CSGO: New 5th Announced

18th September 2016

We would like to welcome the new 5th member of our UK CSGO roster, Kory 'Kryzih' Hitt. After our previous LAN placement, the discussion went ahead about a possible roster change. A conclusion was made and we decided to let Tayler 'Tayerdoodle' O'Boyle go from the team. We wish Tayler, who is a young and very talented player the very best in the future. Here is a statement from UK CSGO Captain, Luke 'Emperor' Ingram:

"The removal of Tayler was one that wasn't lightly taken. We tried a combination of role changing and compromising but inevitably it seemed a roster change would have to be made. We had been a stable roster for some time but we believe the move was the correct one for the team. We had options from the get go and tried out other players prior to i58 as well as a number of targets we had shortlisted post-LAN. However it turned out that Kory was our best fit. He has great potential and an attitude that fits in line with the teams expectations. We had players that out matched him in the experience field and perhaps would of given us a quicker solution but overall our view for the future with Kory will prove he is the best option. We already feel the acquisition of Kory has revitalised the rest of us and we are excited for the upcoming ESEA season with him and feel we have a line-up that can really push on and improve on our recent 5/6th showing at EpicLAN and and future events."

The boys will now be looking to dominate the ESEA main season with new pick up Kryzih and qualify for the UK Masters £20,000 tournament at the end of September. Good luck boys, we believe! 

 

Insomnia 58: A Review

31st August 2016

One of the UK’s biggest gaming festivals took place over the past weekend and this time it was bigger than ever. Multiplay’s Insomia event kicked off on August 26th bringing with it; eSports; opportunities to play some of the years biggest yet to be released gaming titles; tonnes of stalls offering everything from shirts and keyrings to all kinds of tech and so much more all in one place, the NEC in Birmingham.

One of the many new things Mutliplay brought to i58 was League Fest. An entire hall of everything League of Legends providing festival goers and LoL fanatics the opportunity to meet some of the world’s best players in the likes of former Team Solo Mid’s top laner Dyrus and Cloud 9’s Lemonnation. On top of this, a Pro-am tournament with £15,000 on the line, cosplay competitions and show matches galore. exceL were of course in attendance with our very own League of Legends lineup consisting of Skudzy, Zhandia, Samma, Mood and Nutri. The players and staff alike headed into the tournament with high hopes and entered as 4th seed, seeded behind the likes of MnM and TCA; the eventual finalists.

exceL made it all the way through to the winners finals without dropping a single map and impressing all the way through with some massive plays from Zhandia wowing the crowds watching at the event and at home! Despite our efforts, MnM dropped the team into the loser’s bracket where we matched up with TCA battling it out on the summoner's rift for a place in the Grand Final. Despite having a solid pick and ban phase and running close games, we couldn't close out either game in the end meaning that overall we secured 3rd place in the League of Legends tournament!

The League of Legends roster were not exceL’s only representation at Insomnia 58 with HelloLeeroy and Osha representing the organisation in Hearthstone. With over 100 players competing in the tournament, the first days of play were a tough slog however we had high hopes of being able to place well. With Osha dropping out early, Leeroy pushed on and narrowly missed out on reaching the final day of the tournament and the top 8; placing a respectable 10th overall!

exceL's Managing Director, COO and multiple other staff members turned out in force to represent the organisation to show our support to all our playing staff and our partners, all of which is not possible without them. We would like to thank everyone for their support of exceL and our teams and we look forward to seeing you come out in force at the next event!

 

Product Review: SCUF Infinity

28th August 2016

We have teams competing at the highest level in eSports, so the equipment used by our pros must be the best on the market. That’s why exceL’s console teams use SCUF Gaming Controllers. With the most updated SCUF on the market, the Infinity is the obvious choice to help you become the best!

The SCUF Infinity is available for Xbox One (Scuf Infinity 1) and for PS4 (Scuf Infinity 4PS). This controller implements the beautiful simplicity of the standard console controllers and a sleek design of multi-purpose paddles. The design features don’t stop there. With the potential to customise LED’s, controller grip and even thumbsticks you can really personalise your gaming experience. The Infinity although beautiful, isn’t just about looks. The SCUF controller is used predominately in the FPS scene as its sharp response time is second to none. The SCUF’s well designed paddles allow you to make swift movements while still maintained the precision of your aim.

Our Gears of War Captain, Charlie ‘Brutalize’ Badham had this to say:

“When it comes to competitive gaming you need anything that can give you the advantage. SCUF controllers are the perfect way to give you this edge. It allows me to shoot faster with the implemented trigger stops and the paddles make it so efficient for me to ‘wall bounce’ and manoeuvre around the map. The grip on the controller keeps my hands from getting sweaty whilst on the grind!”

 

 

The SCUF Infinity allows you to find your ideal set-up with next to no trouble. With the option of changing your thumbsticks on the go using the SCUF Infinity rings, it couldn’t be easier! The controller now also implements a ‘control disc’ option that can replace your Dpad. This attachment provides you with more surface area, in turn making it easier to move your thumb around the Dpad. If you have ambitions of becoming the best in your field of gaming, it should always begin with SCUF.

C: @xL_Naphtha

 

CSGO: ESEA Season 22 Review - EU Intermediate

19th August 2016

We started off the season in positive fashion having the first set of maps being some of our more favoured picks ( de_cache, de_inferno and de_cbble).  Our first game of the season was against "yoshiwara club" which proved to be a fairly simple game. We picked up 11 rounds on T side and played a steady CT to take the game 16 - 8. The second cache map was against AEG. Despite going down 5-0 at the start of the game, we woke-up and took the rest of the game with a perfect 16 rounds in a row.

Week two saw us take on Sequence Gaming for on de_cbble. We took a strong first half lead 8-7 on what is considered a weak CT side map. the latter part of the game could only be described as frustrating. Despite numerous opening picks we were unable close the game out. We found ourselves staring at a 14 - 16 defeat, giving us our first loss of the season in a game where were our on enemies for the most part.

Game 4 and 5 were what first set out to be week 2's fixtures of inferno against arguably one of UAE's best teams. We knew from their reputation this would be a tough game, but the team seem reinvigorated after their defeat just 3 days before. They stormed into a quick 11 - 4 T side lead on a map that should be fairly even. We played CT side in a calculated way and, despite losing the pistol and opening buy round, we closed out the game 16-10 in a dominating fashion. The next inferno game was versus the Danish side ‘WatTheTaw’ who we had previously faced last season. The hunger of winning hit ‘Calv1n’ hard and he dominated the scoreboard. We once again started on T side, gaining 7 rounds before swiftly wrapping up 9 CT rounds in a row after losing the initial pistol/eco rounds. We took the game 16-11 with calv1n getting an amazing 68 kills over the 2 games.

After a small break we found ourselves playing officials on de_overpass and de_dust2 with little practice. This resulted  in a 1-1 outcome from our two overpass games with the loss being at the hands of a cruel but fair defeat in overtime with a 19-16 scoreline. We did however manage to scrape a 16-11 win against Latvian who had pulled off some upsets of their own early in the season.

Going into the Dust games we all as a team were really starting to suffer, we were given a default win in our first game as the team we were due to play, RvN, had a local LAN upcoming and didn't wish for their demos to be downloaded so respectfully gave us a win. 

The next 3 games, de_dust2 and 2 matches on de_mirage, can only be watched and reviewed as a perfect demonstration of what happens if you don’t practise beforehand. We went into the games without much of a break and outdated strats, especially for mirage. Many teams had seen us perform at LAN just a few days ago and read our game play with ease. We played Wolfwang Golfgang first on de_dust2. We rushed T and took at hard 11-4 hit. We got closed out on CT side and lost the map 16-8. 

The two mirage games were even more frustrating for the boys as it had been such a prolific map for them at LAN. But, unfortunately for us, the slump continued online. We firstly played ‘noChance’ who we dispatched on this very map last season 16 – 2. This time our T side that was once so reliable lacked any real firepower and we crumbled to a 3-12 T performance. noChance capitalised on this and closed out the the game 7-16. 

The turnaround, if there was to be one, had to happen now to salvage our season. The guys sat down and devised a new schedule and method of accommodating all of the team's needs. We knew we would have some tough games coming up, starting with ‘RoyalGames’, a multinational online team who sat on 10-2 record, while we were currently only on a 6-5. We showed that the rough patch was starting to lift, as despite a loss of 13-16, there were many positives to take from the match.

With our record now sitting at 6-6 we knew we had to win the remaining 4 games to stand any chance of making playoffs, we knew it would be a tough ask. It was looking grim as we went into some of our more inconsistent maps for the last 4 games, de_nuke and de_train.

First up was Castle Wolves on de_train, it was our turn to show we had some resilience in us. After a tough T side performance the difference in score didn't make us crumble and morale was still intact going into the second half. We found ourselves 14-6 down and our playoffs hanging on by the slimmest of margins. We steadied ourselves and started to rack up rounds. The score crept up to 14-11. Castle Wolves took a time out for it to only work in our favour. They seemed out of ideas and had no plan to stop our momentum. We made sure to take it one round at a time before closing the game out 16-14. The hope was restored and our play-off hopes remained alive!

The two de_nuke games were something we have never witnessed from the team, we had no time to go over nuke but went into the games positive that we could score a much needed victory. Our first game was against Genetic Zero eSports. We started on CT and it seemed a cruise, taking a 11-4 lead with the rounds lost being down to some individual plays from the opposing team. We didn't know what to expect T-side but we took it a round at a time and slowly but surely traded rounds. They had a 5-6 T side which was enough for us to take the game 16-10 after a more convincing CT half.

The second nuke game was against fellow Brits; Generic Team Name. They needed a win to secure playoffs and we needed it to keep our own hopes alive. T side tensions were very high which lead to a struggle for rounds after going down 12 – 3. We would have to dig deep to take this game. CT we started roughly by taking the pistol round due to some over peaks by the T's and lack of experience on map to deal with anti ecos. Our economy was low going into the first buy rounds, but the team's concentration levels were at an all-time high. Without much thought we found ourselves at 11-12 before the T's found their first buy round with a swift shutdown. The following round meant we reset their money at the right time, some vital lockdowns on the A bombsite were the result of some excellent communication by GhosT, resulting in the team winning 16-13 after being down 12-3!

We now had to play Bulgarian Bpro. This was the game we had to win to make playoffs. Due to issues with their team,  the game the admin felt it was fair to give us a default win which meant we finished 11th and had made it into playoffs with a 10-6 record!

We went into playoffs with no real pressure playing against INFIGHT, a Swedish team with some good players, the atmosphere seemed to of gone backwards a couple weeks resulting with us losing first map of this best of 3 on mirage 16-7.We went into the second map on de_dust2 with a different mindset but  this unfortunately couldn't stop one of their players dropping 38 kills to clinch the second map 16-14 and knocking us out of the playoffs.

It was a tough season at times but the guys are looking forward to the next, where we hope to be promoted in to the Main Division on the basis of our final position in Season 22. Stay tuned to our social media for updates on all of our teams' exploits!

 

Smite: SCL Summer Split 2016

18th August 2016

Having announced exceL’s first ever venture into the world of SMITE a few short months ago with our SMITE Console League (SCL) team; the season has now come to an end.

Before the summer split - and the first ever season of console SMITE - commenced, we had high hopes of being able to reach the top 2 and the summer split finals; however this was not to be. A disappointing start to the season spiralled into a 0-16 map record heading into the final week of competition where we hoped to round off the season with at least a map win to our name. We managed better than that by securing exceL’s first SMITE victory and finishing 2-16 for the season as we finished 4th and headed to relegations. Despite our record, it was not all doom and gloom or clear cut  throughout the season, we had come close in many games, taking the lead and winning valuable team fights but were just unable to close them out.

We ended the season how we had started it, with a roster change. Before any games had begun Chris “Ruler” Shaw left our roster and was replaced by Samuli “Kaajee” Kandolin whilst in the penultimate week, Rhys “Fudge” Robottom announced his desire to leave the team. This meant the team would use a substitute for the final game whilst still looking for our 5th player to round off our roster.

As we head into relegations the team are confident of beating any opponent in order to retain their status as a SCL team. We have every faith and confidence in the team to do so and cannot wait for to see what the team are truly capable of.

 

R6: Rainbow Six Roster Announcement

3rd August 2016

Today we are pleased to introduce our new European Rainbow Six: Siege competitive line-up, containing a blend between a few familiar faces and some new recruits to exceL eSports. The roster consists of Captain Jake ‘NoThumbz’ Lane, Mitch ‘Anubis’ Randall, Michael ‘Smitch’ Smith, Nathan ‘Nath’ Kelly and Diego ‘Diego’ Derksen. Jake, Mitch and Michael all had previous stints with exceL during season 2 of the ESL pro league, and after spending a season away from the organisation have elected to re-join, this time with Nathan and Diego completing the talented line-up.

The team will be competing at the upcoming Multiplay Rainbow Six: Siege UK open, presented at the brand new Multiplay Gaming Area in Trafford, Manchester on the 14th of August. Eight teams from this live qualifying LAN will be given the opportunity to compete in an online play-off tournament, the grand finals for which will be played at Multiplay’s Insomnia58 live on the eSports stage.

Furthermore, due to the team’s participation in the ESL pro league in season 2, they will be given the opportunity to requalify in the relegations tournament to earn a place in season 3. The team, albeit with a couple of different faces, qualified emphatically for season 2 ahead of their transfer away from exceL eSports, and it is our belief that they will repeat this feat ahead of season 3.

We look forward to supporting the team in their upcoming tournaments and as always will be bringing you live updates on their progress on our social media platforms.

 

GoW: 2016 European Open

14th July 2016

On Friday the 8th of July, exceL eSports's Gears of War team took to the city of Nottingham to compete in the AM2Pro Gears of War 2016 European Open. Our team, consisting of BladeViciousPrecision and Brutalize were confident in their ability, even with it being their first event together after only ten days of preparation time. AM2Pro Nottingham was held in the Robin Hood suite of Nottingham Forest football club's stadium, the venue for all games in the tournament bar the semi finals and grand final. These games, featuring the top 4 teams, was held at the Gfinity Arena in Fulham Broadway, London.

Game 1 (WBR1) - exceL vs. Hostile

We began the weekend against Hostile off-stream on Friday evening. After a strong stint on the plentiful warm-up stations provided by the excellent set-up at AM2Pro, we began the weekend well and took the series by a convincing scoreline of 3-0. We hoped to carry on the weekend with this winning trend!

