The UK made a number of achievements within esports in 2021.
In our latest quarterly achievements roundup, Bryony-Hope Green and Dominic Sacco look back through some of the wins between April and June.
League of Legends made a huge appearance this month, with various UK teams climbing the competitive ladder, as well as individuals moving into the spotlight. Lucent Esports managed to secure themselves a spot to compete in the UKLC, whilst the Resolve Academy team were announced to play in the UKEL Summer 2021 season after acquiring Barrage Esports. In the realm of Legends of Runeterra, UK player Spaiikz reached the top-32 in the League of Legends strategy card game seasonal tournament.
The success for Resolve continued, as the founder and CEO, Ilias Pajoheshfar, was named as one of Forbes’ ‘Thirty Under Thirty’ to celebrate the work he has done within esports since 2015. Excel Esports co-founder Kieran Holmes-Darby was also featured. Elsewhere in the League scene, a case of mistaken identity meant that Emily ‘Perkz’ Perkins (a physics teacher from Leicester) was accidentally tagged by League fans on Twitter, who thought she was the pro player (also named Perkz). In an amazing story, she became more interested in the game and eventually signed to Cloud9 as a content creator.
In the world of NFL esports, England cricketer Liam O’Brien was named as the number one Madden player in the UK. Moving over to football, Tom ‘HashtagTom’ Leese took home $15,000 in winnings after taking the victory at the PS4 FIFA Global Series European Qualifiers.
Guild Esports made a big impact this month, and their Rocket League team were able to win the RLCS X Spring European Regionals.
Later in April, 100 Thieves’ Thomas ‘Tommey’ Trewren came in second place in the AT&T Annihilator Cup and took home a $50,000 cash prize.
As well as this, Fnatic triumphed over Team Liquid 3-1 in the Valorant Champions Tour 2021 Stage 2 Challengers Finals.
To round off the month, the NUEL Spring 2021 series saw several university teams from across the country battle it out in titles like Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, and Clash Royale. The likes of the Loughborough Lions, Bristol Whipped and Pew Pew all took home victories from this tournament for their university. And also in the university esports scene, NSE announced the winners of their latest tournaments, with Warwick being crowned NSE’s UK Esports University of the Year for the third year in a row.
May was a great month for UK Valorant, with big names featuring UK talent – Fnatic and Team Liquid – qualifying for the Valorant Masters LAN in Iceland.
Fnatic, led by UK captain Boaster, ended up making it all the way to the grand final, where they unfortunately fell to North American side Sentinels 3-1.
Another top UK finalist this month was xMatty, a British League of Legends player for French organisation Karmine Corp, who defeated UK org Excel Esports in the final of the Spring 2021 European Masters. In doing so, he became the first UK League of Legends player to win the European Masters.
In CSGO, Endpoint became the most-decorated ESL UK & Ireland Premiership team after winning their fifth CSGO Prem in a row, and in Rocket League, Guild Esports won the unofficial EU vs NA Rocket League showmatch following the cancellation of Worlds.
Elsewhere, Team UK players were confirmed for Legends of Runeterra Masters Europe. The team of three consisted of Fizzical, JimmyLihui and Trim ‘CasterGems’ Sejdiu, who is also a commentator.
Team Project X won the Huntress Trials tournament for women and marginalised genders.
And at the collegiate level, North East Scotland College (NESCol) won the 2021 College Development Network Esports Scottish Cup.
June was a quieter month in the world of UK esports, as people prepared for the summer holidays.
UK’s national Intel World Open Rocket League team (Deevo, Noly, Archie and coach Gregan) was decided ahead of the EMEA Regional Final, and they made it to third place overall, falling short to Netherlands 3-2 in the lower-bracket final.
Also in Rocket League, UK side Top Blokes (now known as SMPR) and Guild finished in the top 6 in the RLCS X European Championship.
In terms of UK and Ireland-specific competitions, Tenstar were crowned winners of the Valorant UK and Ireland Skirmish/ESL Premiership, while Team Singularity won the ESL Premiership Wild Rift final.
Did we miss anyone? Please let us know if there are other UK esports talent that had some impressive achievements in Q2 2021 – and we can update this article! We’ll be back in October with our next roundup, covering July to September 2021.