Week 1 of the UKEL 2020 Spring Split was nothing short of amazing. All four games demonstrated how hungry these teams are to show their true talent and head to play-offs. With teams such as Absolved, Bulldog and Viperio returning for a second year heading off against new teams Peak Esports and London Esports, it was unknown to all how these games were going to turn out, and I don’t think anyone (apart from fans of London Esports) was disappointed.
Game 1: Viperio v Absolved
The first game of the split was between two teams we’ve seen before and showed that Absolved clearly had a message to send to the inaugural UKEL champions. With a relatively slow start to the game, it didn’t take long for the high octane action to kick off. Thomas Goh’s Ryze picked up the first blood for Absolved, however, VIP≡R eagerly struck back, assisting smurfwing1 in avenging their ally.
The beginning of the end started for Viperio after Absolved scored an ACE against them on the bottom side of the map after a ruthless team fight in which they took no prisoners. The high action gameplay between the two teams showed no sign of stopping as just minutes later a second-team fight broke out on the top side of the map after a beautiful engage from Regan’s Rakan. Despite the fight initially going the way of Viperio with Smurfwing1’s Irelia tearing through the team and getting a triple, Thomas Goh made up for the dead Xayah and Rakan by absolutely melting the health of the opposition and picking up a triple kill of his own.
After an abrupt pause that allowed Viperio to hang on a minute longer, a second rift herald, two dragons and an elder dragon followed and Absolved managed to demolish the nexus.
Game 2: Vector vs Bulldog
The second game started off with a bang with 2 kills being dropped in the first 3 minutes of the match and a Miss Fortune with double-buffs, the game promised to deliver. Bulldog seemed adamant to put the new addition to the UKEL in their place, as for the majority of the game Hi Im Jacob was near unkillable, as he was able to survive extraordinary attempts on his life and pick up kills along the way. The game offered not only a mountain soul to the teams but also 3 mountain dragons, all of which were taken by the returning team, despite this Vector showed no sign of going down without a fight, as the minutes went on and Gangplank and Ryze scaled into late game, the game seemed to be more even than thought.
After Bulldog took Baron, however, the constant siege on Vector’s base meant that the game didn’t last much longer, with Këra’s Renekton being 6/1/3 and Hi Im Jacob’s Miss Fortune being 9/2/9 by the end of the game, unfortunately Vector didn’t stand much of a chance when Bulldog decided to push up to the nexus and end Vector’s first game in the UKEL.
Game 3: Peak Esports vs London Esports
Game 3 of the night saw two new teams go head to head on Summoner’s Rift, battling it out to assert themselves as a force to be reckoned with. The nerves of playing seemed to get the roster of Peak Esports early, with a mistake contestation at dragon pit allowing for London Esports to get ahead with a 2k gold lead and an early mountain dragon. After a few skirmishes and a pause (disconnect from London Esports) the game started looking a lot more even after Peak Esports’ G2 Liam managed to get himself back on track on the Miss Fortune.
Peak Esports manage to pull ahead after a rough teamfight top side enables the team to go ahead in kills for the first time of the game, demonstrating their resilience and tenacity to keep up with London Esports. After a second pause, London Esports, unfortunately, lost their jungler NoName to a disconnect, putting them on the backfoot and allowing Peak Esports to step-up and take Baron without a contesting smite and barrel their way into London Esports base, coming up against little resistance.
An unlucky game for London Esports with the loss of NoName half-way through, but viewers should look forward to next week where they hopefully get to play fully with their roster
Game 4: NSG vs Mythos
The final game of the night saw Mythos absolutely clean the floor with NSG. The quickest game of the night saw Kr1zzlep’s Lucian go unkilled and a 19 and 4 shut out. After Mythos had a fairly strong early game, the game went without kills for a fair amount of time, until NSG saw red and took out Diakou twice, almost managing to get back into the game until getting shut down again by Mythos. It wasn’t just the Lucian that shone in game 4 however, both 4Shore’s Olaf and Potetsalat’s Fizz were on fire, contributing to the permanent gold lead Mythos held over NSG.
This game told a story about Mythos’ redemption after it took them till week 4 to get their first win last year, Mythos declared that 2020 is their year with this dominant victory. This isn’t to say that NSG just lay down and took the hammering, as they tried being proactive and taking objectives like Baron, but the sheer damage from Mythos made it difficult to do anything.
That about wraps up the first week of the UKEL, 4 games with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The narratives set up by week one are more than enticing and I for one, am excited to see what happens next week