Game 2 (WBR2) - exceL vs. Team EnvyUs

However, in game 2, the random seedings immediately worked to our detriment, as our boys were forces to face off against arguably the best team in the world, Team EnvyUs, from North America. Map 1 was WarMachine, the nV boys came out with a point to prove and handed us a swift 4-0 victory. Moving in to map 2, our boys were shaken but not beaten as they clutched up 2 rounds on Mansion. Unfortunately nV proved too strong once again and they closed the map out 4-2, giving them series point. Map 3 saw us take to Canals and despite a valiant effort and some close rounds, our efforts were to no avail and Team EnvyUs closed the game out 4-0 and took the series. GGs to them, this brought Friday evening to a close and our day ended with us knowing that dropping in to the loser's bracket meant there was no room for any more mistakes.

Game 3 (LBR3)  - exceL vs. Barrage

With our tournament lives on the line and a place at Gfinity potentially waiting for us, we took to WarMachine to begin the best of 5 series vs. Barrage, a team that along with ourselves were tipped to make it to the final four of the tournament. With a massive 7 kill game from Vicious, we were able to take map 1 with a 4-2 scoreline and secure a 1-0 lead in the series. Map 2 saw us on Gridlock where Barrage took the first 2 rounds, putting pressure on us to equalise. We were able to clutch two rounds to tie the score at 2-2 but unfortunately, Barrage took the next 2 rounds and tied the series at one a piece. Map 3 was once again a Barrage pick, Canals and they showed their reasoning behind the choice, winning the map 4-1 and putting us down 1-2 in the series. Map 4 swung back in our favour, with the team doing what Barrage did to them on the previous map by dominating 4-1 and sending the series into an intense game 5! With both teams knowing that this is all or nothing, the game began completely level, going back and forth all the way to 3-3. Unfortunately Barrage were able to clutch up and win the game 4-3. GGs to them for an incredibly entertaining and thoroughly intense showcase of Gears of War eSports at its finest.

For a first LAN appearance as a team, the exceL Gears of War boys really showed up and proved they could be a real force moving in Gears of War 4.  Thank you to all those who supported us at the event and to you for reading this review - stay tuned to our social media (links at the bottom of this page) for real time updates from exceL eSports!

 

CS: epic.LAN Eighteen

4th July 2016

On the 17th of June our UK CS:GO team competed in epic.LAN Eighteen, hosted in Kettering, UK. Below is a summary of the matches, brought to you by Owen 'Naphtha' Macro and team Captain, Luke 'EMPEROR' Ingram.

Group Game 1 vs Limitless Nation (line-up - KEHZUH, oakmerch, Koagu, Hawkins & Synzo)

Map 1 - Mirage (xL pick) – We started off T side strong and stormed to an early 9-0 lead. Limitless took round 10, but we instantly money-reset them by winning the following 3 rounds. This lead to us taking the first half 14 – 1, leaving us the simple task of winning 2 rounds on CT side. This happened quickly with a dominating pistol and follow-up round. We took game one 16-1.

Map 2 - Cobblestone (Limitless pick) – Once again xL.CS started off T side, taking the pistol round. Limitless managed to win an anti-eco, this led to them gaining some momentum and winning 4 rounds in a row. The boys took it slow and composed themselves. This meant we started to rack up t side rounds like the game before. We took the next 8 in a row before limitless and ourselves traded the last 2 rounds 1 a piece, leaving the first half at a 10-5 finish. Moving into the CT side, xL.CS won the opening 4 rounds, This included a massive 1v3 clutch by EMPEROR. Limitless managed to steal 3 rounds in a row, two of which were eco rounds as the boys didn't want to rush their next buy. We finally won the next 2 rounds to take the game and series 16 - 8.

Group Game 2 vs Odin. sports (line-up - MontSta, 5haBo, Kai, Dm_God & Shadowman)

Map 1 Inferno (Odin pick) – Game1 can only be described as no economical built up. Rounds were traded back and forth until Odin managed to catch the xL boys off guard by changing their play style. Odin continued to impress and won some impressive clutches, leaving the score at 14 – 10 in their favour. We managed the clutch up and bring it back to 15 - 14 in our favour after another 1v3 clutch and defuse by EMPEROR. Unfortunately they took the following round and we went into overtime. They eventually took the game with a solid first half T display 19 - 16.

Map 2 Mirage (xL pick) –xL:CS got T side once again, taking a 9-1 lead. Odin managed to build some momentum into the second half, they won the last 5 rounds, leaving the first half score 9-6 in our favour. The second half was back and forth by both teams. Odin took 4 rounds on the bouce, but we came back, taking 3 of the last 5 rounds to close out the game. Calv1n with an impressive game of 34 kills.

Group Game 3 vs GroupDeadly (line-up Sophiee, Kolibri, neggies, logaN & Snodz)

Map 1 Dust2 (xL pick) – xL:CS went into this game expecting a walkover series. To our surprise, GroupDeadly managing to take 7 rounds off us on what is argued the weaker CT half. Before we switched sides, the boys sat down and spoke about what needed changing. After the quick chat, they swiftly went on to win every round to close the game out 16 – 7.

Map 2 Cobble (their pick)- Having made the mistake of taking the series lightly in game 1, we took it the second game like all previous ones, taking a swift 16 - 3 .

Group Game 4 vs MALIK.A (line-up - rekalz, totungs, Jells, CANNIBAL & Ranga)

Map 1 Cache (MALIK.A Pick) This game ended with a perfect 16-0 game.

Map 2 Mirage (xL pick) Map 2 followed the same story as the first, the game ended 16 - 3 in our favour.

Group Game 5 vs MnM Seeded 3rd (line-up - berty, fearless, EB, maxxyb & chron1c)

Map 1 Mirage (xL pick) – The beginning of the game was fairly standard. Rounds traded back and forth before MnM took a 14 -10 lead. xL managed to take 2 rounds on the T side with some vital 2v2 wins. MnM managing to collect the vital 15th round and the game seemed over. However xL were not finished as we grinded out 5 rounds to take game 1 into OT. Unfortunately MnM were the better OT team and we conceded the map 19-16 to a strong looking MnM.

Map 2 Cache (MnM pick) – Game 2 started off with An uncharacteristic rocky t side performance. We began taking the first 3 rounds but got completely shut down in the next 9, conceding all of them. Everything the boys did was countered well by MnM. We managed to string another 2 rounds, taking our T side to a 5-10 deficit. The second half however began well for us, collecting 6 rounds of the opening 9. Unfortunately MnM clutched up and closed the map out 16-11, GG’s to them. This meant we finished 2nd in our group.

Prize bracket Round 1 vs Devine esports (line-up - parasite, trials, SDK, l0renzo & 7aff)

Map 1 Mirage (Devine pick) The first 4 rounds of game 1 felt very comfortable for the xL boys. However this over-confidence cost us once again, 5 rounds to be exact. This meant we went into T side having only got 8 rounds CT. That didn’t bother the boys as they closed the game out with a pistol and then a further 5 rounds. Devine only managed to collect 1 round on their CT side meaning map one went into our hands 16– 8.

Map 2 dust2 (xL pick) The xL:CS team had found their grove conceding only one round on the CT side, closing the game with an impressive 16 - 1 score, taking the bo3 series 2-0.

Prize Bracket Round 2 vs Infused (line-up - Joe, jenko, redsnake, dream & roma)

Map 1 Mirage (xL pick) We started the series vs Infused slow, only managing to take 3 rounds on T side, some of these rounds including some great plays from Infused Roma (1v2, 1v3). The xL boys managed to rally some rounds together in the second half, taking 9 out of the first 10 rounds. This unfortunately came to an end and we conceded game1 12-16.

Map 2 Cobble (Infused pick) Having fallen onto Infused's best map, game2 started by following the trend of this statistic, xL went from the Heroes of T side to being unable to collect a single round. Infused conceded a few rounds on CT before wrapping the series up 16 – 8, dropping us to the lower bracket.

Prize Bracket Lower Bracket Round 2 vs Exertus (line-up - doXi, m1thy, Rexplite, Redgar & Edgarz)

Map 1 inferno (Exertus pick) We unfortunately begin with one of our worst T side performances yet as we conceded 13 of the first 15 rounds. We managed to grind back 5 rounds in a row on CT. We collected round after round after that with some solid holds and noteworthy clutches. xL.CS really believed in the comeback dream after Exertus took a pause and tried to change their approach. But by the time we hit 13 rounds, Exertus managed to pull 1 round back. But in such a vital part of the game, we took advantage of a reset from the opposition and collect our 14th round to tie the scores at 14 - 14. the last 2 rounds felt like a easy sweep as every Exertus death was met by a scream from the xL boys. We closed the game out 16-14 with an insane comeback!

Map 2 Mirage (xL pick) By the end of the first map spectator could see Exertus just weren't the same, they were neither talking nor seemed to have any energy. With Mirage being our best map, we collected 11 rounds on CT side, this was vital since our T side had been shaky of late. However it wasn't to be for Exertus as they were only able to see out the pistol rounds. We stacked the 5 rounds we need to progress and meet our seed.

Prize Bracket Round 3 vs Playhack seed 6th (line-up - archer, m1tchwee, Dudley, cookeh & HoodluM)

Map 1 Mirage (xL Pick) We started the series with T side, luckily to say, we came out dominating! After winning the pistol and following two rounds. This start to T side was the catalyst which lead to impressive mid control and dominating map control, making it very hard for playhack to react to both Ghost and Tayler finding opening picks. The second half started with us winning an full anti-eco as we had no need to buy considering our 12 - 4 lead. Playhack managed to string two rounds but Tayler won a 1v3 clutch on an eco with nothing but a pistol to get us to the vital 15 rounds. We closed out the final round with ease and took game1 16-6.

Map 2 Cobble (xL pick) Cobble had been notorious as playhacks best map and they were sure to let us know before the map began. The xL:CS boys ended up on the harder side of CT to start game2, but took full advantage of the momentum from game 1 by winning 10 rounds before the half. Playhack began the second half like they meant business and collected the opening 5 rounds. With the game tied up 10-10, the boys clocked onto a weakness and made sure it was taken advantage of. We took the next 6 rounds and ended the map 16-10, exceeding our seed and guaranteeing a top 6 placement.

Prize Bracket Round 4 vs ufrag seed 4th (line-up - adamxoxo, powell, JT, esio & jak3y)

Map 1 Train (ufrag pick) Unfortunately we came up against a hot ufrag team, on their best map. The map consisted of ufrag showing how to take bombsites with ease. They closed the game out with an easy 16 – 4 victory.

Map 2 Dust2 (xL pick) By this stage xL:CS had become extremely tired they seemed to of ran out of momentum. We managed to secure early rounds into both half’s, stringing together 5 CT side and then 6T. Once we gave up a round however, the experience of ufrag unfortunately shone through and they closed the game out 16-11. This meant we lost 0-2 in the series and dropped out of the competition in 5th/6th.

Congratulations to xL:CS on their first LAN! We are all extremely pleased with the performance they put on and look forward to how they will do in upcoming events!

 

exceL Announces Brand New Gears of War Team: New COG's in Town

31st May 2016

With the Gears of War AM2Pro European Open just round the corner and European Gears of War becoming an ever-more competitive scene, we have decided to take on arguably the best Gears of War team in Europe at the moment. The team is as follows:

  • Kieron ‘Breaker’ Oakley
  • Tom ‘Precision’ Pryor
  • Charlie ‘Brutalize’ Badham
  • Danny ‘Vicious’ Hogg

We took the time to get some background information from the new Team Captain, Kieron ‘Breaker’ Oakley. Kieron has been in the community for a long time, playing since Gears of War 1, despite only competing since the middle of Gears of War 3. He has quite the list of achievements, including multiple 1st place finishes in Doesplay tournaments, 2nd in the Doesplay finals and another 1st and 2nd place finish in the recent ESL tournaments. As a team, they have proved they are a real force to be reckoned with by dominating the first GFL qualifiers and not losing a single map!

A quote from Kieron stated,

“We're all excited for what lies ahead and can't wait to represent the name of exceL in all upcoming events and tournaments and can't wait to bring loads of success to this amazing organisation”.

The boys will be making their first appearance under exceL eSports at the AM2Pro European open in Nottingham, with hopes of going to London the following day to compete in the finals. We look forward to having this team represent us for the foreseeable future and in working with them to become the certified best GoW team in Europe. Welcome to the exceL family!

Check out their team page HERE.

C: @xL_Naphtha

 

LoL: Welcome to Samma and Zhandia

16th May 2016

With the ESL UK League of Legends Summer Split coming up, we are glad to announce that we have revamped our roster with the intention to become the best League of Legends team in the UK. With this in mind we have unfortunately seen the mutual termination of the contracts of both Kieran ‘Keys’ John and Reece ‘Reecicle’ Sharratt, who have moved on to pastures new. We wish them good luck in everything they do and thank them both for their time spent with us! In their place we have decided to bring in some European talent with Vladimir ‘Samma’ Dimov taking over in top lane and Sander ‘Zhandia’ Skogstad coming in to mid lane. With these two additions, joining SkudzyUnsupportive and Sebla, we believe we can take exceL League of Legends to the next level!

With this change in roster we are also extremely excited to be working with Josh ‘Furndog’ Furneaux. Josh is one of the top UK talents in coaching, having previously worked on the coaching staff at Fnatic, Perilous and TCA, and we are already seeing great improvement from the team in the time he has been with us. He will be joining Ryan ‘Barnetto’ Barnett and Matt 'Crolux' McClenaghan on the coaching/management team. Thanks for all the support everyone has given us so far and we look forward to the future!

 

HS: ESLUK Premiership & the Spring Tavern Hero Tournament

11th May 2016

It's been an exciting few weeks for exceL eSports's Heartstone stars, HelloLeeroy and Osha, since joining the organisation. Both players have been competing every Thursday night in the ESLUK Premiership and both also recently competed in the Spring Tavern Hero Qualifier LAN, hosted in London last Saturday.

Turning the attention first to the ESLUK Premiership, after an incredibly strong start to the season, HelloLeeroy faltered slightly before finding form again and securing a 1st place finish in the online segment of the league! Osha's start to the season represented a stark contrast to his friend and teammate, however he too found form towards the tail end of the season and picked up some very impressive wins before the close of the tournament. Unfortunately he wasn't able to secure a play-off spot, leaving HelloLeeroy to carry the flag in the play-offs at MCM Comic Con at the end of this month.

As previously mentioned, our two players also competed in the recent Spring Tavern Hero LAN. HelloLeeroy began the event by facing ‘chicken’ in round 1, taking a comfortable 3-0 victory. In round 2 he came up against Anakin, the very player HelloLeeroy beat in the semi finals of the ESLUK Premiership's qualifying tournament. Unfortunately, after being 2-0 up against him, HelloLeeroy drew the worst deck left to get a win. He went on to lose twice with it to set up a decider between his and his opponent's worst decks. Luck was on Anakin's side this time and he took the series 3-2. Osha, on the other hand, made it all the way to the tournament's semi finals. Beating Smirny 3-2 in his first round match, Osha progressed through round 2 and the quarter finals, completing two exhilarating 0-2 comebacks against Andymolotov and Swify respectively! Unfortunately, Osha lost to Anakin, who HelloLeeroy also lost to, 3-2 after a very close final game decider in the semi finals. Anakin would go on to lose in the grand final.

