Eight UKLC teams. Four best-of-3s. UKLC form be damned; this is about who prepares the best, adapts the fastest, and fights the hardest. This is about cup glory, and who wants it the most on the day. This is Forge of Champions, and we’re on to Round 2.
The first Round of Forge of Champions action saw four Open Teams brutally cut down by the four UKLC sides with the lowest finishes at the end of the UKLC Summer Split. Now, with the newcomers expelled from the Main Event, it’s an all-UKLC brawl to decide who gets into Round 3.
Who can take down their rivals, put a hungry challenger in their place, or upset a titan?
Here’s four questions we’re looking to have answered in Round 2 of Forge of Champions Summer 2019!
Can Demise finally win Hell Clàsico?
Demise might have finished higher in the UKLC Summer Split, but Diabolus earned the bragging rights between this dastardly duo. They secured a 2-0 record in Hell Clàsico during the regular season—can they make it three?
If their Round 1 form was anything to go by, another Diabolus win seems to be on the cards. The team’s synergy was on point following an adventurous team bootcamp; if Demise are to win, they’ll need to demonstrate equal coordination—or perhaps one of their infamous spicy champion picks.
Game 1: Demise vs Diabolus Wed 9th Oct | 18:00 BST
How much have Barrage improved?
There’s no way to sugarcoat it; Barrage had an abysmal UKLC Summer Split. They got here after defeating arguably the weakest side of the four Open Teams in Round 1.
And yet, there was something about their performance in that series that suggested that maybe—just maybe—this team is destined for greater things. With top laner Ice Breaker and marksman Kd0 making exceptional debuts, can they challenge for a Round 3 spot? Their opponents, Excel UK, are formidable, but they may still be recovering from a lengthy EU Masters appearance. Now could be Barrage’s best shot at taking a famous upset.
Game 2: Excel UK vs Barrage Wed 9th Oct | ~20:30 BST
Does Akabane bring an X factor?
Enclave Gaming only made one change heading into Forge of Champions, introducing Philippe “Akabane” Le in the jungle. The Frenchman had a rough opening game on Lee Sin against Bulldog Esports, but made up for it with a convincing Jarvan IV showing in the second match to help close out the series. He has big shoes to fill, replacing Skude in the line-up—what can he offer an Enclave side looking to take down an unchanged MnM?
Game 3: MnM Gaming vs Enclave Gaming Thu 10th Oct | 18:00 BST
Are Phelan still the same side that tore through the Gauntlet?
Phelan Gaming played against NVision Esports at the very end of the UKLC Summer Split in a tiebreaker that would knock NVision into the Promotion Tournament. It also saw Phelan sneak into the Gauntlet as the lowest seed—and the rest was history.
However, this is not the same Phelan Gaming that rampaged through five successive opponents in the Playoffs. Their coaching staff has been overhauled, with the experienced Furndog joining as Pad and Conor depart. And the #2 Support of the Split, Visdom, will not be starting for the Irish Wolves. His absence will undoubtedly be felt—but, against an NVision side who had a fantastic Round 1 performance, can Phelan prove they still have the fire that took them to third in the league?
Game 4: Phelan Gaming vs NVision Esports Thu 10th Oct | ~20:30 BST
The Forge of Champions Main Event is being broadcast in its entirety, so make sure you tune in to twitch.tv/lvpuklol to catch all of the action. After that, there’s the Promotion Tournament, where NVision Esports and Barrage will have to fight for their UKLC survival. They’ll be joined by teams from the Forge of Champions Open Tournaments and compete for promotion to the UKLC Summer Split.