Hundreds gathered in Twickenham to see Fnatic Rising triumph in the UKLC Grand Final. With a 3-1 victory over Excel UK, Fnatic claimed their third trophy of the year and set a new benchmark for domestic dominance.

A keenly-contested best of 5 topped off a terrific day of League of Legends fun, as the boys in Black and Orange expanded their impressive silverware collection and earned themselves our top seed at EU Masters.

Here’s how a fantastic Fnatic claimed our shiny new trophy in the 2019 Summer Split Final!

Stage presence

Time and time again, when esports events hit the UK, we prove that our fans are amongst the best in the world. Yesterday’s audience in Twickenham Stadium was no exception.

A raucous crowd cheered both teams as they took to the stage to take down their rivals in the pursuit of glory. It was an experience that Excel UK was, no doubt, prepared for: the majority of their roster has LEC experience, and both Hjarnan and Kasing have also attended the World Championship. Fnatic Rising, however, boasted far less stage experience. As an added bonus, Excel were playing on what was effectively their home ground, with the stage within a minutes’ walk from their headquarters.

It was no surprise, then, to see that it was Excel who took an early lead in Game 1, as both teams adjusted to the environment.

Off the back of some excellent proactive play engineered by Taxer, Excel were 5K Gold ahead by the mid game. However, as has happened so many times this season when these two have faced off, Excel let their early lead slip.

Exile slightly overextended to attack Fnatic’s mid lane inhibitor, and Nji made him pay. His stolen Grand Starfall helped secure an Ace and then Baron, as Fnatic clawed their way back into the game.

His team were still behind, but Nji restored parity when he stole the next Baron away from Taxer. Finally back on even footing with Excel, Fnatic were able to out-teamfight their opponents and eventually pull off a double Teleport to end the game.

Outplay City

Things only got better for Fnatic in Game 2.

The second game of the series was a heart-pounding, thrill-a-minute fiesta, with strategic macro plays eschewed for hyper-aggressive teamfights and mechanical wizardry.

Despite a fair amount of back-and-forth (and some disgusting displays of damage), it was Fnatic who were in the ascendancy, moving to within one win of the UKLC trophy.

Comeback threat

Any follower of the LEC will have been well aware of G2 Esports’ spectacular reverse sweep over Fnatic on Saturday in a crucial Playoffs game, so the pressure was on to ensure that Fnatic Rising did not allow the same to happen to them in the UKLC Grand Final.

That was a worry that LEC caster Medic did little to assuage for Fnatic fans…

The threat of a series comeback only escalated as Excel quickly pushed ahead in Game 3.

This time, Excel weren’t going to let go of their advantage.

Hjarnan’s AP Kaisa was doing frankly disturbing things to Fnatic’s health bars, as Send0o again showed why he should not be let loose on Gnar. With the teams’ item discrepancies having grown enormous, Excel were able to brute-force the deciding teamfight and end the game.

Fnatic triumph

In Game 4 of the series, Fnatic Rising refused to allow themselves to be affected by a momentum shift, claiming a convincing victory and establishing themselves as the dominant League of Legends team in the UK and Ireland.

Every member of Fnatic finished off the series with aplomb, but newcomer Bando deserves extra credit for his performance in the final match. Showing that he wasn’t going to restrict himself to comfort picks on the big stage with his new team, Bando picked a unique champion in every game, and demonstrated nerves of steel to pull off this outplay as Camille.

Finally, with a significant gold lead and the crowd roaring them on, Fnatic were able to storm into Excel’s base. They razed the Nexus, seizing the series, trophy, and the region’s first seed at EU Masters.

Here’s how the full UKLC table shaped up at the end of Playoffs!

 


 

Fnatic’s win ensured that they earned the UKLC’s first seed to EU Masters. That means they’ll skip the Play-In Stage and enter straight into the Main Event, alongside other top teams from Europe, later this month. Excel UK will enter at the Play-In Stage as our second seed.

Now that Playoffs is finished, we also have Forge of Champions to look forward to. Amateur teams from across the British Isles will compete in order to qualify for Forge. If they qualify, they’ll play against the UKLC teams in a giant cup format. Stay tuned for information on how to qualify and compete with the best!

Then there’s the Promotion Tournament, where Barrage and NVision Esports will have to fight for their UKLC survival. They’ll be joined by the teams that qualify for Forge of Champions and compete for a place in next year’s UKLC Spring Split!

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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