Stay tuned for further updates on the exploits of our Hearthstone players and all of our other teams!

 

Smite: exceL Smite Announced

10th May 2016

After a relatively quiet past few weeks exceL have been working hard behind the scenes to bring ourselves back to the top of UK eSports. With that being said we would like to announce the signing of an Xbox One competitive Smite team, who shall be competing in the upcoming split of HiRez's Smite Console League (SCL). The team is as follows:

  • Support - Chris “Ruler” Shaw
  • Mid - Brandon “Rawski” Rawski
  • ADC - Carl “B3AN” Gill
  • Jungle - Rhys “Fudge” Robottom
  • Solo - Ben “Hadders” Hadley

Having qualified as the 4th seed team, exceL.Smite will make their debut in the Smite Console League on the 30th of May. With Ruler having placed 2nd in the first ever UK LAN event for Smite, the team are well placed with a new shot caller for the forthcoming season with the rest of the team having been on the same roster from 4 months to a year. Managing Director Joel Holmes-Darby discussed the thought process behind signing the team to the exceL eSports brand:

"Smite has been a game we've been looking for the right opportunity to get involved in for a while now. HiRez's developer support for the game's eSports scene is impressive and highly promising and the game itself offers some of the most entertaining gameplay I have seen. We opted to go for the Smite Console League as opposed to the PC equivalent because of exceL eSports's enduring reputation amongst EU console eSports and our desire to continue to build our brand in this area. I am very excited to be working with this team as they have shown great promise throughout qualification for the SCL and we are looking forward to seeing them continue their good form as the split begins later this month."

Chris 'Ruler' Shaw commented on the team's decision to join exceL eSports:

"The team and I are very excited to represent exceL in the upcoming Smite Console League. We are really happy with the support and enthusiasm the organisation has already provided us. I am looking forward to proving we are a top contender this split and not to be underestimated."

Here at exceL we have high hopes for the team going forward and we would love for you to get behind the team at every opportunity.

 

R6: exceL Rainbow Six Announced

10th May 2016

Today we are delighted to announce the introduction of our first competitive Rainbow Six line-up. The team, consisting of Jake 'JLAne' Lane, Adam 'Webster' Webster, Joe 'Maestro' Woods, Michael 'Smitch' Smith and team captain Mitch 'Tizoxic' Randell, will be competing in season 2 of the ESL R6 Pro League. Their qualification route has thus far seen them emerge victorious in the first two qualification tournaments, guaranteeing them entry in to the second season of the highly coveted EU pro division. 

Managing Director Joel Holmes-Darby explained the rationale behind the decision to introduce a Rainbow Six team to exceL eSports:

"Rainbow Six as a franchise has a close place to my heart after having spent many hours myself playing RS: Vegas 2 back in the day. After the release of Siege, we had hoped there would be eSports support and ESL delivered in fashion by introducing another rendition of their popular Pro League format. We wanted to find a team for season 1 but circumstances meant we weren't able to do so. However after the conclusion of that season and the commencement of the qualifiers for season 2, we approached the team we saw the most potential in and their performances since we made initial contact only compounded our decision to bring them on board. We promised after the transfer of our Call of Duty team that we would be maintaining our presence in EU console eSports and this move is part of the delivery of that objective."

Team captain Mitch also commented on the team's decision to join exceL eSports for the upcoming season:

"We are really excited to be joining under the exceL eSports banner for season 2 of the [EU] Rainbow Six Xbox pro league. We as a team have had our difficulties as any other team would, but we have come through these problems stronger than before and that has spurred us on to qualification. We as a team possess high levels of ambition and a positive attitude towards our future with exceL. We are confident we can finish the season strong and qualify for the global finals and we very excited to be embarking on this journey with exceL."

We hope you will join us in welcoming the team and showing them your support on social media. Keep checking back to hear updates on their exploits over the coming months!

 

FIFA: Hammers, Bubbles and .. Dragons?

9th May 2016

It is with mixed emotions that Sean ‘Dragonn’ Allen has been transferred to the football club West Ham United as an official eSports player. The transfer was announced first on the official Twitter page of the East London football club and was later confirmed on the BBC Sport website.

This is a first for exceL eSports and indeed UK eSports as a whole, with Sean being the first British FIFA player to be signed by a professional football team. Sean's time with exceL was relatively brief, but a recap of his time here included multiple achievements, including a second place finish at the 2016 FIFA Interactive World Cup in New York. Sean has always brought a fun but professional attitude to the organisation and was always up to interact with all staff and team members, FIFA or not!

Dragonn, who qualified for all Gfinity Play Like a Legend events this year, is a very talented player with a bright future ahead of him. All of us at exceL eSports wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours and his career in eSports. 

 

HS: Welcome Osha & HelloLeeroy!

6th April 2016

In what has been a news-heavy week here at exceL HQ we are delighted to be making an extremely positive announcement - the introduction of two new members joining our organisation to form our inaugural Hearthstone team! Please welcome Nick 'xL HelloLeeroy' Waugh and Alex 'xL Osha' Polyviou!

Nick (HelloLeeroy) hails Oxfordshire, is 22 years old and has a degree in Psychology. In his spare time he plays snooker, football, goes cycling a lot and looks after his cats! His top achievement in Hearthstone is finishing 2nd at the London Winter Tavern hero tournament and qualifying for the ESL UK Premiership. Alex (Osha) started playing Hearthstone casually, however after winning the London Winter Tavern hero (yes, against his now team-mate!) and qualifying as 1st seed to the ESL UK Premiership he took the decision to take Hearthstone seriously. Osha also has a degree in Accounting and a full time job and in his spare time he enjoys playing strategy games and watching football. 

Both players are currently competing in the ESL UK Premiership group stages and you can catch all the action live on the ESL Hearthstone Twitch stream. We are very excited to be taking our first steps in to competitive Hearthstone here in the UK and would like to wish the guys a very warm welcome to the exceL family! 

 

CoD: Transfer of Call of Duty Roster

5th April 2016

It is with mixed emotion that today we make one of the largest announcements since our company's inception - the transfer of our Call of Duty roster. We can confirm that we have completed the transfer of the roster, renowned for being one of the most entertaining sides in Stage 1 of Activision's Call of Duty World League, to an undisclosed organisation (who will make an announcement of their own in due course).

Zach 'Zed' Denyer, Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney, Nick 'Nolson' Nolson and Brian 'Braaain' Fairlamb leave the organisation effective immediately and will be representing their new organisation in Stage 2 of the CWL. They leave with our heartfelt gratitude and thanks for all of their hard work since signing for us and we couldn't be prouder of what they have achieved since representing our colours. We will be continuing to support all four of them in their Call of Duty careers and can sincerely say it has been a pleasure to work with them. 

Joel Holmes-Darby, the Managing Director of exceL eSports Ltd has issued a statement following the completion of this deal:

"It is with a very heavy heart I say goodbye to our Call of Duty team. I know I speak for all my Staff when I say that we are saddened to no longer be working with this team and that we will no longer be represented in Stage 2 of the CWL, or indeed at ESWC. Being a part of the inaugural season of this competition has been the most exciting venture our company has been involved in since our establishment and the growth and support we have experienced as a result of our successes has been humbling. I'm sure the question on everybody's mind is what we will be doing next. All I will say is we have a plan, we will make the best out of this situation and that exceL eSports will continue in its mission of enabling all of our players to compete at the highest levels in global eSports. I will also say that long-term, there is every chance we will make a return to the Call of Duty competitive circuit - it is part of our lifeblood and we have no intention of turning our back on the scene. 

Good luck to Zach, Shea, Brian and Nick and thank you to all of our followers who have supported us through Stage 1 of the CWL, we hope you will continue to show the same levels of enthusiasm for the players in their new home.

 

CoD: CWL Stage 1 Finals

2nd April 2016

After securing ourselves a place in the second Stage of the Call of Duty World League (CWL) with a 5th place finish in the online league, we were invited to CWL [EU] Stage 1 Finals in Cologne, Germany. Our matches were played on Saturday, the day after the Relegation Tournament in which Team Vitality, Exertus eSports, Giants Gaming and LDLC secure their own spots for Stage 2, congratulations to them for qualifying! Attention then turned to the play-offs, held the next day. To warm up, Coach Bainsy organised an €80 BO7 wager vs. Team Infused, in which we were able to secure a 4-2 victory, which gave the players a high level of confidence going in to our crucial play-off game against league rivals Splyce.

After a demoralising loss last time played Splyce at the EGL LAN event earlier in the month, in which we allowed them to comeback to win 3-2 after taking a 2-0 lead in the series, a strong start was needed. We began the best of 7 series with Fringe Hardpoint and we got the start we needed taking down Splyce and giving us the marginal advantage in the series. We went back to Fringe for map 2 as we tested our Search and Destroy skills, a mode that has proved to be our downfall on several occasions during the season. The map was very close, going all the way to round 11. Unfortunately Splyce were able to take the map 6-5 and tie up the series 1-1.

Map three saw us competing on Breach Uplink, with Splyce starting stronger and taking a 5-3 lead in the first half. We fought hard to try and pull in front but our efforts were to no avail. We conceded the map 5-7 and went down 2-1 in the series. CTF Stronghold was the game of choice for the fourth map and the game, as expected, was incredibly close. So close in fact, an overtime was needed after a 1-1 draw in regulation time. However exceL.CoD held strong and took the victory in OT, tying the series 2-2. With the chance to go up in the series once again, the boys dominated Search and Destroy Hunted 6-3, with an impressive 18 combined kills between Nolson and QwiKeR, giving us the series lead for the second time. Due to the best-of-7 format, we took to Hardpoint once again. Unfortunately, after a strong start from Splyce, we were unable to make the nearly 100 point comeback and lost the map 234-250. With the series tied 3-3 we were forced in to a final Search and Destroy. With both teams fighting for their place in the semi finals, it was a heated battle, and despite us taking a 4-0 lead we were unable to capitalise and the game eventually went, as many had hoped for, to a Round 11. Unfortunately the last map curse that plagued our season in the online league transferred over to LAN and we conceded the map 5-6 and the series 3-4. GGs to Splyce for one of the most incredible series seen yet on Black Ops 3. exceL.CoD, consisting of Zach 'Zed' Denyer, Brian 'Braaain' Fairlamb, Nick 'Nolson' Nolson and Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney, finished 5-6th overall for stage 1. Thank you to all of our followers for your continued support of us and the team throughout the season, stay tuned to our Social Media for updates regarding all things exceL eSports!

 

GoW: The Cogs are Turning

2nd April 2016

This article has been written to give everyone a general update of where exceL.GoW are currently at and what they have been up to in the past few months, starting with AM2PRO 4.

AM2PRO 4 – Blackpool – Gears of War – 12th/13th March 2016

Coming into AM2PRO 4, exceL.GoW were arguably the favourites, or at least in everyone’s Top 3 predictions. The competition was fierce with the likes of strong online performers eQ, E4 and Fragment turning up for the event.

(Group Stages) After going 2-0 in Group C vs Prosperity and Cutting Edge in comfortable wins, we had to play Fragment to decide who would top the group. This match-up was what many thought could be the Grand Final. An extremely hotly contested match saw Fragment come out 2-1, 4-3 last map victors. We took 2nd in the group.

(Winners Bracket) Our Winners Bracket run saw us take out Nova 3-0 before we had to face the high-flyers eQ. This one went the distance as well, only for eQ to take it 3-2, 4-3 last map again! A theme was developing.

(Losers Bracket) After taking out Enigma comfortably 3-0, it was time to face possibly our fiercest rivals in E4. This time a 3-2, 4-3 last map went our way! We had secured Top 4. Ironically our next match against Evo was a much easier match-up and after a convincing win we were back to play Fragment to see who would advance to the Grand Final vs eQ who had dominated the Winners Bracket. You guessed it. Our event came to an end in another 4-3 last map loss! Fragment clutched up for the second time against us to knock us out of the tournament and give us a final placement of 3rd. Check out our photos page to see some of the pictures from the event.

Reflections & What’s Next

The team and the organisation were fairly happy with the 3rd placement despite feeling like we could’ve gone on to win the event. It was clear that to get to the next level it was necessary to bring in some experience to the line-up. It is with this that we had to say goodbye to the very talented Kieran ‘Matrix’ Kinsley and pick up a player who fit more comfortably into the line-up.

Thus, we would like to announce our brand new 4th in the form of Charlie ‘xL Chucky’ Brown! Chucky is a well-known player in European Gears of War, winning EGL 14 (the previous event on GoW: Ultimate Edition). It is with his experience that exceL.GoW now push on in their goal to bring home an event win for exceL. The next events for exceL.GoW look to be SFCO in Paris (June) and Am2Pro 5 in Blackpool (July).

Until then, focus was back to online for exceL.GoW and back to competing in Doesplay and ESL tournaments. After an impressive string of online ESL performances, exceL.GoW built up enough points and clinched a spot in the Top 4 European teams which will compete in this Sunday’s (03/04/2016) ESL Showdown! This should prove to be a great day of European Gears of War and you can watch it all unfold on our very own Joshua ‘xL Trinder’ Fagan’sstream. Don’t forget we are giving away a ‘Neptune’ Community Skin (details of the giveaway can be foundhere), and the winner will be announced LIVE during Trinder’s Sunday Stream - we hope to see you there!

 

FIFA: PlayLikeALegend Season 2, Stage 2

29th March 2016

This past weekend saw Gfinity and XboxUK host the second stage of Season 2 of the PlayLikeALegend FIFA Ultimate Team LAN event series. Twelve of the world's best players qualified through a series of weekly online tournaments to book their spot at arguably the highest calibre FUT tournament ever. exceL eSports had two representatives at the tournament: Sean 'xL Dragonn' Allen, who qualified for the first stage also; and Anton 'xL Guigsey' McGuigan, who enjoyed plenty of success during Season 1 of PLAL on FIFA15 and who was making his first appearance on the pro circuit for FIFA16. Sam 'xL Poacher' Carmody, who qualified for stage one, unfortunately missed out on qualification this time round - it was Anton who pipped him to the post! 

The format was different for the first time ever at a PLAL tournament. Traditionally all games are played over two legs, but in a bid to shorten the time the tournament takes, group matches were to be played out over one leg. With only three players in each group, players need at least one win in 90 FIFA minutes to have a chance at progressing. Unfortunately for Anton, he was drawn in a group with eventual Champion Spencer 'Gorilla' Ealing of Epsilon eSports and Team Vitality's RocKy, who would go on to finish 4th overall. Anton put in impressive performances against both but lost by a two goal margin in each match. 

