The strong got stronger this week in the ESL UK League of Legends Premiership, with ManaLight and Renegades each picking up their fifth straight win.
This week’s ESL games were critical for several teams’ hopes of reaching the LAN playoffs. TCA, MnM, Exertus and Choke were all tied 2-2 in the standings ahead of this evening’s matches, so a win could make or break a playoff dream for them.
So how did today’s matches go? Craig Robinson reports.
Exertus vs Cliff is a Boosted Animal (CBA, the roster that was dropped by Team Infused)
EXT: Trundle, Kindred, Lulu, Lucian, Bard
CBA: Fiora, Elise, TF, Sivir, Alistar
The biggest take away from this game was CBA putting up an early game fight with picks across the map.
The game looked promising for the first 15 minutes, with CBA getting a 2k gold lead from picks and rotations. However Exertus generally played the game better after 15 minutes and got what they needed to secure their advantages in fights and rotations, which got them the game at 30 minutes with a 13k gold advantage.
FM vs Choke
Unfortunately for FM, they ran into another problem and had to forfeit the game from admin rulings after the pick and ban phase went through.
Apparently FM’s ADC Sir Scott had a powercut during champ select, which meant Choke got the free win.
This meant that FM picked up their fifth straight loss on the bounce, but for Choke this placed them at three wins and two losses.
It was a shame not to see a game between the two fierce UK eSports rivals.
Really sad that we couldn’t play:(, R.I.P powercut sorry to my team :'(
— Scott Sidney (@SirScottLoL) March 16, 2016
TCA vs Renegades Banditos
TCA: Shen, Gragas, Corki, Lucian, Thresh
RNB: Ahri, Kindred, Quin, Kalista, Braum
A win here would mean that TCA’s chances of making the playoffs would increase drastically.
And TCA did put up a fight to make sure that was possible. They made proactive decisions throughout the game, fought hard and genuinely looked to upset Renegades throughout the entirety of the game.
Unfortunately, TCA fell short around 30 minutes in, and Renegades took control of the game. It was all over at 40 minutes after a number of successful team fights. The win meant the Banditos maintained that first place position with ManaLight.
Don’t worry TCA, Craig still loves you.
MnM vs ManaLight
MNM: Nautilus, Rek’Sai, TF, Ezreal, Alistar
ML: Trundle, Gragas, Ahri, Lucian, Braum
Unlike the close games prior to this, ManaLight had decisive control from the start.
Rifty was fed early on and this snowball effect swept across all of ManaLight’s players. The game ended at 23 minutes, with ManaLight holding a 16k gold lead, without having to deal with too much resistance from MnM.
ESL UK LoL Premiership standings (March 16th)
Now that the middle of the table has separated, the top four teams that could qualify for LAN are now standing out.
But after today’s performances and a few uncertainties from recent weeks, this top four may not be set in stone just yet. It’s certainly something to keep an eye out for next week, to see if there are any sudden changes or upsets around the corner.
Source: ESL UK standings
What does this mean for next week?
Once again next week will still be a crucial for the middle of the ladder teams.
Can TCA cause an upset and beat ManaLight after their impressive fight against Renegades?
Will MnM manage to overthrow Renegades after TCA exposed some of their weaknesses?
Can FM finally get a win and cause problems for Exertus’ playoff dreams? And can CBA do the same towards Choke?
Watch next week’s ESL UK Premiership games on the ESL UK LoL twitch page next Wednesday (March 23rd) from 7pm to find out just how the games will go.