ESL UK LoL promotions weekend preview: Who will qualify for the Premiership?

The week-three qualifier saw Renegades Banditos, ManaLight, GLB Blue and exceL eSports progress to the ESL UK Premiership promotion tournament. So who will they be facing and what action can we expect to see this Valentines weekend? (February 13th to 14th)

Qualifiers recap

1st Seed:
Renegades qualified for the 1st seed without any doubt. They won both finals in the first two weeks of the tournament and finished in the semi-finals of the third week, earning them the 1st seed –  25 points ahead of the 2nd seed ManaLight.
With the full roster they entered, they won both finals, but with the sub roster, they were defeated at the semis to exceL eSports. With their full roster they should enter this weekend’s tournament as the biggest contender to take a spot in the finals.
2nd Seed:
The 2nd seed, ManaLight played consistently well throughout the tournament, by going into the semi-finals the first week and two finals after that. The final week won them their final victory – and it was a deserving win due to their consistency.
With this, ManaLight had an impressive showing in the tournament and took the 2nd seed uncontested. This should make them a decent threat towards any other team going into the weekend.
 

“With their full roster, Renegades should enter this weekend’s tournament as the biggest contender to take a spot in the finals.”

 
3rd Seed:
The 3rd seed went to GLB Blue. GLB played well-fought/close games with the other seeded members and other closely-scored teams in the ladder. They went to the final of the first week versus Renegades and went into the semi-finals the two weeks after that, thus making them deserving of reaching the promotion tournament for their chance at qualifying for the Premiership.
4th Seed:
The 4th seed went to exceL eSports. It was a disappointing first week due to the DQ when Skudzy’s internet tripped vs GLB in a very close game in the first round. xL returned with a spiced up roster in the bot-lane and improved greatly from it. They went from a team at the bottom of the ladder to fifth within the second week and then took the final seed after going into the final of the third week.
With their rate of improvement, they should make a good shot for the premiership on the weekend.
 

What’s next for the four qualifying teams?

These teams will play this weekend (February 13th and 14th) against each other and the defenders from the previous ESL Premiership season, as well as MnM, who got their spot from winning the ladder months before.
The defending teams are therefore NUEL Titans, TCA, MnM and Team Paria.
This is how the schedule looks and how the rosters are shaping up.
The tournament is set out with best of ones, with the advancing teams taking on the defenders for the first day. It then proceeds into a winner and losers bracket later in the day, and the day after.
 

Promotions Match Previews

 
NUEL Titans vs xL eSports
The first match will see the NUEL Titans face off against xL eSports. Both xL and NUEL seem to have a similar strength roster and so this should be one of the most unpredictable matches of the weekend.
The only doubt that will make this game uninteresting vs the NUEL Titans will be the plague of PC/network problems that have got two of their games disqualified over the past three weeks. Other than that, the game should be pretty close and exciting, especially with NUEL AD Luke Dainton saying xL’s bot lane looks strong a few weeks ago – and now he has to face them on Saturday, giving the game that little more hype.
 

“NUEL are a really strong team, and we’ve done a lot of preparation for them. We feel that we can beat them, and that’s exactly what we’re going out on Saturday to do, but it won’t be an easy game by any measure.”
xL Barnetto

 
xL Barnetto told eSports News UK: “NUEL are a really strong team, and we’ve done a lot of preparation for them. The fact that it is a best of one is really not what we wanted as anything can happen in a best of one, but, it is what it is and we’ve taken it in our stride.
“We feel that we can beat them, and that’s exactly what we’re going out on Saturday to do, but it won’t be an easy game by any measure. They have extremely talented players and an equally talented coaching and managerial team. I just hope for a good game, with hopefully exceL winning at the end!”
 
Renegades vs MnM
The next game will be the highly anticipated Renegade Banditos versus MnM Gaming, who took the first place slot after winning the major ladder some months ago.
Renegades entered the scene in hopes of qualifying for the Challenger Series for the summer split, on the other hand MnM have been one of the better teams in the UK for some months now. Both of these teams will look to prove something by taking a spot into the Premiership this weekend, and this match is most likely the most anticipated match of the weekend.
ManaLight’s head coach Will “FrozenDawn” Burgess said: “RNG will win. Reasons: Not really too much to say on this in honesty. RNG have blue side advantage, they have better laners in every position more experience in every way. Their only weakness might be if they got arrogant or grossly overconfident and then also have a massive early game blunder which could give MnM the momentum. But that’s not likely.”
 
Paria vs ManaLight
The third game of the day is between Team Paria vs ManaLight. Paria’s all-new roster should make an interesting appearance versus ManaLight, a team we have seen play consistently well (minus the challenge that GLB gave them on Wednesday) over the past three weeks.
Many people have said that they believe ManaLight to be one of the teams to enter into the ESL Premiership and so this game Paria might have burden, but upsets have been a regular occurrence in the UK, so Paria should not be dismissed lightly.
 

“We have better players in every role, with more experience across the board.”
ML FrozenDawn

 
“Obviously, being head coach of ML I’m going to vote for us to win. But I also think I have good reason. In short, I think we have better players in every role, with more experience across the board. Although Paria has been able to see us play, we haven’t given anything significant away in our qualifiers so it doesn’t have as much value as say perhaps having seen xL or GLB play would have,” said ManaLight coach Will “FrozenDawn” Burgess.
Paria’s female mid-laner Vicksy added: “I’m pretty excited – I’ve always wanted to play on a larger scale team and this is the perfect opportunity.”
When asked about her one-second Katarina Pentakill and if she has other tricks up her sleeve, she replied: “I can easily say that I have tricks up my sleeve… you will have to see for yourself.”
 
GLB vs TCA
The final game scheduled for the day is GLB vs TCA. GLB made a name for themselves coming into the scene with close games versus some of the higher seeded teams in their three weeks of playing in the tournament. TCA on the other hand have had three weeks of team practice and have had the privilege of watching their three weeks of play – they could be ready to take down GLB. Either way, both teams will have a good shot at each other and it should make a very interesting match to watch.
 

“Hopefully we win and ManaLight win on Saturday, so we can have that rematch from Wednesday, because we want that game and we want to win that game.”
GLB Sleby

 
“We have been studying TCA for a while now and we look like we’re good enough to have a shot at challenging them. We feel we are super prepared, we have the coaching/analysts to help with tactics and strategy against them and have put in the hours to feel confident about facing them, even as we speak the team is getting ready to scrim in preparation for tomorrow,” said team coach GLB Sleby.
“Hopefully we win and ManaLight win on Saturday, so we can have that rematch from Wednesday, because we want that game and we want to win that game.”
This is how the schedule looks and how the rosters are shaping up.
Visit the ESL UK LoL Twitch stream to watch the matches live this weekend
 
Image source: ESL UK / Scott Chouciño

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‘No female player is good enough, but I have tricks up my sleeve’ – Team Paria’s UK female mid-laner Vicksy | eSports News UK | ESL UK PremiershipInterview: Team Paria coach on chances of qualifying for ESL UK Premiership | eSports News UK | ESL UK Premiership Recent comment authors
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