University Rocketeers Winter 2022-23 – Participants and Main Event Info
Over the last few weeks University students across Europe have been battling it out to qualify for the University Rocketeers Winter Main Event, the first major European University Rocket League event this season.
Four qualifiers over two weeks concluded with sixteen teams of the best teams in the region ready to compete for €5,000 and a spot at the CRL World Championships next summer. Let’s see what happened. Col
Key Storylines at the Rocketeers Qualifiers
In the first qualifier we saw German dominance like we have come to expect in the European University scene. Berlin Phoenix and Hamburger Haie Ahoi Bois were the two teams able to qualify through uppers, with victories over Keele Krakens and Amsterdam Carball Esports respectively. However the run was not over for the losing teams, who were able to comfortably secure their qualification spots through the lower bracket. This means that three of the teams that we saw at CRL worlds have already qualified, with Amsterdam appearing to be a new top contender.
The second qualifier saw fellow CRL worlds contenders KIT SC Lawnmowers able to make it through uppers, alongside Exeter Emperors. Dorans Nimma and Dr. Buhmann Akadedemie H were the two teams who fell in the upper qualification matches, however they were both able to take the next two spots by winning their final series in the lower bracket.
The two rookie teams of Pesto University (University of Genoa) and ISCTE-IUL (University of Lisbon) were the two to qualify through uppers in the third qualifier, a relief to both sides who had already lost qualification matches in the previous weeks. They took down Uni Esports Dortmund and Dorans Boxfish respectively, of which only Dorans Boxfish could regain and qualify through lowers. Dortmund were taken out by UEA Bluejays, who made an impressive lower bracket run in order to secure the 12th qualification spot.
In the fourth and final qualifier we had harder competition than ever. Everyone aware of this being the last chance to qualify. The first two teams able to withstand the pressure were Eelcastle Gamers (Aalborg University) and Roehampton Esports Gold, beating Engines Stuttgart and Uni Esports Dortmund respectively.
This was Dotmund’s third time failing to win a qualification series, and they made it four with yet another loss to Team Twente in losers, who became the next team to qualify. The final spot was taken by Engines Stuttgart, who were able to regain from their upper bracket loss with a victory over Warwick.
The biggest shock from the qualification stage was that two of Europe’s CRL World Championship 2022 representatives were unable to qualify. Portsmouth Paladins were Europe’s first seed after last season, however the departure of Owen “Psycho” Williams seems to have had a big impact on the performance of the team, as they were unable to make it far through any of the qualifiers. Salford Lions have also been unable to replicate their performance from last season despite qualifying for World’s last summer.
This really shows how much the level has increased in Europe this year.
University Rocketeers Winter 2022-23 Main Event
We can now look forward to the Uni Rocketeers Winter Main Event starting next weekend. It will follow the same format as the RLCS Fall Regionals, a 16 team Swiss stage into an 8 team single elimination bracket. There is €5,000 on the line and 1st place will also confirm their spot in the 2023 CRL World Championship. With the European University scene looking more stacked than ever, this will for sure be a thrilling event with many teams in with a shot at victory.