Fnatic Rising remain strong atop the tower. Despite an impressive surge from MnM Gaming, Fnatic saw off the competition and this week became the first team to successfully defeat a challenger!

Meanwhile, MnM’s rise to the top saw them deliver a shock first round exit to Excel UK, and they also dispatched Enclave Gaming and Diabolus Esports en route to the tower challenge. Here’s the story of the week’s action…

Day 1

Diabolus claimed their second win of the season over Phelan Gaming in Week 3’s first game. The Irish wolves kept up their pedigree of early game proactivity, but Diabolus deftly tip-toed around their engages to come out on top in virtually every exchange and destroy the Nexus.

MnM followed that up with one of the most incredible UKLC games yet. With only one win to their name thus far in the tournament, they were pitted against Excel UK, a previous tower champion. Excel’s marksman, Innaxe, had publicly called MnM “a free win” before the game—a claim that would not age well whatsoever. Despite Excel pushing to a strong early lead, Monk’s Kog’Maw was an absolute monstrosity in late game teamfights.

It was the first time another team had managed to inflict a defeat on an LEC side, proving that no team can afford to underestimate their opposition. It also proved the truth behind the old adage: “Monk will carry.”

DarkSpawn Gaming took on Enclave Gaming in the next Round of 8 match-up looking to establish themselves as a top contender after a promising start to the UKLC. But they came up against a Demacian brick wall, as Raizins’ delivered an MVP performance on Galio support. Thwarted by The Colossus at every turn, DarkSpawn fell to defeat as Enclave scored their first point of the season.

The last game of the night saw Barrage Esports go up against Bulldog Esports, and with both teams without a win leading into Week 3, plenty was on the line. A back-and-forth affair was blown wide open when Bartiono’s 4-man Galio taunt set up Kruimel and Artorias for a filthy wombo combo, propelling Barrage into the semifinals.

Day 2

Diabolus were huge favourites for the first semifinal, but it was Barrage who built themselves a tremendous gold lead through solid teamfighting and fearless Rocket Jumps from Jakamaka’s Tristana. Early inhibitors fell in Diabolus’s base, but the devils clinged on to life, twice defying defeat with huge base defences.

With a fed Kai’Sa and all the momentum, Diabolus incredibly managed to claw back the deficit and steal the win from Barrage, booking themselves the first spot in the tower bracket final.

And there was another Kai’Sa-inspired comeback in the next match. MnM were on the ropes against Enclave, having fallen 6.8k gold behind after 18 minutes of bleeding kills and towers. But with his team’s gold funnelled into him, MnM’s Monk could carry yet again, setting us up for a spicy tower final.

This time, it was MnM that found themselves with a lead. But after a smart teamfight win from Diabolus, it looked like another comeback could be on the cards. That was, until this moment…

Somehow, that was not the death knell for Diabolus, who stubbornly refused to be beaten. The ending to the game was incredibly tense, and it’s certainly worth watching in the VoD (the embedded video starts from 46 minutes into the match!)

MnM’s victory sent them to the tower challenge, where Fnatic Rising had been patiently waiting for their foe to be decided. After their crazy run, MnM looked like they might be able to give Fnatic a run for their money… but unfortunately for them, that’s not quite how it turned out.

A fantastically diverse draft (featuring Yasuo, Sylas, and Monk on Veigar bot) set us up for a game that threatened to snowball quickly in favour of whichever team got ahead. And at an early Infernal Dragon fight, Fnatic made sure that team was them.

With their high-damage composition given the tools to succeed straight away, Fnatic were riding high, and MnM had to come back from the worst possible start to the game. Ultimately, they were unable to do so, as some mechanical magic from Fnatic’s carries took them to MnM’s Nexus in spectacular fashion.

Fnatic’s victory was the first time a defending champion has won a tower challenge. However, their win does open up the tower rematch: a fixture which will be played at the start of next week, where MnM will have another chance to take the tower and earn another point in the standings.

The full fixture list for next week will be released soon. Make sure you’re ready by following our channel at twitch.tv/lvpuk. And stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates and announcements as all the season’s drama unfolds!