Keele Krakens Take a Crack at CRL World Championship Title

Keele University Road to Worlds header with images of Kay3, Poddy, and Dooz

The Keele Krakens Rocket League team shot up in performance through the course of the latest NSE and EURC seasons. Their captain, Kay3, has been competing in university events since starting school in 2019. In the early days he was joined by Poddy and Timeconstant. But one day in 2020 Timeconstant couldn’t play, and Dooz stepped on the pitch to fill in. He became a permanent fixture and Timeconstant moved to the sub spot to create the Keele roster we know and love. Now, just a year and a half later, Keele are taking on their biggest challenge yet at a team: CRL Worlds.

Road to Worlds

Keele placed 13th in the 2021 EURC season and were not invited back for the 2022 season based on placement. This wasn’t an issue as Keele got their ticket to compete in the 2022 EURC group stage portion by winning one of the open qualifiers. They placed at the top of Group C where they only lost one series to the UEA Bluejays. 

Thanks to their performance in groups, Keele landed in the Upper Quarter-Finals against KIT SC. Keele played without Kay3 while he was on holiday and were promptly 1-4d and sent to fight for their lives in the lower bracket. Kay3 left vacation early, bought a flight home, and returned to play the rest of the matches to in order to make sure the team made it to Worlds. They ran through Warwick, Hamburg, and Aalborg to earn the qualifying spot. 

After qualifying Keele played on to finish 3rd in EURC, and 2nd in the NSE(a league for UK universities) shortly after.

Fearless in the Face of NA

In a recent video feature produced by UniRocketeers, the Keele players told us what they think about NA CRL. Poddy shared his very honest thoughts, saying, “From what I’ve seen, I’ve watched a little bit of CRL on Twitch, I don’t think they play smart enough to sort of beat the top EU teams.”

Poddy sees the NA players as more mechanical, whereas the EU teams are more strategic with, “passing and good rotations.” His information comes from experience as the Krakens played in the KCP Underground collegiate tournament featuring both NA and EU Collegiate teams. They won 2 series despite the ping difference and ultimately finished in the top 8 of 51 teams. 

This confidence along with the opportunity to finally compete on 0 ping might give Keele a LAN buff.

They Can Do the Math

Part of why Keele is able to calculate plays is their shared general field of study. Kay3 does Economics, Dooz does Economics and Finance, and Poddy does Accounting and Finance. The CRL World’s prizepool is a total $75k, ranging from 20k for first to $1,725 for 13th-16th. Whatever prize money Keele takes home will probably be put to good use.

It’s currently exam season for UK Universities, and as a collegiate team Keele won’t just forfeit their academic responsibilities. In the time leading up to worlds K3 has been studying, Dooz has been sleeping, and Poddy has been grinding 1s and 2s. Expect to see some calculated plays from Keele as they take on their first LAN as a team this weekend. And if there are some less-than-calculated own goals from Kay3, Dooz will take them with a laugh and a good spirit.

“This is probably the highest level that a lot of people could get to, to be at the top of the uni league, it means you’re the best of the people who can’t make it, and that’s pretty good.”

Follow the Action

Keele University begins Worlds with a Group Stage Best-of-5 against Valleyfield College. Watch it on the Rocket League Twitch on June 3 at 12 p.m. CT (5 p.m. UTC).

Match results and brackets will be posted on both the College Carball Twitter and the Rocket League Esports Twitter.

Check out the schedule so you don’t miss the first International CRL World Championships!

Deep Nadar

Deep Nadar

CCA Director of Content