With season two of the League of Legends ESL UK Premiership now over – and Team Infused lifting the trophy – we look back on some of our favourite players of the season.
We also tried to pick pros who played in the Premiership for at least half of the season.
NB: This is not a graded list based on each player’s skill level or achievements – it’s purely our opinion of some of the players we enjoyed watching on the Rift the most, in no particular order.
Former Choke Gaming top-laner
Before departing the UK LoL scene, numlocked
is was not your typical top-lane bully. Yes, he was an aggressive player going for picks such as Olaf and Renekton, but what we like about numlocked more than his ability to win his lane, was his natural shot-calling leadership in-game.
He led from the front and inspired his teammates to engage the enemy at just the right time, or teleport in to make a vital save or secure a kill.
numlocked is an experienced pro gamer, having played in Choke for more than a year and winning the 4Nations tournament last year, as well as i56 more recently. Props to him for giving it a go in the Turkish LCS too.
It’s sad to see numlocked leave the League of Legends scene, but exciting to see what he’ll do as part of G2’s Overwatch team in the future.
If there’s one word that sums up Swedish pro and Master tier player Erik “ZiViZ” Lövgren’s style of play in League of Legends, it’s ‘exciting’.
But using that word alone doesn’t tell the whole story: he is also a very clever kind of player with incredible timing, throwing out burst damage or a gank at just the right moment. He is capable of beating anyone on his day, and always looks dangerous whichever champ he’s playing, whether it’s the likes of Viktor, Orianna or another champ.
He even put in a formidable mid-lane performance as Corki in the ESL UK Premiership semi-final against Choke, helping his team to win 2-0 and progress to the final. He was also our MVP in this game at the start of the season.
ZiViZ, we salute you.
FM-eSports support (former top-laner)
Often described as a UK League of Legends eSports stalwart, Jamie “Tundra” Duthie now has four i-series LANs under his belt (including the recent i56, where he played with Choke).
While his talent is unquestionable, Tundra had a testing time throughout season 2. He switched from the top lane to support part-way through the season, showing his versatility, but FM went through several roster changes. Come the finals, FM were forced to bring in former players as they had used up their quota of subs, but still managed to reach the grand final against Team Infused.
Tundra has played with a plethora of pros over the years, including the likes of Amazing, Mithy, Kasing and Impaler, and last year deferred from university to try and make it as a full-time pro. He wrote a post outlining his frustrations last month, which for us highlighted what’s wrong with the UK eSports scene.
Tundra is certainly not afraid to speak up or say what he thinks, and is an incredibly focused individual. He also offers coaching on the side – you can check out Tundra’s coaching site and list of achievements here.
Captain Alphari & Maxlore
Team Infused top-laner/jungler wombo combo
British 16-year-old Barney “Captain Alphari” Morris, is for us, the most promising League of Legends player in the UK.
The 6ft3 top laner’s play is simply devastating; rarely a game goes by where he doesn’t win his lane and snowball. He’s difficult to shut down and consistently puts in exceptional performances that prove he’s good enough for the Challenger Series at least.
Put him alongside jungler Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian, however, and the pair are simply unstoppable. Together, they make ganking look so easy, and their stellar team play helped Infused win the ESL UK Premiership – not only that, they remained unbeaten and went throughout the season without losing a single game.
We went so far as to dub Team Infused ‘the SKT of the UK scene’, and Alphari & Maxlore ‘Maxphari’, just because a deadly duo like that deserve their own name. They even won the PGL Legends of the Rift tournament with To Infinity and Beyond.
Alphari is still young, and has room to improve even further – but is already drawing praise on Reddit. We’ve no doubt these lads are going to hit the big time.
Everyone else from Team Infused
(POILK, Charlietea, Arphan)
It would be an injustice for us not to mention the rest of Team Infused in this article.
Charlietea is probably the best mid-laner in the ESL UK Premiership, along with ZiViZ, and is a dominant player with bags of potential. He put in a few frightening performances as Ekko this season – and is often camped by his opponents in a bid to stop him from snowballing early on.
POILK and Arphan, meanwhile, make for a solid combination in the bottom lane. The pair rarely go behind, and POILK has been known to pull off some incredible plays with his teammate this season. The future is certainly very bright for Infused indeed.
Charlietea – pure filth on Ekko that game. pic.twitter.com/WINfXtxfyP
— Dezachu (@Dezachu) December 5, 2015
Former Terra Cotta Army mid-laner
He might not be part of Terra Cotta Army (TCA) any longer, but during his time with the team this season, Sean17 always put in an exciting performance.
For us, he impressed throughout the season and always looked dangerous as Twisted Fate, stunning and picking off enemy champions around the map.
Last month, he said he’s be stepping back from the competitive scene to focus on studying, saying he’s “pretty sure” he’s leaving TCA permanently, after pulling out of i56 two weeks before the event.
More recently, he made it to the quarter finals of the EU Challenger Series Open Qualifiers with Anodized Wrath, a team featuring…
Exertus Esports support
This support player is well-known for his strong mechanical ability and landing skillshots at opportune moments.
Wizz is deadly in the hands of Thresh, Janna and other support champs, and is no doubt part of the reason why Exertus has established itself as a solid League of Legends team in the top half of the ESL UK Premiership table.
He’s a joy to watch as Thresh throwing Death Sentence hooks in particular – watch out for him in the next season.
Described by Tundra as probably the best AD in the UK scene, Toaster123 is a top talent and Challenger player.
He is comfortable and competent playing a raft of champions, from Kalista, Lucian and Vayne in the bottom lane to Mordekaiser, Varus, Miss Fortune and more.
We want to highlight him because he’s always involved in key moments in the ESL UK matches, and is capable of pulling off excellent multi-kills throughout each game. One to watch.
Former Exertus Esports ADC
SubtomiK left Exertus halfway through the most recent ESL UK Premiership season, but left us with a string of impressive performances as ADC.
We labelled him ‘super subtomik’ after his amazing match with Exertus against the NUEL back at the start of the season, where he played out of his skin as Tristana.
After parting ways with Exertus, he made way for…
Exertus Esports ADC
Sir Scott is an experienced ADC, having finished as runner-up at i52 with BEST UK TEAM KAPPA, played alongside PowerOfEvil at the Scan EU West Winter Invitational last year and more recently Exertus.
After coming into the side midway through the season, he gave Team Infused a scare, going 14/3/6 as Miss Fortune (just after Riot pushed a patch live that meant MF’s ultimate could crit).
He’s also more than capable with the likes of Vayne, Kalista, Graves and others, and is another player to keep an eye on next season (if he sticks with Exertus – there are roster changes expected).
What about you?
Who are your favourites? Have we made a big mistake and missed anyone? Leave a comment and share your views.
Player photo credit: ESL | eslgaming.com, S.Choucino
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League player and WoW RPer, he has written for a range of publications including Games TM, Nintendo Official Magazine, games industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games. He currently works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association.