Norwich City clinch 2022 ePremier League title

The ePremier League has become one of the highlights of the eSports calendar. Its prominence rose dramatically in 2020, when the real Premier League was on hiatus, and although the world is more or less back to normal, this year’s event still commanded significant TV coverage on Sky Sports as well as being streamed on the Premier League website and via Twitch.


New format

This year, a shake up in the format saw each team represented by two players, with each pairing taking on another in what effectively amounted to two legs. The team that won on aggregate proceeded to the next stage. 20 teams qualified and were divided into four groups of five. Each team played each of the others in its group once, with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals.

This was also the first time the games had been played in-person since the inaugural ePremier League back in 2019.


Thrills and spills all the way

Whether it was the new format or the pressure of playing in person at a London studio surrounded by TV cameras, there were shocks all along the way. Manchester City, a pre-tournament favourite among those who bet on FIFA, had a wretched time and were knocked out in the qualifying stages without scoring a single point in Group B, and losing their final match against Liverpool 7-0 on aggregate.

The pattern of art completely failing to imitate life extended to Group D. Touted as the Group of Death at the outset, there were all sorts of permutations speculated upon, but few predicted that Norwich City, this year’s whipping boys in the real world EPL, would sail through their group matches undefeated.

The Canaries were represented by Damien “Damie” Augustyniak from Poland and Jack “GoalPoacher_” Wignall from the UK. In the quarter-finals, Damie played the game of his life, contributing to a 5-2 aggregate win over Chelsea, before playing out a tense 0-0 draw in his leg of the semi-final against Leeds representative Ollie Arbin. GoalPoacher_ did the rest, overcoming Mitchell Hayward 2-1 in the second leg.

The final saw the Norwich duo up against Brentford’s Sam ‘SamBrwster’ Brewster and Peace ‘czohino’ Chirwa in a double header broadcast live on Sunday night. They won convincingly, Damie beating SamBrwster 3-1 and GoalPoacher_ taking his leg 2-0 to secure a 5-1 win on aggregate.


To the victor the spoils

Damie and GoalPoacher_ each pocketed £15,000 in prize money as well as the priceless ePremier League 2022 Champion awards. The losing finalists had something to smile about, too, each receiving £7,500 in prize money.

Both Norwich players were first time title winners, and they had brushed by several past winners on their way to the final. They were understandably emotional after the prizegiving ceremony. GoalPoacher_ described it as a “dream come true” while Damie said the whole thing felt “a bit surreal.” Victory means the pair qualify for the European Playoffs, which generated so much drama last year, as does Brentford’s losing finalist SamBrwster.

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