Despite the tough group Anton was drawn in to, it was Sean's group, consisting of the ever-present figure Tass of Team Dignitas and former World Champion Agge Rosenmeir, that many were calling the group of death. Sean put in a convincing performance against Tass in his first game and came away with a 3-0 victory, despite feeling the effects of jet lag from his recent trip to New York for the FIFA Interactive World Cup. His second game was a tighter affair, ending 1-1 after 90 minutes with Agge scoring late on to take the game in to Silver Goal. Sean stepped up the pressure on his opponent and scored three fast goals whilst conceding only one in a frantic 45 minute half. That was enough however to see Sean top his group and draw Anton's earlier opponent, Vitality RocKy, in the Quarter Finals. Back to traditional two-leg format, Sean took an early two goal lead but soon lost control of the game, seeing RocKy, albeit with some fortunate FIFA-esque luck in some cases, score four goals in quick succession. The second leg was well underway before Sean was able to pull a couple of goals back, but RocKy score a winner late on in the second half to take the match 5-4 and progress to the Semi Finals, seeing Sean finish T8 overall.

A disappointing affair for exceL.FIFA overall, however with stage three just round the corner we will have a prime opportunity to stamp our authority back on the European FIFA scene and hopefully bring home a LAN event win. Stay tuned to all of our social media and to this website for updates on all of our team's performances.

 

LoL: Multiplay's i57 Report

28th March 2016

Insomnia57 saw 15 teams compete in the League of Legends tournament and was the first LAN for the exceL team. Using Exabyte as a substitute, they went into the tournament off the back of many weeks of practice having been knocked out of the ESL Premiership Promotion tournament. Their first game came against GLB Blue and they successfully took the victory to start the weekend strong.

Their next group game was against Exertus, one of the favourites for the weekend. Having led at the 15 minute mark, the experience of the Exertus roster prevailed, resulting in a loss. However, due to a no-show as the last team in the group, exceL beat GLB to second place to secure a spot in the bracket on Saturday. The first bracket game was against Renegades: Banditos, arguably the best team in the UK having narrowly missed out on an EU Challenger Series place. Unfortunately Renegades took the game 2-0, causing exceL to drop into the losers-bracket to fight for survival. In the losers-bracket excel came up against a strong Choke side, the first game was taken by Choke in convincing fashion. Going into the second, exceL made a very strong start, the bot lane of exceL really showing what they can do and propelling to a 5k gold lead at 10 minutes. Unfortunately they were not able to capitalise and after several, unfortunate, unforced errors, Choke took the series 2-0.

For a first LAN tournament for the exceL roster and missing their ADC, Sebla, Top 8 is a position they can be content with. They can go back home knowing that they have progressed a whole lot in the past month, and they will be a roster to look out for in the coming months. 

 

Halo: World Championship 2016

21st March 2016

This weekend saw the world’s greatest Halo players come together in Los Angeles to compete for one of the largest prize pools that console eSports has seen. The Halo World Championships saw teams with a global reach battle it out for over $2.5 million in prize money and we were privileged to have a talented young team representing our brand at the competition.

Our team consisted of Arkel ‘Snakey’ Brown, Casey ‘Lunny’ Lunn, Max ‘Riotz’ NAME and Kyle ‘CreepeazY’ Thompson, coached by the fantastic Leuis ‘Prsma’ Charles. The team qualified through the EMEA finals held at the ESL studios in Cologne, Germany earlier this year, where they registered a 2nd place finish losing only to Team Infused in the Grand Final. An impressive achievement in itself, considering the team had been formed less than a month and only qualified for the EMEA tournament after the ‘Last Chance Qualifier’ held online and hosted by Gfinity. Our previous team, still containing Snakey and Lunny, had attended the Halo UK Championships at the Gfinity studios in London, however a 4th place finish wasn’t enough to qualify for EMEA and it was at this point the team changes were made ahead of that all-important last chance qualifier.

Having been drawn in the same group as Chosen Squad (#1 LATAM), Team Allegiance (#4 NA) and Team Liquid (#8 NA), a tough set of matches was to be expected. The tournament began on the Friday, only a day after the players arriving and that may have contributed to the team’s starting match against the North Americans, Team Liquid. 

Kicking off day 1, our first match came against Team Liquid, a team of veteran Halo players who came out the blocks flying taking Fathom Capture the Flag 3-0. Team Liquid continued into map 2 - Coliseum Team Slayer -  just as they had finished map one, coming out convincing winners 50-24. Despite the team’s efforts, Team Liquid’s veteran squad proved to be too much for exceL.Halo who fell 100-3 on Eden Strongholds and ultimately losing the first series 3-0.

With little time to dwell on the series loss to Liquid, exceL.Halo came out in the first map strong against Chosen Squad seeming to have shaken off the issues from the first match up. Despite heavy power weapon control for parts of the game, the team were unable to capitalise and fell 3-1 on Coliseum CTF. Rallying together, exceL.Halo managed to take Team Slayer on The Rig 50-43 despite a few nervy moments whilst waiting on the final few kills they managed to close it out and secure their first map win of the Halo World Championships. Having gained some confidence, they pushed on a took Eden Strongholds 100-55 with [Insert player name] coming up with a triple kill for the play of the game! With a chance to round out the series, the teams took to Truth Capture the Flag with exceL taking a commanding 2-0 lead. Running what was thought to be the third and final flag to wrap up a 3-0 CTF win, Chosen took over the blue base and stopped the flag a stone's throw away to extend the map further even getting a counter capture to bring themselves back into the game. With both the series and the map well positioned at 2-1 in exceL’s favour, the team managed to pull of the final vital kills and allow for [Insert player name] to bring home the final flag to round off the map -and the series - 3-1. Rounding off day 1 with a 1-1 record we were tied alongside Team Allegiance for 2nd place in the group leaving things finely poised for the match up to come on day 2.  

With qualification still possible, we took on Team Allegiance with the victor moving into bracket play. Day 2 got off to a similar start as the previous day but having put up much more of a fight, exceL still dropped the first map - Rig Strongholds -  100-59. Team slayer did not go much better for the team as they fell just short of taking map 2 and in turn getting themselves back into the series. Fathom CTF presented exceL.Halo’s last chance to get back into the best of 5 series, but despite putting up a valiant effort, Allegiance proved too strong taking the map 3 flags to 1. That result sealed our fate and sent the team out of the tournament only managing to get 3rd place in our group with an overall record of 1-2.

The culmination of this tournament marks the end of an intense and emotional journey for exceL.Halo, originally formed only weeks before the qualifiers for the UK Championships. We have thoroughly enjoyed supporting our team(s) through the Halo Championship Series competitions and look forward to continuing our presence in European competitive Halo. Thank you to all of our partners for their continued support and for enabling us to support such a fantastic team. Stay tuned to this website and all of our social media channels for continued updates on all matters concerning exceL eSports!

 

Partnership Announcement: Supporterly

19th March 2016

This week we are delighted to announce our partnership with eSports focussed crowdfunding website, Supporterly! In conjunction with our partnership we have also collaborated with the Supporterly team to launch our first crowdfunding hub. This is an exciting venture that we have been considering through alternative platforms for a while and as soon as Supporterly got in touch and showed us their ideas for supporting the wider eSports industry, we were delighted to be able to participate in their launch campaign.

Managing Director Joel Holmes-Darby had this to say:

“I’m a great believer in entrepreneurial ventures that have clearly aligning goals making an effort to help and support each other. This joint venture with Supporterly is a superb example of that and I’m an advocate of their ambitions within the eSports industry and feel that the “hub” we have created will give fans an opportunity to directly support exceL eSports, its staff and our players.”

You can view the exceL eSports Supporterly hub by clicking here. We hope to be adding to our current reward offerings over the coming weeks – if you have anything in particular you would like to see them leave us a comment, Tweet us or email us at Info@excelesports.com. 

 

FIFA: Interactive World Cup (FIWC)


19th March 2016

This weekend, one of exceL’s professional FIFA players Sean ‘xL Dragon’ Allen competed at the coveted and prestigious FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC). Hosted in New York, the annual tournament sees some of the world’s greatest FIFA talents brought together to compete across both major console platforms – Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The competition is played in the “Head to Head” format, as opposed to the popular FIFA Ultimate Team, but players will be restricted to using International teams only. Players fly out to the North American city this Sunday and will be competing over two days starting from Monday 21st March 2016.


The tournament is widely regarded as the biggest in the annual FIFA eSports calendar, with the players competing for $20,000 and a trip to FIFA’s annual Ballon d’Or, where the world’s greatest football players converge to reveal the best player for that year. 32 individuals will enter the tournament on Monday, 16 competing on XB1 and 16 on PS4. The winners of each tournament will meet in the Grand Final, with one leg played on Xbox and the other on PlayStation, resulting in the undisputed FIFA world champion.


Dragon joined exceL eSports earlier this year and has so far represented us at the Gfinity and XboxUK #PlayLikeALegend Season 2, Stage 1 tournament (in addition to Sam ‘xL Poacher’ Carmody) and will be competing at next weekend’s Stage 2 tournament alongside fellow team mate and long-term exceL representative Anton ‘xL Anton’ McGuigan. We caught up with Dragon to ask how he was feeling ahead of his flight to New York to compete and this is what he had to say:


“Words cannot describe how I am feeling. It is literally a dream come true, I have been trying since FIFA 2008 and now I feel I finally have the chance that I deserve. I’m just looking forward to getting out to New York, meeting all of the international players I haven’t met before and of course, competing in the biggest FIFA tournament that there is."


All of us here at exceL eSports are incredibly excited for Sean and wish him the best of luck over the coming days. For updates on Dragon’s progress keep an eye on all of our social media channels and stay tuned to this website over the coming days!  

 

CoD: EGL London $25k Review

14th March 2016

On the 5th of March 2016, exceL.CoD were invited to compete in the EGL $25,000 Challenger tournament hosted in London. We were put in a group with Lucendi Gaming, Exertus eSports and Team Menace. Our first group match was against Lucendi Gaming off-stream. With a best of 3 format for the group stages, mistakes must be kept to minimum in order to prevail. We began our group run by taking the series 2-1 over Lucendi Gaming, dropping the Uplink. Once again off-stream we faced the Finnish based Team Menace. We were able to swiftly take the series 2-0 and therefore a establish a 2-0 record moving into our final group match, which would eventually decide the group winner. We came up against rival British organisations Exertus eSports. The team's goals coming in to the event including proving why we are in the Call of Duty World League, and we did just that with yet another convincing 2-0 victory. A 3-0 record saw us top our group, meaning we would play a group runner up in our first game of the single elimination knockout stages.

Moving into the knockout stages, which would all be best of 5 series, we came up against French juggernauts HyperGames. We began on fire in the series with a massive 250-114 Hardpoint victory, Nick ‘Nolson’ Nolson with a very impressive 2:40 on the hill. Moving into Search and Destroy Infection we were looking unstoppable. We proved this with hard evidence as we dominated the map 6-2, giving us a 2-0 series lead and being 1 map away from advancing. With the momentum gained from the previous map, HyperGames were unable to hold on and we took the Uplink 11-9 despite a late scare in which the French scored four points in the last forty seconds. Victory put us in to the Quarter Finals, where would now play CWL rivals SplycePro.

The exceL boys were ready to face-off against the Top 4 CWL team after having already recorded two victories against them in the league. Hardpoint Fringe was up first, again with the match disappointingly being played off-Stream, and tension in the room was high for players, managers and spectators alike. The news came through that exceL.CoD had dominated the map 250-137, with Brian ‘Brain’ Fairlamb and Zach ‘Zed’ Denyer combining for 82 kills! 41 a piece. With the boys looking better than ever, we went into Search and Destroy Stronghold. Once again the anticipation of waiting for the results to come through set in, Splyce and exceL fans not physically at the event awaited the news. The notification rang and a 6-2 in our favour was the score, with another massive game once again from Brain, dropping eight kills in return for only four deaths. Map 3 was one of the most important Uplinks the team had ever had to face. Unfortunately the pressure proved too much and we conceded the map on Infection 4-8, with one impressive spawn trap proving the difference maker. There was still a 2-1 series lead in our favour, all we had to do was close the CTF out to move on. Once again we were unable to clutch up and take the map, losing 1-3 despite an impressive first half. It all rested on a game 5 Search and Destroy, and we all know how they end for us. The exceL game 5 curse unfortunately continued and we lost the map with a close 4-6 score. GGs to SpylcePro, we were now unable to proceed any further in the tournament. We were given the option to play Rampage Tempo for T6 but, due to TCM forfeiting their game against Exertus in the opposite fixture, we decided to do the same. Overall a disappointing finish but nonetheless excellent practice for the upcoming CWL play-off event in Cologne. Thanks to EGL and Activision for the invitation and for hosting another high quality Call of Duty event.

Stay tuned on our website and in contact via Twitter and Facebook for updates and news regarding all of our eSports teams!

 

CoD: CWL Week 9 Recap

13th March 2016

For the final week of season 1 we saw ourselves facing off against the French Team Vitality and British TCM Gaming. We took to Hardpoint Stronghold for the first map against the French. We showed our incredible slaying power and dominated the map with a 250-182 win. Riding  our momentum from the first map, we came out all guns blazing in Search and Destroy with Zach 'Zed' Denyer killing everything he saw, finishing 12-3 and seeing us take the map 6-3 overall. With the potential to close the series against Vitality 3-0 once again, we moved into Uplink Evac. The game was very back and forth, trading points and kills for around 8 minutes. Unfortunately V did stand for Victory this time as they stole it from us 7-5. With the series standing at 2-1 the advantage was still with us. CTF Breach was map 4 and the game followed a very similar tone to the Uplink, all the way to the 10 minute mark at which point the score was tied 2-2. We were, however, able to clutch up and take the CTF in overtime, meaning we took the series 3-1.

We took on TCM Gaming as our final online game in season 1. TCM were fighting for the place at Season 1 play offs., whereas we had already secured 5th position and our place at Stage 1 play-offs. Nick 'Nolson' Nolson was also unfortunately taken ill, meaning Dave 'Dqvee' Davis was asked to play in his first appearance of the CWL (thank you Exertus for loaning him to us for the evening). Evac Hardpoint was the first map of the series and TCM came out fighting. The map came down to the wire, but we were unable to clutch up, giving TCM a 227-250 victory. We needed to shut TCM down before they gained any more momentum. We were unable to do so however, with TCM showing why they should be in the league after a 6-3 win on Fringe Search and Destroy. With the thought of being 3-0'd and losing to TCM once again, we needed to pull something out of the bag. Unfortunately TCM's form continued and we lost the Uplink Breach 9-2, meaning they took the series 3-0. GGs to TCM and Vitality.

