop their players throughout the course of the 21/22 Student Champs.
League of Legends – Mag.eXe
Team captain, Louis ‘B0tty’ Skilton, worked alongside the rest of the Exeter team to get themselves ready for the finals. Whilst they had a different start to some of the other teams, they still managed to take home the victory.
Louis said: “It feels really good, and it’s given us a lot of credit to put forward new ideas, especially at the college. I feel like we’ve been able to have a lot more flexibility, and I think we’ve been able to have a lot more confidence, and we’ve been able to reach out a lot more.”
“It was our first year last year, so I came into the team a little late, but originally everyone started from September, and we had a lot of role switches then and new players coming in confused the system a little.
In March and April, we were properly able to practice, so we had a few months to try and merge everyone together and start forming the teams properly,” he added.
“In terms of getting ready for the split, it’s really about evaluating the players to see who is on board and who is willing to put the commitment in. You really need to know that everyone on that five-man team is on board,” Louis stated.
Team Manager Sam also gave insight on his perspective of taking the team all the way to the finals.
Sam said: “Going into the Spring Split, we already had an identity as a team, and a lot of it was trying to expand on what the team is already comfortable with. Either learning new Champions or changing the gameplay style very slightly to try and change it up a bit if your main plan doesn’t work.
We really focused on scrimming in order to keep up as a team, but we weren’t really nervous as we were already in a good position as a team going undefeated at that point. Playing together is all about building trust as a team, so it’s really important for players to play with each other outside of college, I feel like that’s more valuable practice to do.”
Overall, all three winning teams practiced tirelessly to ensure they were in the top position at the end of the Grand Finals, but each took their own way to get to that point.
What is your team doing to prepare for the Spring Split? Let us know on our social media!