Week three of the UKEL is upon us, and with it the moment we have all been dreading- a meta has begun to rear its head, and it was not the assassin midlaners every game that we’d all been hoping for. We have been treated to more Corki’s and Azir’s than you can shake a stick at, some of which have been significantly more successful than others. Although the picks may not be particularly diverse, the standings are starting to show some differentiation, with Clique surging ahead to top the tables with a 3-0 record, and Mythos lagging behind with a winless start to the split.
GAME 1: Absolved vs Clique
Any team playing into Clique should make it their prerogative to ban Corki. Seriously, it’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter if Jarvan is your mental hard counter and you absolutely cannot play into him- just ban Corki. Bendix has proven two weeks in a row that he is an absolute monster piloting this champion, with this week’s K/D/A of 8/0/4 sealing the nail in Absolved’s coffin. Ah, well. Better luck next week for Absolved, and for the love of God please start banning Corki against Bendix.
Not to harp on about one player, a special mention also deserves to go out to Praevius, whose consistency in the jungle has been a large part of Clique’s success. Sejuani and Jarvan might not be able to make the flashiest plays in the world, but Praevius’s excellent map reads and flawless objective rotations give Clique’s flashier players the chance to rack up the montage moments.
GAME 2: Bulldog vs LionsCreed
The first game of the day was an inarguable stomp, but game two was a little more of a nail-biter. Both teams went pretty much even for the entirety of the early game, with neither side quite able to pull out a lead on the other. It took a clutch three-man shurima shuffle and subsequent triple kill by Ehyro’s Azir to secure the Nashor and then the game, with Bulldog moving slowly up the standings to sit in a three-way tie with Viperio and Radiant.
It’s almost a given than MVP of this game should go to Ehyro, but shoutout to Wufo for winning his lane in spectacular fashion on everyone’s favourite tentacle wielding elder priestess. Illaoi is a fairly uncommon pick, but it seems like every time she rears her head in competitive she is usually the sole reason the game is either won or lost. It seems like the power of the gods was on Wufo’s side this week; let’s see if Bulldog can keep the favour of Nagakabouros in the coming weeks of the UKEL.
GAME 3: Viperio vs Mythos
If anything, this game officially decided that as of right now, Aethér is the best Kai’Sa in the league. We’ve seen varied levels of performance on the void queen (moment of silence for Jhinsanity flashing in 1v3 in Week 1) but she has seen fairly consistent play across the split so far, yet none as outstanding as the show Aethér put on for us today. Mythos learned the hard way that yes, you really do have to focus the ADC in a team fight, as Aethér made quick work of their HP bars with great positioning in the final team fight of the game, clinching the win for his team.
Let’s not give all the credit to Aethér, though. Munch and Dakin made it their mission in this game to get their trusty ADC as fed as possible in as little time as possible, giving up their lives, jungle camps and roam opportunities to funnel Kai’Sa to her full potential as a one-woman team killing machine. Building first item Knight’s Vow on Trundle is the ultimate bro move, so shout out to Dakin as Viperio move up the standings once again.
GAME 4: Radiant vs NSG
It would be easy to think that the UKEL had begun to conform to some kind of meta. Corki, Azir, Akali, Jarvan- all mainstays of the first few weeks of competition, and all respectable picks for a high-elo player. However, there are some times when the meta picks just will not do, and in those brief moments of madness we get to experience such innovative lane matchups as Warwick versus Sejuani. A pretty standard matchup for the jungle, but this was toplane, and different rules apply. Despite getting himself very fed in the early game, Dinoricar discovered that Warwick cannot 1v5 against an exceptionally fed Jinx and her pet cat.
Although it would be easy to get distracted by whatever was going on in the toplane, the true MVP of this game was undoubtedly Kasper. Playing a ranged hypercarry into a team where 4/5 members are packing pretty consistent crowd control it can feel awful, but Kasper’s performance today could give Rekkles a run for his money. With TechyFiend sat in his back pocket, he was an unkillable kiting machine, securing NSG their first win with a K/D/A of 9/1/4.