We have now finished Stage 1 of the Call of Duty World League in 5th place and as a result have qualified for the Stage 1 play-offs and guaranteed a place in Stage 2. GGs to all the teams we have played in the CWL. Congratulations to Zach 'Zed' Denyer, Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney, Nick 'Nolson' Nolson and Brian 'Braaain' Fairlamb for qualifying and doing all of exceL eSports proud. As always, stay in contact via Twitter and Facebook for news and updates regarding our Call of Duty and all of our other eSports teams.

 

CoD: CWL Week 8 Recap

6th March 2016

We began week 8 of the CWL against the top 4 Epsilon eSports. We took to Fringe Hardpoint for the first map and began very strong. The exceL.CoD boys continued to slay and took the map 250-195. A massive win for the team. Credit to Zach 'Zed' Denyer for an incredible 41-29 gameplay. We moved into Epsilons comfort zone in Search and Destroy Evac. Rounds began trading all the way to a tied 4-4. Unfortunately The Epsi boys were able to clutch up and take the map 6-4. Leaving a tied 1-1 series. Uplink Breach was just a close, going all the way to overtime with a tied 8-8 scoreline. Epsilon scored first, putting the pressure on us. But with an incredible slide and throw from Brian 'Brain' Fairlamb, we were able to score in a quicker time and take the map! Moving on to Map 4, Stronghold CTF, Epsilon showed us why they are a potentially a number 1 team and took the map 2-0. Map 5 was now on the cards and we were feeling confident. The story was the same from the previous Search and Destroy, all the way up to round 11, the dreaded but exciting 5-5. Sadly the map came to an end as we conceded the final round, meaning we lost the series 2-3. The boys faced the Spanish Giants Gaming for their second game of the week. After our previous loss against Giants we were hungry for revenge. Breach Hardpoint was first up. With the thought of another loss in our minds we came out and dominated, taking the map 250-135. 1-0 to exceL.CoD. Search and Destroy Redwood was map 2, rounds were very close, with both teams showing their worth. Unfortunately we were unable to clutch up and conceded the map 3-6. Giants used the momentum from their previous map win and dominated the Uplink Infection with a 7-0 scoreline. Leaving us down 1-2 in the series. With, statistically speaking, Giants Gamings best game mode up next, exceL.CoD really needed to pull something special. We did just that, taking an enormous 6-0 win. One of he highest score differences in the CWL. Once again we went into a game 5 Search and Destroy. We came out with force and took over the kill feed, forcing the Spanish to do the impossible. We were able to do what we couldn't do before and close out the final Search and Destroy 6-2. Giving us a 3-2 victory in the series and a 1-1 record for the week. Next week we take the season one for the final time against Team Vitality and TCM gaming. Stay connected via Twitter and Facebook for updates regarding our CoD and other eSports teams. GGs to all!

 

CoD: CWL Week 7 Recap

28th February 2016

We began week 7 of the Call of Duty World League by taking on top 4 team SplycePro. The last time we met we won 3-1 and went into this game hoping for similar results. Hardpoint Stronghold was written on the cards for map one and it began very level, with a tied 148-148 scoreline after 5 or so minutes. The next two minutes were crucial and we asserted our dominance by pulling away and taking the map with a 250-214 win. We quickly moved onto to Search and Destroy Hunted for the first time of the CWL. The initial style of play from both teams guaranteed entertainment and anticipation as rounds were traded back and forth all the way to 5-5. With a massive round from Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney, We were able to close out the Search and Destroy and take a 2-0 series lead. With every intention of closing the series out 3-0, the boys came out strong with a 5-3 lead over the first half of Evac Uplink. Unfortunately SplycePro were able to save themselves from the 3-0 and take the map 13-5, leaving the series at 2-1. With the thought of yet another game 5 on exceL.CoD's minds, they knew the series needed to be closed out here. This motive proved its worth as we took a massive 2-0 capture and possession of a Wraith, thanks to Nick 'Nolson' Nolson, on the first half of CTF Fringe. We proved too much for Splyce as we extended further, taking the map 4-0 and the series 3-1 once again. Credit to Nolson and Zach 'Zed' Denyer for a combined 47-22 K/D on map 4!

With the chance of going 2-0 for the week, we went into Wednesday with hopes of taking down the French based Team Vitality. We hopped straight into Hardpoint Evac where the beginning looked grim as we saw Vitality begin with a dominating 92-4 lead. A switch was flicked and the exceL.CoD boys burst into life as fought to tie the score at 97 a piece. The score stayed very close up to the 200 mark, but we were able to prevail and take the map 250-204. Riding the momentum of Map 1, the boys dominated Search and Destroy Redwood with a 6-2 Victory, with Zach 'Zed' Denyer holding a 2.00 K/D at 12/6. Once again with the chance to close a series out 3-0, we saw a 7-1 lead in our favor on the first half of Uplink Fringe. However, Vitality came back fighting in the second half and took a 9-8 lead with 2 and a half minutes remaining. With the boys on the back foot and Vitality holding strong things were looking grim. But with a massive break of Vitality's setup from Zed, we were able to score and relay 4 points, we took the map with a score of 12-9. V did not stand for Victory for Vitality this week as we take the series 3-0. GG's to them!

We now stand 8-6 in the Call of Duty World League and play British powerhouse Epsilon eSports and the Spanish Giants Gaming in week 8. Stay updated and connected via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for news regarding all of our teams. 

 

CoD: CWL Week 6 Recap

20th February 2016

We began Week 6 of the CWL by playing the British TCM Gaming. We went to Breach Hardpoint for the first map and took a commanding 100 point lead in the first half. Unfortunately TCM were able to hold strong and come back to win the map 250-166. Putting us down 1-0. We moved straight into Infection Search and Destroy where TCM continued their dominance as they took the map 6-3, seeing exceL.CoD concede the second map of the series. With game 3 possibly being the final map, we needed to pull of the win with hopes of winning the series. We went back to Breach for Uplink and the first half was promising 8-3. The momentum from the previous half was obvious as the boys were able to take the map easily with a 13-7 win. We continued to play for our series life as we moved to CTF Fringe. The map ended with a 1-1 score line which meant we moved to overtime. With a massive game from Nolson we were able to capture within 1:31. The team were able to hold off TCM and win the map. We went to map 5 and unfortunately lost 6-1 on Redwood. Meaning we lost the series 3-2.

On Wednesday we played the French team PuLse gaming. Fringe Hardpoint was the first map and the boys began strong. With over an 100 point lead after 4 minutes. We took the map 250-99 even after Brian 'Braaain' Fairlamb experiencing connection issues at the end of the game. The Search and Destroy Breach was extremely close, going all the way to round 11. It was looking bleak as Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney and Brian 'Braaain' Fairlamb were left in a 2-4 situation. However they were able to go against the odds and win the map with a massive clutch. 2-0 up, the exceL.CoD team were looking the close the series out flawlessly on Evac Uplink. The first side ended 4-8 and the boys were looking strong. The game got out of had in the second half as the score went to 19-6. This meant the series came to an end 3-0 and left us 1-1 once again for the week.

We move into Week 7 6-6 as we find ourselves against the French Team Vitality and The current leaders SplycePro. Stay connected via Twitter and Facebook for news on exceL eSports teams including the Call of Duty squad and many more.

 

Partnership Announcement: Twitch and Scuf Gaming

15th February 2016

Today we are delighted to make a double partnership announcement. Firstly, we are proud to confirm we have agreed a partnership arrangement with one of the world's leading streaming platform, Twitch.tv. This partnership will allow us to increase our audience by enabling our players and staff to stream on a more supported platform and will allow them to receive subscriptions from members of the public who want to show their support. We are delighted to represent Twitch and would like to thank them for their support and faith that they have shown in us as an organisation. Please visit our Twitch channel and click 'Follow' to see all streamed content coming from our main channel and additionally check out the 'Streams' tab on this website for a list of all of the players' streams.

We are also pleased to announce we have signed a renewed deal with Scuf Gaming and will be continuing to work with them throughout 2016. Scuf have been a valuable partner to us and we would also like to thank them for their continued support and look forward to representing them at all upcoming events. Be sure to visit Scuf Gaming for more information on their products - please use code exceL for 5% off your purchases.

 

CoD: CWL Week 5 Recap

13th February 2016

Week 5 began with exceL.CoD taking on the French team LDLC. Stronghold Hardpoint was up first and the boys started very strong in the first 3 minutes with a 101-45 score. LDLC did begin to claw back some time after a good hold on the next two hardpoints. However exceL were able to win the map in a convincing 250-160 victory, with Nick 'Nolsonn' Nolson having an incredible game with a 43-19 K/D. We took to Search and Destroy Fringe next and the French began strong by taking the score to 5-2 in their favour. We were able to answer back with one more round but LDLC closed the map out with a 6-3 score, guaranteeing at least a map 4. The first half of uplink began strong for exceL with a 5-0 lead after the first half. However the second half was out of control with the boys scoring 13 points and Zach 'Zed' Denyer with a 31-10 K/D helping secure an 18-0 victory for the boys - the biggest Uplink score seen in the Europe CWL yet! Map 4 was Evac CTF and we saw LDLC take the first flag of the game after 2 minutes of  the first half. We were however able to answer back at the end of the first half and tie it up 1-1. After 3 and a half further minutes into the second half we captured another 2-1 after an impressive wall run route from Zed. We were able to keep the lead for the remaining time and took the map 2-1, giving us an overall series win at 3-1.

Game 2 saw us compete in the rematch against the widely proclaimed "God Squad" Millenium. After the 3-1 loss against Millenium last week, we were fired up to comeback and win this series. Evac Hardpoint was the first map and we came out strong in the first half, achieving over double of Millenium's points with a 134-56 score. The boys continued the dominance and ended the map with a 250-154 win. We then stepped into Search and Destroy and Millenium proved their strength on this game mode by swiftly taking the victory 6-0 over exceL.CoD, leaving the series tied at 1-1. We moved onto Fringe Uplink and the first half was very close, ending with a 5-4 score to us. We took to the second half with confidence, scoring 4 points without Millenium scoring any. With 2 minutes left, Millenium began the comeback and prevailed, they took the score to 9-10 and stole the map. With CTF up next and our series lives on the line, we needed to clutch up. After no captures for 9 and a half minutes, Zach 'Zed' Denyer broke the Millenium setup with a Hellstorm, allowing Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney to run the flag and capture it with 8 seconds left. This saw us win the map 1-0 and go to a game 5. We stepped into Evac once again, this time for a Search and Destroy. Rounds were traded until the score was tied at 3-3. But unfortunately, once again, Millenium clutched up and won 3 rounds in a row meaning they took the map 6-3 and the series 3-2.

We ended Week 5 with a 1-1 record. Next week we take on TCM Gaming and the French PuLse Gaming. Stay connected via Twitter and Facebook for news on exceL eSports teams including the Call of Duty squad and many more.

 

FIFA: PlayLikeALegend Season 2, Stage 1

13th February 2016

This past Saturday saw two of exceL.FIFA's talented stars, Sean 'Dragonn' Allen and Sam 'Poacher' Carmody compete in the XboxUK #PlayLikeALegend 2016 Stage 1 tournament, live from the Gfinity Arena in Fulham Broadway, London.

A tough group draw saw Dragon facing off against former Champion Vitality Brian and oB Afro, one of Sweden's hottest talents. Poacher also was pitted in a difficult group, with 2015's most achieved player Epsilon Gorilla and the French Vicente from team Supremecy. Dragon's games were up first, with his first leg tie against oB Afro ending in an exciting 3-3 draw, with Dragon pulling it back from being 0-2 down after just 15 in-game minutes. The second leg unfortunately went in Afro's favour, giving him the tie in a 5-4 overall score and meaning Dragon had to beat Vitality Brian to make it out of the group stages. However, Dragon wasn't able to do so and a frustrating tie saw Brian take a 3-0 win overall, knocking Dragon out of the tournament. Dragon's opponents went on to finish 3rd and 4th in the tournament overall, showing the calibre of opposition he faced in his groups.

Poacher was up next and had potentially the hardest first game of the tournament against the eventual winner Epsilon Gorilla. Gorilla took the thrilling series 9-3 overall, with a dominant second leg display. This left Poacher needing a win against Vicente in a match that had everything from missed chances, goals at either ends and even an Admin dispute after Vicente broke a rule. The game went to Silver Goal and Poacher equalised in the 44th minute to take it to Golden Goal, where 10 minutes in to the second half he managed to seal the deal and advance to the Quarter Finals.

Finishing second in his group, Poacher was drawn against AggeRosenmeier, former World Champion and FIWC qualifier. Despite a strong display, Poacher just could not get on the scoresheet and the series went 4-0 in Agge's favour, a performance that would spur him on to the Grand Final. Poacher's defeat saw him finish T8, but consolation can be taken from his good performances and the fact he only lost to the two eventual finalists of the competition.

Thanks again to Gfinity for another great event, we hope to be back for Stage 2 later in the year and hope that xL Anton and xL Marlutz can also secure qualification and give exceL.FIFA a full house at the next tournament!

 

CoD: CWL Week 4 Recap

6th February 2016

We began week 4 of the CWL with a mountain to climb as we faced off against Call of Duty giants Millenium. We took to Fringe Hardpoint for the first map. The initial 5 minutes were tied, with 150-150 scoreline. However Millenium came out on top after an impressive slaying performance from Swanny, Seeing exceL.CoD go 0-1 down after a final score of 194-250. Map 2, Breach Search and Destroy, began a lot more convincingly with the boys winning the first 4 rounds. Millenium countered with 3 rounds of their own, but it was not enough as we closed the map out 6-3, leaving the series tied 1-1 and making us the first team to win an SnD against Millenium this season (bar a forfeit vs Vitality). Uplink was next and the momentum of the previous map win was obvious as we took a 4-1 lead after the first half, with Zach 'Zed' Denyer and Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney combining for a 38-15 K/D. Unfortunately Millenium clutched up once again and scored 5 points to our 0 in the second half, taking the map 4-6. Our series life lay with CTF Evac. We were able to get on the board first but Millenium swiftly answered back with a counter. The score sat at 1-1 going into the second half and stayed that way for the remaining 5 minutes. Overtime was unfortunately won by Millenium and they closed the series 3-1.

Wednesday saw us take on another 1st place contender of the CWL, Epsilon eSports. Breach Hardpoint was Map 1. Epsilon began strong by taking a 159-78 point lead leaving exceL.CoD to play catchup. We were able to claw back to a smaller 50 point deficit with a 153-203 point game. Unfortunately Epsilon were able to close the game out 250-197, seeing us lose the Hardpoint once again and going 0-1 down in the series. Search and Destroy Evac was fairly close at the beginning with a 3-3 round count. Rounds were traded and the score moved to 4-4. The boys were able to bring their own clutch factor to the map and ended with a 6-4 win, tying the series up 1-1 and securing another SnD win for our boys, a game-mode we struggled with towards the start of the season. The first half of Breach Uplink was perfectly even and ended with a tied 4-4 scoreline. Epsilon struck first on the second half with a 1 point play which was quickly countered by exceL dunking for 2. However Epsilon scored two further throws, putting the score at 6-7. With 13 seconds left, QwiKeR ran the satellite to the enemy base but was unable to score before being killed. Meaning Epsilon took a 1-2 lead. Once again CTF was our last hope. Unfortunately, Epsilon proved too strong and captured 1 flag in the first 45 seconds of each half, whereas we were unable to score any. This meant Epsilon closed the series 3-1 and left us 0-2 for the week.

