With the Student Proving Grounds set to kick-off in just over 2 weeks, we are excited to announce the 4 organisations who will be acting as mentors for the successful student applicants!
Each organisation will provide a manager and coach to assist the students development over the course of the tournament, simulating what it is like to compete on a professional UK team.
A staple organisation in the UK League of Legends scene, Barrage have competed in the premier UK competitions since 2018. They have performed consistently well, often only struggling against the LEC Academy teams, which resulted in them being selected to compete in the newly formed Northern League Championship (NLC) where they finished 2nd in their group (only behind Fnatic Rising!) in the most recent split.
Barrage owner Jeff had the following to say:
“We’re excited to get involved in the project and see some of the next round of talent emerging from the University scene. Historically we have seen some excellent players ply their trade in NSE & NUEL before going on to play at an ERL level so it’s great to be able to have some involvement with them at such an early stage in their careers and have a hand in nurturing their development. Looking forward to getting started!”
Demise stormed into the UK League Championship (UKLC) in 2019 through the promotion tournament and immediately secured a 4th place finish in their first split. Though times have been tougher in the most recent split, they were the first UKLC team to field an academy roster in the UKEL, convincingly winning the regular season and securing a 2nd place finish in the play-offs.
Demise owner and co-founder Andy had the following to say:
“As soon as we heard about the new UKEL lead initiative we knew we had to get involved. We are massive advocates of the UK esports scene and we believe this will further bridge the gap between university students and professional esports in the UK. We’re confident it will help the UK League scene by enabling organisations to nurture exciting new prospects whilst also giving university students an exciting opportunity to showcase the raw talent they possess, giving them a taste of what it’s like to work in a competitive league environment whilst also learning from experienced managers & coaches. We’re very excited to be involved and can’t wait to get started!”
Coming from a strong background in CSGO, London entered the LoL scene in spring 2020 by joining the UKEL. Since then they’ve qualified for the UKLC with 2 splits under their belt, most recently with a 2nd place finish and qualification to the Telia Masters where they narrowly missed out on NLC qualification. London have a proven track record for fostering homegrown talent and are a much welcome addition to the Student Proving Grounds!
London manager Mulgrew had the following to say:
“Personally, I owe my entire involvement in esports due to the university scene, having been a part of both NUEL & NSE and President of my own society in Swansea. I’ve taken these experiences over to London Esports where we’ve had the pleasure to work with some incredibly talented university student talents over the last couple of splits, so being able to participate in the student proving grounds and be able to give back to a scene which has helped myself and London immensely is a great opportunity and I can’t wait to help showcase the next generation of upcoming league of legends players through the university scene!”
Last and by certainly no means least we have Resolve. Winners of the most recent UKLC split and Telia Masters competitors, Resolve have climbed the UK ladder in similar fashion to London. Starting with an almost undefeated run in the UKEL Summer 2020 into immediate UKLC qualification and an undefeated run there, Resolve have shown what it means to be a successful grassroots organisation.
Founder and CEO Rai had the following to say:
“We feel that the Student Proving Grounds is a great initiative that will support university talent to grow further and experience what it’s like to be part of the Resolve family. We’re eager to be involved as we want to support the growth of grassroots esports within the UK and the university scene is full of potential. We’ve already seen many great players come from tournaments like the NUEL and NSE and many of our staff come from the university scene in the UK too! We’re excited to work with the future stars of UK League of Legends and teach them everything we can about building a career in esports and performing at a high level!”
Student Proving Grounds begins on the 25th April with all game streamed live on the UKEL Twitch channel!