Fnatic Rising have become the first team to lock in a spot at the UKLC Grand Final. Week 7 also saw Phelan Gaming secure their survival by defeating NVision Esports in a crucial tiebreaker, sending their opponents into the Promotion Tournament.

When MnM Gaming denied Excel UK in the last tower final of 2019, Fnatic Rising were locked into first place, ensuring that they’ll be competing for another UKLC title at the Grand Final in Twickenham Stadium on the 1st of September. And we finally know who’s going where in the Gauntlet—and which teams are heading to the Promotion Tournament.

Here’s the biggest stories of the week!

Enclave call in reinforcements

The standings looked dire for Enclave Gaming heading into Week 7, with the team in serious danger of missing Playoffs. To compound those issues, their top laner, Renghis, was about to sit his exams, meaning they required urgent assistance in order to defeat Phelan Gaming and avoid the Promotion Tournament. And they found it in the form of Rifty, a UK veteran.

Rifty’s return to the UK scene was, it’s fair to say, quite dramatic.

After securing multiple solo kills against Beartree’s Gangplank, Rifty then came up huge in a game-deciding teamfight around the Infernal Dragon, resulting in a Triple Kill and a straightforward close-out for Enclave.

Excel denied

In the semifinals, Rifty found his triumphant return unceremoniously cut short.

Excel UK came into this week knowing that they needed to win the whole tower in order to guarantee themselves a spot in the Grand Finals on their own home turf, Twickenham Stadium. And they got off to a great start, steamrolling both Diabolus and Enclave Gaming.

However, they were denied in the tower final, when MnM Gaming ruined Excel’s 100% record against sides not called ‘Fnatic Rising’. Excel perhaps over-flexed a little too much in the draft, as Hjarnan’s unorthodox Singed top was punished by Only Angel’s Aatrox. But the game was truly decided in bot lane, where Yusa and Shogun’s Sona/Tahm lane successfully repelled two dives, allowing them to scale and roll over mid-game teamfights.

With MnM’s impressive victory, Fnatic Rising were locked in as first place after the regular season, ensuring them a berth at the UKLC Grand Final in Twickenham Stadium and a spot in EU Masters.

Hidon sends Barrage to the depths

With just one point secured this split, Barrage came into Week 7 knowing that they’d have to win at least two games to have a chance of avoiding the Promotion Tournament. And though their Round of 8 game against fourth-placed Demise was much closer than the standings would suggest, it all fell apart at 24 minutes, when Hidon’s Nunu stole the Baron.

With that loss, Barrage finished dead last in the standings, meaning that they’ll have the lower seed in the fight against potential relegation this autumn. Demise, meanwhile, could not overtake MnM in the battle for third, as the Marshmallows hit their stride on the final week.

Bonus: All-assassins OP

By the time the tower final (and tower rematch) rolled around, Fnatic Rising, Excel UK and MnM Gaming already knew exactly where they’d placed in the top 3. So, Fnatic’s coach Jandro took a little time to experiment.

The first game was definitely Teamfight Tactics-inspired…

The tower rematch was another fun one—it marked a record-breaking appearance for Ronaldooo, who played (and won) as Fnatic’s AD Carry, making him the first person in the league to win a game in all five roles.

Even with constant shuffles, TFT drafts and the debut of a new top laner, Bando, Fnatic were still able to take both games against MnM. It seems like the reigning champions are hitting form at just the right time of the season (as if they weren’t already scary enough).

Phelan take the tiebreaker

With Week 7’s tower completed, every position in the standings was finalised; except for one tie for 7th place between Phelan Gaming and NVision Esports. On Friday, a best-of-1 tiebreaker was played for league survival and the last spot in the Gauntlet.

With everything on the line, it was ultimately Phelan’s superior experience that shone through. Visdom’s Alistar caught out NVision Esports time and time again, leaving NVision’s late-game composition with no time to scale. With Phelan starting a bot lane siege, Infinity initiated a last-ditch effort to repel the wolves from their gate, but to no avail.

That was enough to lock Phelan into 7th, as they ensured their safety and clinched a last chance to climb the rankings in the Gauntlet.

The Gauntlet itself starts as soon as Tuesday and (apart from the Final) finishes on Thursday, with two rounds played per day. Every round is a best of 3, except for the Grand Final on the 1st of September, which is a best of 5. Both teams that make the Final will also represent the UK and Ireland at EU Masters, with the loser taking a Play-Ins spot and the winner going straight to the Main Event.

Rounds 1-5 will see the first series will start at 18:00 BST every day, with the second best of 3 set to follow very shortly after (around 20:30 BST). The Grand Final will commence at 15:00 BST.

Make sure you’re ready by following our channel at twitch.tv/lvpuklol. And stay tuned to our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more updates and announcements as all the season’s drama unfolds!

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