Next week we take on the French team LDLC and then Millenium once again. Stay in contact via Twitter and Facebook for new updates regarding exceL eSports Call of Duty World League journey and other information regarding all of our eSports teams.

 

FIFA: Unleash the Dragon

6th February 2016

exceL eSports is delighted to welcome the latest addition to our ever-present FIFA team, Sean 'Dragon' Allen. On FIFA 15, Sean had a lot of success in a variety of tournaments, finishing T4 in #PlayLikeALegend Season 1, runner-up at ESWC and winning the UK Premier Gaming £1,000 event. With the recent departure from Graham from our team and with Anton and Marlut narrowly missing out on places at the Gfinity and XboxUK #PlayLikeALegend 2 tournament next weekend, we set out to bolster our ranks once again. The arrival of Sean ensures that the PLAL2 LAN event on Saturday 13th February, live from the Gfinity Arena in London, we will have double representation with Sean attending, in addition to Sam 'Poacher' Carmody who will also be representing exceL.FIFA.

Managing Director Joel Holmes-Darby commented on the addition of Sean to our team:

"I am delighted to be able to bring Sean on board with us. Ever since I first started attending FIFA events last year he was always a player I was sure I would work with in the future. He's talented and was also a close friend of the players we had at the time. He's started really strongly on FIFA 16 and I look forward to bringing the best out in him at PLAL2 and future events this year."

We asked Sean to comment on his decision to join exceL eSports and his expectations for PLAL2:

"I'd be silly not to say I expect anything less than a win at PLAL2. I've had a lot of success in online tournaments and have beaten all of the top players. I feel like I've hit my peak and am confident I can produce my first proper Championship win. In my opinion, exceL eSports are the quickest upcoming organisation in eSports. I've also met Joel a few times and he is a great guy and I am definitely looking forward to working with him."

 

CSGO: Official Team Announcement

6th February 2016

exceL eSports is proud to announce it's return to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene in the UK and would like to officially welcome our roster to the organisation. After discussions with Barrage eSports, we have agreed to pick up their (now) former roster to join our ranks. The T10 ranked UK team recently had a strong 9-12th finish at the previous iSeries LAN and are currently competing in the ESEA Intermediate online league. The team fully intends to qualify for the ESL UK Premiership and have recently won an invitation to the JGL Invitational League in April this year. The team had previously been competing in the CEVO Main division but had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict. Managing Director of exceL eSports, Joel Holmes-Darby, commented on the decision to return to CSGO:

"Returning to CSGO has been something I've been looking to do for a while now. Our first venture in to this particular eSport was incredibly successful, with our team registering a T4 finish in the first ESL UK Premiership (albeit playing under a different name at the finals) and also breaking a world record in a historic match vs Team Xenex. We recently opened our doors to applications from many many teams and when I read Luke's (EMPEROR) application in particular I knew this was a roster I wanted to work with. Thank you also to Hadshot from Barrage for highlighting to me the team's availability and that he had given them permission to approach us."

The addition of a CSGO Roster also gave us an opportunity to welcome a new team Manager, Rhys 'Shnepy' Shepard, a long-term friend of exceL and avid enthusiast of UK CSGO. Rhys had this to say:

“Hello my name is Rhys  (aka Shnepy), I'm from Cardiff, I am currently the Manager of exceL.CSGO and an avid fan of the game myself. I will be assisting the boys through their journey for CEVO Main and ESEA Main. I was also one of the first players to be a part of exceL when they formed their CoD team back in 2014. I look forward to seeing and helping the organisation grow even more over the coming years.”

Team Captain EMPEROR said this about the team's decision to join exceL eSports:

"I cannot explain the excitement to finally be here and onboard. Straight after our initial contact with Joel it only reassured us that we were making the right move. Now that we are here in exceL the lads are really looking to push forward and continue to improve as a team. We are far from where we want to be but with the help of Joel/Kieran and those associated with exceL we really hope show what we can do. We have been given a opportunity to also work with a CS:GO manager in Rhys and we plan to make the most of the resources at our disposal to push on with our improvement. You will see us competing in ESEA-IM, upcoming ESL/EPL qualifiers and JGL Invitational that starts in April, along with LAN events post i57. Again we would like to thank exceL for the chance and we look forward to getting to know everyone here."

The full exceL.CSGO roster will consist of;

The squad will be looking to firmly cement the exceL brand in the UK Counter-Strike scene and we look forward to watching them compete under our brand in the coming months. 

 

Partnership Announcement: G2A.com

1st February 2016

Here at exceL eSports we are always looking to collaborate and form partnerships with other organisations that are as passionate about eSports as we are. With that in mind, it is my pleasure to introduce exceL eSports' newest partner, G2A.com. We have previously represented G2A as an affiliate but are delighted to announce that we have developed our relationship and are now working together behind the scenes to further support our respective agendas. 

For those unaware, G2A is a great way to get your hands on some seriously discounted items, ranging from PSN codes and Xbox Live cards through to full license Steam keys. G2A prides itself as a company made up of gamers who know precisely what gamers want: quick and easy access to the all the digital goods you could possibly desire at stupidly good prices. Thankfully, that's precisely what they deliver, and they do it in style. With a great rewards scheme, 24/7 support and an astronomically healthy amount of their profits going to charity, we are proud to represent G2A as an organisation. 

Head over to G2A.com now and enter the code exceL for a 3% discount! 

 

CoD: CWL Week 3 Recap

1st February 2016

Week 3 resumed the way week 2 ended, with the boys of exceL.CoD taking on British rivals Team Infused. After a 3-0 victory over Infused in the previous week, exceL had the upper hand going into this match. The first map saw us on Evac Hardpoint, with Infused came out strong taking an initial 100 point lead, leaving the score at 23-123. With exceL looking shaky, Infused held onto their lead for a further minute. Then a switch was flicked and we burst into life, clawing back the deficit and bringing the score to an equal 202-202. Unfortunately Team Infused clutched up and ended the map 240-250, seeing them secure a 1-0 lead in the series. Redwood Search and Destory was next and it began with a standard tone of rounds being traded. Once again, which the score tied up 4-4, Infused pulled away and took the map 6-4 putting us down 2-0. With the series on the line we needed to pull something out of the bag in map 3, Fringe Uplink. Team Infused began strong, scoring 4 points in the first half and 1 more in the second. We were only able to score 2 points at the end of the second half, meaning Team Infused won the map 2-5 and subsequently took the series 3-0.


Our second game of the week was against the French squad Team LDLC. Tuesday's loss hit hard and the boys intended to bounce back immediately. Stronghold Hardpoint was up first and we began strong, taking a close to 90 point lead after 4 minutes. Our lead progressively dwindled throughout the end of the game, but we were able to finish off strong with a 250-200 win. Map 2 saw us on Hunted Seach and Destroy for the first time in the CWL. The boys of exceL.CoD dominated, taking a 5-1 lead, although LDLC countered by winning two quick rounds taking the score to 5-3. However, exceL ended map 2 with a 6-3 victory, with a particularly good performance from our very own QwiKeR, who finished with a 10-4 K/D. We went into Map 3, Evac Uplink, with confidence high. This showed immediately as we took a massive 7-0 lead after the first half, including a beautiful piece of individual Scythe play from Nolson (that made it in to the CWL Top 5 Plays of the Week) rounding off the half. With a big lead for LDLC to come back from, the French crumbled under the pressure and only managed to score 2 points in the second half. Overall Map 3 ended 9-2 and brought the series to a 3-0 win for exceL.CoD, giving us a 1-1 record for week 3.

Next week we take on the two top CWL teams, Epsilon and Millenium. Make sure to stay in contact via Twitter and Facebook for news and updates regarding our many teams including exceL.CoD!

 

CoD: CWL Week 2 Recap

22nd January 2016

After the boys claimed flawless 2-0 record in Week 1, confidence was high going into the second week of the Call of Duty World League. Our first match of Week 2 saw us take on the Spanish-based Giants Gaming. Giants had not won 1 map of the league so far, with all predictions indicating a victory for exceL was likely.

Map 1 was Stronghold Hardpoint. We saw Giants Gaming take an early lead in the first 2 Hardpoints, however, exceL began to make the comeback after executing a pretty much flawless hold of one Hardpoint in the first rotation. Around 5 minutes later, the score was ridiculously close, with only 12 points separating the two teams. exceL prevailed with a 250-247 victory. Infection Search and Destroy was up next and the entire map went back and forth with the two teams trading defensive rounds. Giants Gaming’s Eupho came up big with an ace, winning them round 9 and going up 4-5. Zach 'Zed’ Denyer was left in a 1v3 round 10. Unable to clutch, Giants took the map 4-6 and tied the series 1-1. Breach Uplink began the same as Map 1 with Giants conceding early points. This time they maintained their lead, ending the first half with a 3-8 score. exceL continued to get outslayed, resulting in a 7-10 loss. Map 4, CTF, unfortunately followed the trend of the previous respawn gametypes in this series, with Giants starting very strong and capturing the first flag. But the boys were able to come up huge in the second half, capturing 3 flags to Giants 1, ending the map with a 3-2 win for exceL. Final map was Evac Search and Destroy. Unfortunately the map did not go our way, losing the map 2-6 and ultimately taking our first series loss of the League thus far.

Wednesday had us taking on British powerhouse Team Infused, a highly anticipated match of the CWL. Infused also lost their first match of the week, making this game one to watch as neither teams wanted to record a winless week. Map 1 saw us on Breach Hardpoint and whilst Infused took an early lead, it was quickly overcome by the immense slaying power of exceL. Our domination continued and our lead grew, extending at one stage to 70 points, with the map eventually ending the map with a 250-178 victory in our favour. Search and Destroy Fringe was up next for Map 2. The boys came out very strong in the first 6 rounds, only dropping 1, putting the map score at 5-1. Infused reacted by winning two rounds, but we managed to clutch up and close out map 2 out with a final score of 6-3. With the potential to close the series out 3-0, exceL began Uplink Evac on fire, scoring 7 points within the first side whilst Infused were only able to reply with 1. With victory in sight, exceL not only blocked Team Infused from scoring a single point, they sunk a further 3 points in the second half. With a final score of 10-1, exceL CoD beat Team infused in a comfortable 3-0 series win.

The boys now stand joint first along with SplycePro and Epsilon eSports with a 3-1 record. Week 3 has us replaying Team Infused and the French team LDLC. Keep an eye on our social media for updates as exceL.CoD fight for their place at the top of the Call of Duty World League!

 

Halo: World Championship Tour [UK]

18th January 2016

On Friday the 15th of January, exceL.Halo travelled down to the Gfinity Arena in Fulham, London with hopes of qualifying for the EMEA Regionals to be hosted next month by ESL. The team, consisting of (from left to right) Lunny, Godshot, Coach Prsma, Snakey and Havoc, went into the tournament with an expected placing of 4th and were widely regarded as being the dark horses to take the whole event.

Our first group match of the tournament saw us take on the team Reformed, with map 1 consisting of Strongholds on The Rig. We came out with a massive statement, winning the map 100-31, swiftly going 1-0 up in the best of 3 series. The dominance continued moving into Map 2 with a 50-22 victory on Slayer Coliseum, safely securing our first win. Saturday began with exceL taking on Exertus eSports for a spot in the QF’s. The boys dropped map 1 after a 5-3 loss on Breakout Altitude. However, the team remained composed and rediscovered thier momentum by coming out strong in map 2 with a 50-30 win on Slayer on The Rig, bringing the series score to a tied 1-1. Using the momentum from the previous map, exceL show they are a force to be reckoned with by dominating on Strongholds Eden with an incredible 100-9 score. The team also combined for an impressive 44-18 K/D last map. The 2-1 win over Exertus eSports meant exceL.Halo advanced out of groups to the QF’s on Sunday.

After drawing Riot Gaming as our first match on Sunday, the team went in to map 1 with a positive mindset after the previous day's victory. exceL took a 1-0 lead in the series after narrowly capturing the winning flag in the dying seconds of CTF Coliseum. Map 2 saw us take the series 2-0 with a 50-35 score on Slayer Plaza, with an impressive display from Liam 'Havoc' Peck, ending the game with a 2.00 K/D.

Next up, we took on Team Dignitas, a well known team in the Halo and wider eSports community. In addition to a spot in the tournament's Grand Final, this game carried extra pressure as the winner would qualify for the EMEA Regionals tournament, with the loser falling in to a final deciding play-off match. Unfortunately, Team Dignitas came out strong with a 100-23 victory over us on Strongholds Plaza. Map 2 began fairly even with a 14-14 scoreline after 2 minutes. However Dignitas proved to strong by pulling away and taking a 3-0 series win, after a final score of 50-33 and a 5-0 Breakout clean sweep.

exceL.Halo’s chance of qualifying was not over as they could still place 3rd by beating Team Infused. We went straight to Strongholds Eden for map 1, taking a very convincing 100-37 win over Infused which was perceived by many in the Arena as an upset. Map 2 saw us compete on Slayer Coliseum. Team Infused took an initial lead which grew as the map progressed, allowing them to win 50-39, therefore leaving the series tied up 1-1. Infused continued their impressive performance, taking a swift 5-2 win on map 3, Altitude Breakout and a 3-0 win on Empire CTF, despite plenty of pressue and slaying prowess shown by the exceL squad.

Overall, we finished 4th in the tournament. However this does not mean the chance to compete in the EMEA Regional qualifier for the Halo World Championships is over, with one more spot available to UK teams through an online qualifier being hosted by GfinityOnline this Sunday evening. Commiserations to the team on their 4th place finish and congratulations to Epsilon, Dignitas and Infused for qualifying. 

You can watch our video recap of the event by clicking HERE.

 

CoD: CWL Week 1 Recap

15th January 2016

On Tuesday 12th of January, exceL eSports’s CoD team began their journey as part of the Call of Duty World League. The team, consisting of Zach ‘Zed’ Denyer, Nick ‘Nolson’ Nolson, Shea ‘QwiKeR’ Sweeney and Brain ‘Braaain’ Fairlamb, qualified for the League via the online qualifiers after narrowly missing out on an invitation to the LAN qualifiers in Cologne.

Our inaugural match saw us take on PuLse Gaming of France. The team came out the blocks flying with a 250-65 win on Fringe Hardpoint, with Zed being the standout player obtaining over 40 kills and nearly 2 minutes in the hill. Breach Search and Destroy started as map one ended with exceL taking a clean sweep 6-0 victory, outslaying PuLse 24-5! The third and final map was Infection Uplink and the boys closed out the series 3-0 with a dominating 10-0 scoreline.

