EPIC 40 Preview: The return of the K(etter)ing

Excitement is building in the world of CS2 as rumours persist that Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev is getting sold or that FaZe will have to disband after being bought by GameSquare, but that is not why  UK CS is excited today. We are excited because EPIC.LAN 40 is just three days away. If you are like us at UKCSGO then you just can’t wait to get stuck in to a weekend of highlights, lowlights, and plenty of screaming.

To tide you over until Thursday, enjoy our EPIC40 preview where you can find out about the teams to watch, the schedule for the weekend, and everybody’s two favourite meme teams going head-to-head in a charity showmatch. Read about all this and more below.

The Teams

At the time of publication there are currently 32 CS2 teams signed up to EPIC40, which is an outstanding 10 more than the last event held in Wolverhampton. This number of teams just displays the growth that the UK Counter-Strike scene has experienced in the last year. Just like many of the UK LANs before this one, a large portion of the teams in attendance are what we refer to as a “mix”, this describes a team of players who don’t usually compete with each other and will most likely disband after the weekend. Despite the large number of mixes, there are some dominant teams in attendance, including the two favourites – K10 and Raptors EC.

Raptors EC are becoming a well-known team in the UK. In the very last ESL Premiership season, Raptors EC made a incredible underdog run and faced UK powerhouse, Endpoint, in the final. They went on to do the extraordinary and beat Endpoint on the main stage of Insomnia, the young team cemented themselves in UKCS history with that win. This will be their first LAN appearance as champions of ESL Premiership and it is yet to be seen if they will keep up their dominant form. The EPIC.LAN trophy is one that Marco “MMS” Salomone has never lifted, could this be his chance?

The second team is K10, an ESEA Main team that has recently undergone some huge changes. Their star, Jamie “Tree60” Callan, left the roster for Ex-Coalesce in the summer and was replaced with the on-form Connor “Bigun007” Suddons, however for this event Tree60 will compete with his old team in the place of Nino “NiNo” Roos, who recently retired. The squad definitely has the firepower, but with their lack of qualification to Advanced in the last two seasons despite numerous attempts, it will be interesting to see if they can keep up with the likes of Raptors EC.

Both Raptors EC and K10 will have a stand-in for the event, with Tree60 for K10 and Adam “Adam9130” Ahmad taking on IGL duties for Raptors in place of Rasmus “zodi” Frølich. Not only did Adam9130 previously stand in for Raptors EC in the ESL Premiership qualifiers, but he was part of the victorious Neighbours mix last time out in Wolverhampton – can he go back-to-back?

The final team that we will mention is an unconventional one. The UK University Counter-Strike scene has always been separated from the rest of the UK CS scene, but now UK & Ireland Circuit are trying to bridge that gap and a group of University students from different teams are attending their first LAN. Soul’s Land have members that competed at Exeter, KCL, and Sussex University, some of which found immense success with kisynergy becoming a stand-out performer. Now a team rather than a mix, they just qualified for the top division of the UKIC League and take another step into their local scene by competing at EPIC.LAN. Who knows what the future holds for this unknown roster, but they are definitely ones to watch out for.

The Mixes

As I mentioned there are many mixes at this event and some of them have a real chance of lifting that elusive EPIC.LAN trophy.

One of those mixes contains the core of the finalists from the last EPIC.LAN, and no it’s not Owen “smooya” Butterfield and the Neighbours. Oscar “LVN” Levin was recently announced as the Academy Coach for GamerLegion, whilst Mason “Vacancy” Haines has joined Sprout Academy, but they have reunited the former 7AM core alongside Zy “yz0” Esponilla and hotly-rated AWPer Igor “Igorek” Kochany to compete in Kettering. In a heart-breaking final, 7AM lost to the Neighbours and the roster was later dropped by the organisation. Could “Make a Wish” do what the team could not?

Granny Knockers and the BINMEN will get their own section of this article, but it would be remiss to not mention “Granny Knockers but Good” as a mix that could potentially cause some upsets. The star name to highlight is Verdant’s Andrew “Wolfie” Allan who has previously stood in for K10 and Next in Line, as well as being part of Endpoint Academy and 1PIN. He is joined by Oskar “oskvr” Myszka who is often associated with one of the many Royals rosters.

