It was at the start of the year that I took over from Tim Cross as the UK online team captain. These were considerable boots to fill given he had just helped steer the squad of himself, Seb Wilkinson, Gaz Owen, Leo Waters and myself to the title of EBIF online team champions in 2017.
There was not much for me to do for the first half of the year, with the next EBIF campaign starting in September. All I had to do was select a squad, and going with the theory “if it’s not broke, then don’t fix it”, I chose to select the same team as the previous year.
This year’s quest is potentially going to be even more difficult to win than previous years, with the competition being opened up to countries outside of Europe including Argentina and the USA. In total there are approximately 20 teams this time out.
Thus far, we have had a mixed bag of results, but we are thankfully still alive in the tournament. In the triple-elimination competition, we (surprisingly!) lost to Switzerland in the first match of the tournament, but then bounced back with solid wins against the strong Norway and Iran teams. In the 4th round we had the worse of the dice (but the better of the PRs) against Croatia, thus losing our second life. We are now on life support, and must win all of our remaining matches. We made progress with this in the fifth round with a healthy win over Argentina, and are awaiting to see our sixth round opponents.
Encouragingly we have outplayed our opposition in every single group of matches (in terms of achieving the lower PR), we just now need the dice Gods to shine on us again in order for us to have any chance of retaining our title.
I hope to be writing to you all again with good news in a few weeks’ time. Between now and then, please wish us luck and root hard for us to defend our title.
You can follow online results as they happen at the EBIF website
Update, November 13th:
I am pleased to report that further to my article on 29th October on the progress of the UK online team, we have just white-washed Denmark 5-0 in the subsequent round!
We are now into the final few teams, and await with bated breath to find out our opponents for the next round.
Wish us luck!