SplycePro were our second opponents of the week - a team featuring two former exceL players in Bance and Vortex. Day 2 started as well as day one ended, with the team taking out Splyce with an almost identical scoreline of 250-64 on Evac Hardpoint. Map two saw exceL drop their first map of the league with Splyce taking a convincing 6-2 victory on Stronghold Search and Destroy. exceL bounced back with an equally convincing 14-2 win on Fringe Uplink, taking the series to 2-1 in our favour. The series came to a nail-biting end with exceL overcoming Splyce with a 5-3 victory on Breach Capture the Flag, with a caster disconnect leaving spectators unable to watch the second half of the match and relying on social media updates to know the ifnal result.

Overall, after our two games of week 1, we currently have a flawless 2-0 record with only one map dropped. The team performed incredibly well as a collective and individual accolades were received for both QwiKeR and Zed (see below) with the latter picking up Jack “CouRage” Dunlop’s European MVP award.

Next week brings two exciting games, firstly against the underperforming roster from Spain, Giants Gaming on Tuesday and then on Wednesday we compete in a highly-anticipated series against our UK rivals, Team Infused. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on Twitter for further updates as the team looks to continue its unbeaten streak.

 

LoL: Roster Announcement for 2016

17th December 2015

exceL eSports would like to welcome its new League of Legends roster into the xL family. Fresh off a 5th place finish at Multiplay’s i56 and a win at the intermediate tournament the roster is striving for even better performances heading into 2016!

At the helm of the new team is Ryan “Barnetto” Barnett, an experienced support player and vocal team captain;

“Me and the team are super excited to be joining the xL family. Coming off the back of our first LAN we were a little disappointed not to get top 4 but a final placement of 5th in the main tournament and 1st in the intermediate secures us a ticket to [Multiplay] i57. Going forward, we hope to requalify for the ESL premiership and break into the top 4 position at i57. I'd like to thank Rift for supporting us up until now, Joel for making our move so effortless and the team for constantly performing and putting the hours in to practice. [We] look forward to playing under the xL brand!”

Rounding out the roster are four fantastic high level players from UK league of legends, the full roster is as follows;

  • Kieran "Keys" John | Top Lane
  • Serge "Skudzy" Huleani | Jungle
  • Reece "Reecicle" Sharratt | Mid Lane
  • Jamie "Wing" Duell | Marksman
  • Ryan "Barnetto" Barnett | Support

The team will be looking to make their mark coming into 2016 by re-qualifying for the ESL premiership and with tickets for Multiplay’s i57 already in the bag we look forward to seeing them compete under the xL brand.

Finally, exceL eSports would like to clarify their position with regards to the forthcoming season of the ESL premiership; due to our previous roster being unable to compete during the group stages of the second season xL has forfeited their spot in the relegation tournaments and will have to requalify in the upcoming tournament early in 2016. We have every faith in our new roster and will be supporting them every step of the way!

 

CoD: Qualification for the Call of Duty World League

17th December 2015

Last night, exceL eSports's [xL] Call of Duty team qualified for the Call of Duty World League, European segment, hosted by ESL on behalf of Activision. After narrowly missing out on an invitation to the LAN qualifiers in Cologne, the team was forced to qualify through the online tournament. The tournament had a contraversial format, with seedings being completely randomised and the tournament being played over one single elimintation bracket, leaving no room for mistakes and leaving a lot in the hands of the bracket generator. This coupled with us being awarded a lower seed meant the constant need to play non-UK based opponents on their host for the majority of the maps in a series. Thrown on top of this is the ongoing debate about the number of in-game items that many players feel should be restricted, but that currently aren't, and it made for a very high pressure, high octane tournament for those involved.

Our roster, the same team that finished 4th at the recent AM2Pro 3 tournament, consisted of Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney, Nick 'Nolson' Nolsonn, Brian 'Braaain' Fairlamb and Zach 'Zed' Denyer, made the bracket run look comfortable, only dropping two maps in the whole tournament, one of which was due to a disconnect. The tournament concluded at the semi final stage, with those teams losing the Quarter Finals playing a final mini-bracket to confirm 5th/6th place finishes, who will also make the league.

From Left to Right: Nolson; Brain; Zed; & QwiKeR. Photo taken at AM2Pro 3. See the whole gallery here!

We are immensely proud of the team and are delighted that their hard work and dedication since the roster's formation has paid off and we would look to supporting them in their bid to make the end of season play offs and ultimately, work towards winning the League.

 

Halo: exceL Announces First Halo Roster

5th December 2015

We are delighted to formally announce the introduction of our new, and exceL eSports's first, competitive Halo roster ahead of the upcoming UK arm of the Halo World Championships, being hosted by Gfinity, with a recently announced prize pool of $2 million. We announced our interest in finding a team through our Social Media pages recently and of all the conversations we have had since, we are extremely pleased to be working with a roster that combines experience and talent with the correct attitude that we look for in a competitive roster. Without further adieu, I am pleased to introduce exceL.Halo, consisting of Liam 'Havoc' Peck, Casey 'Lunny' Lunn, Conor 'VexZeus' Scally and Kyle 'CreepeazY' Thompson!

We are very excited to be getting involved in the competitive Halo scene, a game we have always admired and were delighted to see the resurgence of the brand with regards to eSports. Keep your eye on our Twitter page for regular updates on the team's progression as they look to qualify for the HCS. The team has impressed recently after reaching two consecutive finals of the GfinityOnline Halo cups, and Liam Peck (xL Havoc) had this to say about the team's decision to join exceL eSports:

"We were already aware of the big things you guys are doing at exceL and was a fan of the organisation so when then team formed I knew that joining exceL was a possibility we would love to entertain. As for the HCS we are very confident to succeed as myself and Creepeazy have experience at a very high level and competed at some of the biggest events in Europe and abroad, and with the pure young gun potential of the other two it's a great combination. With our success online as long as we can carry it to LAN will have a great showing and do the organisation proud!"

Gfinity (Gfinity.net) posted the structure of the qualification tournament as detailed below:

The Halo 5 UK Championship online qualifiers will be held on December 20th, January 3rd, January 6th and January 10th. Each qualifier will contain a total of 42,000 points and will be awarded via the following breakdown: 

·         1st = 5000 points

·         2nd = 3000 points

·         3rd-4th = 2000 points

·         5th-8th = 1500 points

·         9th-16th = 1000 points

·         17th-32nd = 500 points

·         33rd-64th = 250 points 

Upon the conclusion of the final online qualifier on January 10th and the online ladder on January 11th, the Top 16 teams who have amassed the most points total will successfully receive an invitation to the Halo 5 UK Championship Finals which will be played in front of a live audience at the Gfinity Arena. 

The Gfinity Arena will welcome the first series of The Halo World Championship, as Europe’s most talented Spartans descend upon London for the Halo 5 UK Championship Finals on the 15-17th January. These finals will be the first live event of the Halo World Championship 2016 and we look forward to putting on a fantastic, world-class show.  

The remaining 16 teams will fight for the coveted title of Halo 5 UK Champion, alongside the £10,000 prize pool and the even more desired invitation to the EMEA Finals. The invitations will be awarded to the final three podium placing teams. 

 

CoD: 4th Place at AM2Pro3

30th November 2015

This past weekend, exceL eSports attended AM2Pro’s third UK LAN Event of 2015, this time held at the Peterborough Garden Centre. It had originally been planned that we would have both our Call of Duty and Gears of War teams in attendance, however the lack of participating teams in the GoW tournament resulted in a late cancellation.

For our newly-formed Call of Duty team however, the weekend can be deemed as relatively successful. Our roster consisted of Shea ‘QwiKeR’ Sweeney, Zach ‘Zed’ Denyer, Brian ‘Braaain’ Fairlamb and Nick ‘Nolson’ Nolson. We detailed the circumstances surrounding this roster’s formation previously, however it has to be said that despite the short amount of practice time, the team had grinded very hard to ensure we were prepared as well as we could be going in to this event.

We met up on the Saturday morning and popped in to the nearby Garden Centre canteen for a team breakfast. We then made our way to the venue and quickly got on to a practice station to warm up. As is typical of most events, we had a bit of a wait on the Saturday until we got to play our first game (WBR2) against Rewind. We took the series 3-1, dropping the SnD, which proved to be our weakest game mode in the early stages of this Event and an area we will be able to improve upon ahead of the ESL Online Qualifiers.

Our next match-up (WBR3) was one of the most anticipated games of the tournament against Riot, who had two of our ex-players in Sean ‘Seany’ O’Connor and Jamie ‘Insight’ Craven. Riot took the series, ending our Saturday in disappointment and with a Loser Bracket run on the cards.

On the Sunday, our first match was up against U4X, featuring none other than our good friend Rory ‘Rez’ Hunter. After dropping the first Hardpoint, a gamemode in which U4X impressed all weekend, the team maintained complete professionalism and composure and won three maps in a row to take the series 3-1. Our next series was up against E4, who many may remember we played at EGL and completed a spectacular 0-2 comeback in a Game 5, Round 11. This time there was no repeat of that heart-wrenching game and we took the series 3-0.

This set-up another exhilarating tie as we once again took to the mainstage to play Team Vitality, the all-French pro team, for a place in the T4. We took a lead in the series but they tied it up with the Search & Destroy. However back-to-back wins on Uplink and Hardpoint saw us emerge victorious and advance to the next round. You can see Dexerto's reaction video to this game HERE.

This set up the inevitable rematch against Riot, this time off-stream, which produced yet another spectacular series with some incredibly close matches and a display of some high calibre Call of Duty. Riot took the series 3-1, with us losing our first Uplink match of the weekend. Credit to Riot, they were formidable opponents and deserved to win. Overall we placed 4th in the tournament, equalling our previous result at EGL and keeping up our record of always at least matching our previous placement.

Thank you to the AM2Pro Staff, Admins, Casters and the team for Dexerto for making it a very enjoyable event despite the low attendance and technical difficulties. Thank you also to Charlotte and Tommy for supporting Kieran and I in organising everything for the weekend and for being there to support the team. We have at least two weeks now to prepare for the ESL Online Qualifiers and we are determined now more than ever to succeed. You can see all our photos from the event in our gallery!

 

exceL Elects to Support SpecialEffect

24th November 2015

Here at exceL eSports, we're always on the look out for any organisation that shares our passion for video games and our ethos for helping to cultivate an environment in which people can enjoy and succeed in life with video games. Having spoken with the Charity and assuring them of our intentions, we are delighted to announce a brand new addition to the exceL eSports extended family - SpecialEffect, the gamers' charity. 

SpecialEffect is a gamers charity that do phenomenal work to help improve the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping and enabling them to play video games. Their work is by no means simple and we were humbled to learn of the extra lengths they take by visiting individual people to find out exactly what they want to play and what they would require to play it. Here's an extract from their own website, giving further detail:

We put fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games. By using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, we're finding a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities. But we're not just doing it for fun. By levelling the playing field, we're bringing families and friends together and having a profoundly positive impact on therapy, confidence and rehabilitation.

Our aim and hope is to help SpecialEffect to raise awareness of the fantastic work this Charity is doing wiithin the United Kingdom. Furthermore, we plan to raise funds for this brilliant organisation in the New Year through our own involvement with professional video gaming events.

Find out more about SpecialEffect by visiting their Website and by following them on Twitter (@SpecialEffect)! You can also subscribe to theirYouTube channel, like their Facebook page and/or follow them on Instagram!

 

FIFA: Poacher Set to Make his Debut

19th November 2015

We are delighted to welcome Sam 'Poacher' Carmody (@xL_Poacher) to exceL's FIFA team! Sam is one of the youngest professional FIFA players to have appeared at a Gfinity/XboxUK PlayLikeALegend Masters tournament, finishing second in the PLAL S3 tournament. He joins Graham (SillyScot) and Anton to complete our UK FIFA line-up. We look forward to helping Sam progress in his eSports career and supporting him as he develops in to one of the UK's best FIFA players on FIFA16. Welcome Sam!  

 

New T-Shirt Designs Added to Store

18th November 2015

Today we have added three new T-Shirt designs to our online store! Be one of the first to own these new designs now by heading over to our online store to purchase. Links for each item listed below thier corresponding picture. We thank you for your continued support! If you have any difficulties completing your order, please contact our Head of Public Relations, xL Charlotte. Thank you to SmurfyJck for our designs, further edited by xL Kieran & xL Arjjm5. We have more products on the way including hoodies & more with our updated logo.

Click HERE to purchase this exceL T-Shirt design in your chosen size.

Click HERE to purchase this exceL T-Shirt design in your chosen size.

Click HERE to purchase this xL T-Shirt design in your chosen size.

Click HERE to purchase this xL T-Shirt design in your chosen size.

Click HERE to purchase this xL T-Shirt design in your chosen size.

Click HERE to purchase this xL T-Shirt design in your chosen size.

We are pleased to announce our Gears of War roster, representing exceL eSports at the upcoming AM2Pro LAN Event in Peterborough at the end of this month. After our first outing at a Gears of War event just last month at the EGL Open - Blackpool 2015, we are delighted we can continue to support the regrowth of this exciting console eSports.

Our confirmed team for this event will consist of Nick 'Entity' Fage, Joshua 'Trinder' Trinder, Ricky 'Ricky' Fennessy and Joel 'Enigma' Dant. Nick remains as Captain of our team after previously representing us at EGL, he had this to say about the new team:

"This is a really high calibre team. I still really rate the players I played with at EGL but these guys have more potential to win. The team is really keen to grind and with such a short time-frame before the event, that's exactly what I was looking for."

 

LoL: Withdrawal from ESLUK & Release of LoL Team

18th November 2015

Over recent weeks, exceLs' League of Legends branch has found difficulty in maintaining a stable roster and compete competitively in the ESLUK. 

The team went through a difficult patch in which two of their original players left for opposing teams. Unfortunately, the LoL squad were unable to find suitable replacements and a few players have chosen to take a competitive break, resulting in our immediate and unfortunate withdrawal from ESLUK's Premiership, as documented by eSports News UK (@eSports_News_UK). From everyone here at exceL eSports, we would like to both thank the team for their performances in the past and wish them the best of luck on their future endeavours. 

However, exceL eSports still wishes to pursue a venture in League of Legends and is looking to pick up a new team to represent the brand. We are taking applications from full LoL team rosters [UK/EU], if you are interested, please email us at info@excelesports.com.

 

CoD: Deadline Day RosterMania

16th November 2015

Recently, we announced our Call of Duty roster for the Black Ops 3 season start. However, with Ben (Bance) electing to leave the team very soon after its formation, the atmosphere became unsettled and internal issues led to difficulties in finding a suitable solution to our missing player problem. With the transfer of Stevo (Vortex) and Ben W. (Desire) to Team Orbit, this left us with only Zach (Zed) remaining and the need to bring in three players before last night's Call of Duty World League deadline.