Before it was normal to see UK teams in ESEA Advanced, we had rosters such as Hypnotic making their mark in Main and now one of those rosters has come together to compete in CS2. “I need more bullets” reunites the core of Luke “Nem” Mear, jins and Joe “Dexie” Demmon who have been grinding CS2 since it’s release. Pufflepals are definitely another dark horse to look out for, with the core of John” Dutchy” Holland, William “wfn” Maskrey, and Euan “synergii” Wilson combined with the upset potential of Matthew “moz” Gelder and TheDomBox anything can happen. Neither of these teams will be a favourite to win, but if you are looking for a dark horse who could cause some upsets then look no further.

The final mix worth mentioning is Genetexe. At the last EPIC.LAN they turned some heads by making the HLTV covered stage of the tournament and securing a top four finish. Most of the players might be retired, but when you have the Ruby League King on the roster you are always a team to keep an eye on.

Big names returning

Now there are many mixes with new up-and-coming players, but there are also teams returning to the UK Counter-Strike scene that haven’t been around in a while. The most prominent example of this is Craig “onscreen” Shannon, the former CS:GO player who switched to VALORANT and streaming where found enormous success. He plays alongside other former CS:GO-turned-VALORANT-pros including Dom “soulcas” Sulcas, Travis “L1NK” Mendoza, and Sam “Astroo” Gresham on “THE BALD, THE GOTHIC AND THE SQUID NOSE”. (onscreen, L1NK and astroo previously won EPIC22 under CeX)

Another returner is Alex “Byfield” Byfield, formerly known as snodz, whilst he hasn’t left Counter-Strike he had left the UK scene when he played in Spain, however, how he plays on the mix under The Last Resort banner. He is joined by well-known caster, Jack “Jacky” Peters.

The Showmatch to end all Showmatches

Here in the UK we know how to have a laugh and our Counter-Strike scene is no different – case and point; Granny Knockers and the BINMEN. Both communities remind us that UK LANs are here to be enjoyed alongside the heated competition, and both organisations have used their platforms to raise a great amount of money for charity. Now the two giants of UKCS have come together to raise money for Breast Cancer UK, a disease and charity that’s impacted multiple members taking part, by competing in a showmatch onstage at EPIC40.

The two communities have been closely associated and in communication for the last 14 months to organise this charity match, but it comes with a twist. To help drum up extra donations for the overall fundraisers, in addition to prizes and giveaways to participants and patrons, there will be multiple challenges and tasks during the match.

UKCSGO out in full force

Our coverage team consists of Dafydd Gwynn, Lewis “Badger” , Michael “Duck” Moriarty, and Marco “Rizzo” Rizzo, but in an unusual turn of events there will actually be more UKCSGO representatives than our coverage team as one current UKCSGO writer, one graphic designer and one former senior staff member find themselves competing. Arnie “Apettyproblem” Petty on Flashing Somewhere and Neo “Ne0Kai” Caine on Sharp Dressed Men have both contributed immensely to UKCSGO over the last year and a half, both making Senior Staff and shaping the site as we know it. Ethan “Fl0wz” Rogerson has also helped create the branding and graphics that UKCSGO use and will be supporting K10 as one of their owners whilst dbdan, one of our graphic designers, plays on The Book Club.

Ne0Kai at EPIC39

The Talent

EPIC.LAN has always been a place for up-and-coming talent to establish themselves and EPIC40 is no different as the new and old of UK CS talent come together to put on an incredible show. Picking up hosting duties across the event and for CS, alongside EPICLAN stalwart Nick “ReaperSteve” Stevens, will be friend (and staff member) of UKCSGO Leyna “Affinity” McQuillin.

The CS2 broadcast will have some familiar casters to the UK scene, including Harry “index” Bayliss and Tim “TIMMO” Musters who casted the EPIC39 final which featured on the big screen at the Wolverhampton Racecourse. Alongside the duo marks the return of the experienced commentators, Tom “SneakyBeaky” Taylor and Edward “hanno” Joyce, whilst Dutchman Orson “ServeralSheep” Schuijers is flying back after having his debut at the previous EPIC.


We’ll be streaming our esports tournaments all weekend long, capturing the top plays, big clutches and winning moments across all our titles!

Hosts – @ReaperSteve1 @AffinityPng

CS2 –

— EPIC.LAN UK Gaming & Esports Events (@EPICLAN) October 18, 2023

EPIC40 Fantasy

The fantasy for EPIC40 will have it’s own article, coming soon.