UKEL Week 4- the week of upsets, carry performances and Camille picks. With the standings beginning to diversify even further, there are only three more weeks for our teams to prove themselves, and to potentially knock Clique from their comfortable position at the top of the standings. With Viperio clinching in at a very close second, it’s all to play for in the upcoming weeks, and the competition is definitely beginning to heat up. This week saw one-sided stomps and hard-fought slogs alike and offered up more MVP candidates than Team Liquid in the 2019 Summer Split. So, without further ado, here is your Week 4 UKEL roundup.
GAME 1: Mythos v Bulldog
Everybody loves a Cinderella story. The plucky underdog, battling all odds for the victory, emerging bruised but with their heads held high. This week we got to see Mythos pick up their first win of the split so far, and with a flair that is all their own. With substitutions in the middle and top lanes, it looked at first as though this was going to be like any other week for Mythos, facing off against a Bulldog squad whose only loss was to the current tournament favourites. However, it seems these substitutions were exactly what Mythos needed to put the wind back in their sails- with a phenomenal performance by Skar on Camille, whose masterful execution of teamfights combined with some excellent split pushing calls was able to secure the game in a timely fashion.
However, not all of the praise can be put on to Mythos. It is the sign of an excellent player when then can look good even in a loss- praise that can definitely be directed at some of Bulldog’s less flashy members. Although it may be EgoSpeed flashing in on Aatrox for the one versus five Worldender turnaround, it is Gould that is left to clean up the fights in his wake. Despite their loss this week, and a less-than-optimal performance at some points in the game, Gould still remains a player to watch for the Bulldogs squad. All that remains is to pray that he somehow manages to snatch up the Kalista in draft, and perhaps we will see a return to form for BDG in time to clinch into top 3.
GAME 2: Clique v Radiant
The curse continues- any team matched up into Clique has to make a reasonable assumption that they are going to be facing a loss that week. This roster just keeps going from strength to strength, yet this week we finally got to see them diversify a little in their playstyle. Where before we have seen Praevius on heavy tank junglers providing a backup for Bendix’s solo carry gameplay in the midlane, this week we were treated to a bit of a different look for the all-star roster. No longer put on the role of ‘protect the team’ I could almost hear Praevius’s sigh of relief when his Jarvan was first picked away by Radiant’s Tyrin, moving him onto the more carry-oriented Sylas pick. And carry he did, with the help of Akkers piloting an unstoppable Camille. Although they are often overlooked in favour of the top side of the map, a special mention also deserves to go out to Clique’s botlane; the rocks of the team, whose methodical gameplay is a huge, if not very commonly noticed feature of Clique’s wins.
This week was a sad one for poor Dinoricar- with his onetrick Kled banned away, he was relegated to the Aatrox, and despite boasting an impressive splitpush into the later parts of the game, was no match for Akkers and his knife legs. It seems as if Radiant are struggling a little to find their identity- there is no clear carry player for this team, and it is beginning to reflect in their scoreline, having gone 0-2 in the past two weeks. Hopefully, they can clean up their act moving into Week 5, as I still do not believe we have seen everything this team has to offer.
GAME 3: LionsCreed v Absolved
If solo queue has taught us anything, it is that a fed Syndra is a scary, scary thing. You can just be walking across the rift, minding your own business, when suddenly a floating purple woman flashes on you from a bush and you’re playing grey screen simulator for the next 30 seconds. This was the experience for LionsCreed this week, with VoidTerror living up to his name with a terrifying Syndra performance that piloted Absolved to pick up their second victory of the split so far. With carries in both the middle and bottom lanes, Fuyu putting up an excellent Ezreal game supported by ResQ on Rakan, Absolved managed to shut down a fed Mordekaiser and a botlane Fnatic cosplay to close out the victory. The Karma/Pyke duo picked by LionsCreed this week, made famous by Rekkles and Hylissang of LEC fame, unfortunately, did not help the lions to replicate a Fnatic scoreline; failing to provide any real utility for the team outside of a few shields that were broken almost instantly by a well-placed Arcane Missile.
Despite an early-game carry performance by Wufo on the toplane Mordekaiser pick, LionsCreed are suffering from the same curse that has been plaguing Radiant. There is no definitive carry for this team, something that is reflected in their 1-3 scoreline. With Kzed now being relegated to more supportive picks, LionsCreed are going to have to start looking elsewhere for the carry potential needed to turn their scoreline around in the final weeks of the UKEL.
GAME 4: Vipero v NSG
The final game of the night proved tough for NSG as they struggled to create even the smallest gust against Viperio. With the game ending a hair’s breadth over 20 minutes, it looked as though NSG were simply outclassed from early in the match. Despite DFG picking up two early kills on the Kassadin, NSG were not able to turn their positive start into any kind of lead whatsoever thanks to Cheelm’s Gragas who finished the game with a massive 86% kill participation, those two kills would be the only kills NSG would manage to find throughout the game. By 19 minutes Aether’s Kai’sa had finished 3 items and was pumping out phenomenal amounts of damage, putting the final nail in the coffin for NSG. Nuclear Storm have to make good use of the break week to solve the issues in their gameplay, and come back even stronger for Week 5.