With that being said, we are delighted to announce that Shea 'QwiKeR' Sweeney (@xL_QwiKeR), Brian 'Braaain' Fairlamb (@xL_Braaain) and Nick 'Nolson' Nolson (@xL_Nolson) will be joining Zach 'Zed' Denyer (@xL_Zed) to complete our Call of Duty Roster for the forseeable future. The team are also pleased to confirm that they will be attending AM2Pro3's (@AM_2_Pro) upcoming Black Ops 3 PS4 tournament, in Peterborough at the end of this month. 

Managing Director Joel Holmes-Darby had this to say about the recent roster change:

"I have been quite vocal on Social Media about how stressful the past week has been not only for me, but for everyone involved in this latest edition of RosterMania. It was a real shame the roster we had brought on just a couple of weeks ago wasn't able to stick together as much as we wanted them to. Good luck to them with their new teams.

With that being said, I am delighted we have been able to bring on such a talented group of players at such short notice and we are really confident that this team will help us achieve what we are setting out to do in the Black Ops 3 season. This starts at AM2Pro in just under two weeks and will hopefully culminate in qualification, and subsequent strong performances, in the Call of Duty World League.

 

Partnership Announcement: FPS AIM ASSIST

13th November 2015

Here at exceL eSports we are always looking to collaborate and form partnerships with other organisations that are as passionate about eSports as we are. With that in mind, it is my pleasure to introduce exceL eSports' newest partner, FPS AIM ASSIST.

Their products help to improve your game when you need it most, improving both stability and accuracy for your First Person Shooter needs. It offers resistance in the opposite direction you aim your controller sticks thus preventing over aiming and giving you more control! Their product information page provides graphical and textual explanations of the effectiveness of their products, we urge you to take a look. It's worth noting also that their product is Gfinity approved.

You can also find out more information about the company by following them on Twitter, where you can also interact directly with their team. To celebrate the launch of our new partnership, we are also running a giveaway on our own Twitter page - click here to find out more and enter. Fear not if you don't win, we'll have more giveaways coming soon and soon you will be able to use code exceL when purchasing from their retail site(currently under construction) for a 10% discount.

 

CoD: Roster Changes for Black Ops 3

28th October 2015

After a superb showing at EGL, where we just fell short of our goal of winning the Event, earlier this week we had to take the decision as exceL eSports to say goodbye to Jamie 'Insight' Craven and Sean 'Seany' O'Connor. Our reasoning for the decision is not likely to be a shock. With both players not able to compete in 18+ events next year on Black Ops 3, and with our goal to become established as the top UK Call of Duty organisation, we were left with no choice but to make this decision.

I would like to personally and wholeheartedly thank Jamie and Seany for their commitment, hard work and professionalism whilst representing exceL and we will do what we can to ensure they land somewhere safely. Seany especially should be commended for his loyalty as he has been with exceL eSports Ltd since its inception.

After holding discussions with our two remaining players, Zach 'Zed' Denyer and Liam 'Carbines' Ryan, the players were determined to continue competing and both expressed a desire to stay under exceL but understood it may not be possible depending on team changes.

With that in mind, I am delighted to announce our Call of Duty Roster going in to Black Ops 3 and will be attending AM2Pro3. Zach 'Zed' Denyer will be staying with us and will be joined by the former Exertus line-up, Benjamin 'Bance' Bance, Stephen 'Vortex' Allan and Ben 'Desire' Wright. This team has been formed with the sole intention of competing in the upcoming World League and with every ambition to be challenging for Event titles on Black Ops 3. 

This unfortunately means Liam will also be leaving us. We would like to say that Liam leaves us on the best of terms and we are truly thankful for his service with us and will be continuing to support him in his Call of Duty career as best we can. Bance, Vortex & Desire understandably wanted to stay together and after all parties were consulted, this was decided to be the best course of action. 

Thank you for your continued support and we hope you can join us in wishing these guys the best of luck going in to the next game. Follow their Twitters - @xL_Zed@xL_Bance@xL_Vortex & @xL_Desire

 

exceL Storms the Castle

28th October 2015

It has been a busy couple of days for exceL eSports with our recent attendance of the European Gaming League Open in the Norbreck Castle, Blackpool this past weekend.

Overall the Event was superb and we encourage you to follow EGL on Twitter to keep an eye out for future events. Thank you to everyone who supported us over the weekend, at times it was overwhelming and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting everybody. If you weren't in attendance of EGL Blackpool, here's a run-down of what went on.

The teams representing exceL eSports at EGL were both our Gears of War and Call of Duty teams. 

exceL.GoW

exceL.GoW faced a rough group stage in the tournament. The Gears squad were able to take the win against 'VwS Gaming' but ultimately fell short to 'uFrag' and 'Lockdown'.

Advancing from groups exceL.GoW found themselves to be against Rift Gaming. unfortunately losing the series and dropping into the losers bracket.

From the losers bracket, the squad faced 'Caedis' to which they managed to bag themselves a win in the series but not enough to secure the overall victory. 

exceL's Managing Director Joel had this to say on the GoW squad:

"The GoW guys are very talented with high potential but their lack of practice time showed in their final placement. The squad managed to take some maps off some excellent teams. The players have fantastic attitudes and it was a pleasure meeting them."

exceL.CoD

exceL.CoD managed to bag themselves a respectable fourth place in the European Gaming League. exceL managed to climb the winners bracket with great success, taking convincing series against 'Viva La Blackpool' and 'Omni eSports' but falling short to Exertus eSports. From there on the exceL squad found themselves in the losers bracket. From there on the squad bounced back with a newfound momentum. The squad managed to bag a convincing series wins against 'Nexium', although losing the SnD.

Up next was 'E4' in what turned out to be possibly the most exciting series of the weekend. The team went 0-2 down after a 2 point Hardpoint game and a close 6-4 SnD against a team that is renowned for its Search and Destroy expertise. The attitude shown by the team was commendable and we pulled the series back to 2-2, taking it to a Game 5. The score ended up tied at 5-5 and the crowd exploded with excitement when exceL managed to keep their composure and win the round, map and therefore series.

Next we return to the mainstage to face off against a thus-far impressive 'Rift Gaming' squad. We won the series, placing us in the money and guaranteeing a T4 finish.

exceL found themselves against Exertus once again in the loser bracket semi-final. The squad managed to bag themselves a map in the series but their efforts ultimately fell short, taking home a respectable top 4 finish.

Joel had this to say on the CoD squad:

"We had gone into EGL with every intention of winning and we did everything we could do to achieve it. Ultimately we fell slightly short but we are happy with the result considering how open the event was. I'm proud of the way the players carried themselves and bounced back even when we were on the ropes in some matches. Furthermore I would also like to thank EGL for a superb event."

 

exceL eSports Polishes Up

1st October 2015

As people have probably already noticed, exceL eSports has decided to undergo a re-brand. Here at exceL eSports, we have been weighing up the decision to either keep our previous brand or look for a new and polished look. Recently exceL eSports shot out the question to the community, regarding the exceL brand and whether it needed work. The community exploded with overwhelming feedback with the majority leaning towards the recommendation that we design a new logo and new branding. We listened.

exceL would like to thank: @Joekerism@PandaCEO@KerrDesigns@Smurfyjck and @xL_Arjjm5 for all their hard work and phenomenal effort into creating the new exceL look! Don't take our word for it though, see for yourself:


We would like to thank the community for helping us decide to undergo re-branding. Here's a few tweets with what people had to say!
 
https://twitter.com/JustStealth/status/648562113628241920
https://twitter.com/Arion_HarBar/status/648617021068943360
https://twitter.com/Dogmaaaa/status/648564511272796160
https://twitter.com/Aware_GinGi/status/648568335718813696
 

exceL eSports Headhunt New Staff Talent

24th September 2015

Here at exceL eSports we're always on the look out for the next opportunity and new talent to bring into the team, both in our player-base and our staff team (shown in the graphic above). 
It is my pleasure to introduce the three new staff faces that have recently jumped onto the exceL squad and to give you a briefing of what exactly it is each new recruit will be doing with a few kind words from Managing Director Joel Holmes-Darby on the new additions.
 
YouTube Manager - Tommy Davis - xL Tommy
 
Tommy is primarily in charge of all content to be posted on the official exceL eSports YouTube channel. Recently Tommy has been posting brief video updates on the state of exceL including player pickups and the new Gears of War squad. Joel had this to say on the new Youtube Manager:
 
"Tommy was a pick up that I don't think many people expected but everybody has undoubtedly agreed was a fantastic one. He's a well known presenter on The STiKS (A Call of Duty Esports Podcast) and thus recognised both in North America and Europe for his contribution to the scene. He's a very passionate individual who has a very professional manner in which he presents himself on camera which is what attracted exceL eSports' attention. He fitted all the characteristics of who we would like to run our Youtube page."
 
Here is what xL Tommy had to say on his new position within exceL eSports:
 
"The main reason I joined exceL was because I felt it was the right time for myself to represent an organisation to further my expertise. I love what exceL stands for with their professionalism and was already acquainted with xL Joel and xL Kieran. I have a lot of aspirations with this organisation and hope my content will contribute to building the brand and personality of its members."
 
Head of Sales - Christopher Thomas - xL Christopher

Christopher is exceL eSports' most recent headhunt and newest member to the entire exceL organisation. Christopher is responsible for managing our Partnership portfolio and ensuring exceL continue to boast strong relationships with all companies that we work with.

Joel had this to say on the newest staff addition:
 
"Christopher's own work establishing Vigour eSports showed him to be professional, intelligent and business-minded. An ideal fit for our mantra and the way we operate. We are delighted to have him on board as our Head of Sales and confident in his ability to deliver, we are excited to see what results he brings us!"
 
Here is what Christopher had to say: 
 
"I was contacted by xL Joel in regards to joining exceL, to be honest, it wasn't something I had initially thought about. However, opportunities like being part of this organisation don't come knocking on the door everyday, so I jumped at the chance. I'm here to increase the opportunities this organisation has to become an even bigger and more successful business and that is exactly what I intend to do! My role may change over time, I'm a very driven character and I like to succeed in anything I take time in doing! I know this project will not be any different."
 
Feature Writer - Rhodri Harrison - xL Rhodz
 
Rhodri is primarily in charge of all written articles and content on exceL eSports including this very article! Rhodri is an aspiring journalist who has a particular passion for eSports and Film/Television. Rhodri will provide updates on what is happening within exceL eSports and provide a few words off the relevant exceL members. 
 
Joel had this to say on the new writer:
 
"Rhodri was the stand out applicant amongst a few that replied to our call for budding article writers. He's very astute and diligent and is already proving to be a great addition to our Content Team as our Feature Writer." 
 
Finally, here are a few words from myself: 
 
"I am very pleased to be representing exceL as their Feature Writer. I had been debating whether to entirely freelance write or look to write for an organisation whether they be involved in Football/Television and Film or eSports. As soon as I heard about exceL eSports looking for a writer, I applied, I was well aware of their growth and their potential to become a big name. I am thoroughly impressed with the level of work the staff have done in my short time of being here and I am happy to be one of the staff team for such an excellent organisation."
 
If you fancy finding out a few more personal details about the new staff pick-ups be sure to check out their exceL profiles on the Staff page and follow them on twitter!
 
@xL_Tommyy, @xL_Rhodz & @xL_Christopher

 

GoW: exceL Gear up for War

21st September 2015

Here at exceL eSports, we're always on the hunt for new talent and the possibility of branching out into unknown territories. I am delighted reveal more into exceL eSports dropping into Gears Of War.

I caught up with Managing Director Joel Holmes-Darby (@xL_JoeI) to see what he had to say on the new pickup. 

 "Gears of War's return to the European eSports circuit posed an incredibly exciting opportunity for us here at exceL. xL Kieran and I are long-term fans of the franchise and when Nick (xL Entity), a player we have known for years, approached us with a team proposal we were more then happy to listen. Since then their attitude and commitment has impressed us and are delighted to bring them on board to represent us at EGL Open- Blackpool 2015. We are excited for the tournament and hope they perform to their full potential."

It is my pleasure to introduce the latest addition to the exceL brand in the form of a Gears of War Ultimate Edition team for Xbox One. The exceL.GoW squad consists of:
 
Shane 'Breck' Brecknell (@xL_Breck) [Captain]
Nick 'Entity' Fage (@xL_Entity)
Tom 'Pryor' Pryor (@xL_Pryor) 
Kieran 'FitZ' Fitzharris
 
These guys are by no means an entirely new team, I had a talk with Captain Shane Brecknell and this is what he had to say on the future ahead and the teams past.

"We've known each other for quite some time. Myself, Tom and Nick had all been together for close to a year before Nick decided to move to competitive Call of Duty. Upon the introduction of Gears of War ultimate edition myself and Nick (Entity) spent a few weeks on Gears of War I trialling players. We then found out that Tom's (Pryor) former team could not attend an upcoming event and sought to pick up our former team member. Kieran (FitZ) later expressed an interest in returning to competitive Gears of War and it was a no brainer."
 
With regards to the upcoming EGL Open I am confident that we can place well although we are a relatively inexperienced LAN team. I am eager to play and compete against the veterans of the scene on a remake of the game and show that the new blood are more than capable of making an impact on the scene."

Congratulations to the lads and we look forward to seeing how they perform at EGL Blackpool later this year!

 

exceL.CoD Roster Update

21st September 2015

Last week exceL eSports was pleased announce the latest addition to one of our Call of Duty rosters. After much trialling and deliberation, the exceL staff and Call of Duty roster have agreed that Jamie 'Insight' Craven will become the fourth and newest addition to the roster for the upcoming EGL Open - Blackpool 2015. 
 
I caught up with exceL's Director of Operations and Manager of exceL.CoD, xL Kieran, to see how the decision was made. 
 
"With 'Carbines' being the dominant AR player that he is and both 'Seany' and 'Zed' being predominantly SMG players, we were looking for a versatile player that was predominantly AR orientated. With the team performing so well, we knew we could look around the top teams for talent. Then it all came down to timing, no decision was rushed but when Rift Gaming split and 'Insight' became a free agent, we immediately started scrimming and found the missing piece to the puzzle. Recent online performances proved that we made the right decision!" 
 
On behalf of exceL eSports I would like to congratulate 'Insight' and we look forward to seeing how the squad matches up in future tournaments and EGL Blackpool in October, where they look to make their debut LAN together. For more information on this latest addition to our roster, check out THIS VIDEO by Tommy Davis (@xL_Tommyy), a recent addition to our YouTube team. If you're interested in attending EGL Blackpool, be sure to use code exceL for 5% off your total ticket price!