Fresh on the heels of the ESL UK Premiership finals two weeks ago, the League of Legends UK Masters has been picking up pace - here's David Hollingsworth's recap of the matches from the last two weeks.
Week 4 - day 1
exceL Esports v Bulldog eSports
exceL Esports came into the series as favourites, after going 2-0 in weeks two and three of the UK Masters, and they continued their run here.
exceL took game one in a pretty convincing fashion, ending the game within 30 minutes as they made their mark on the series early.
Game two saw Bulldog fight back - and what a game it was! For almost the whole game it looked like it could've gone either way, but it was exceL who managed to scrap this truly epic second game to take the series 2-0.
— UKMasters (@UKMasters) October 31, 2016
Distrikt v Sensei
Much like the first game of the day, game two was a battle of an in-form team taking on an out of form side. Distrikt come off the back of two 2-0 victories. As the wise Rafael Benítez once said: "If we keep winning, I never have to look at the table."
And so Distrikt continued their winning ways in the bloodbath that was game one.
They were truly too hot to handle for Sensei, who bowed out of the second game by opting to surrender at the 20-minute mark (which is often the story of my solo queue career).
Some other Multiplay news also emerged around this time, with Multiplay lowering the prize pools for UK League of Legends teams at i59.
WEEK 4 - DAY 2
MnM v UK Legends
MnM, the ESL UK Premiership summer split winners, are now looking to take their place in the EU Challenger Series, but first they faced a fitting team in UK Legends as their assault on first place continues.
MnM did indeed take game one in a comfortable fashion as UK Legends took the root of a fast-finish (FF) at 20 minutes, which we saw from Sensei the day before.
Game two was as close a game as any. UK Legends came into game two with real grit between their teeth as they tried to carve out a draw in the series. But MnM were not having any of it - they pushed on and took game two to end the series 2-0 and keep the pressure on Distrikt.
Perilous Void v TCA
Perilous Void took on TCA in the final game of the week. TCA would have been looking to climb the table, while Perilous Void were hoping not to be subject to another terrible pun headline by us for a second round of matches.
Perilous made a great start to the series, however, guaranteeing their first set of points on the board for the UK Masters series.
The second game was a complete flip-reversal on game one, as TCA clawed back the series to end it 1-1, closing out week four with a score draw.
What a steal! Perilous with a great move, but TCA is just too much. Series ends 1-1.
— UKMasters (@UKMasters) November 1, 2016
WEEK 5 - DAY 1
MnM v exceL
Game one of week five had all the makings of a top series, as MnM and exceL - two of the UK Masters' most in-form teams - took to battle on the rift.
Game one maybe did not end the way anyone watching thought it would, as MnM won the series by a 20-minute FF from exceL, ending the first game of the week in a flash.
It was a much closer game two from MnM and exceL, but finished the same way as game one, with MnM taking the series in a clean 2-0, putting the pressure on Distrikt to perform later in the week.
Perilous Void v Sensei
It was a chance to build on week four for Perilous, who looked to drag themselves out the lower half of the table, while Sensei looked to make up for the prior week's performance versus league leaders Distrikt.
The series started with a refreshed Perilous taking the first game, as they looked to mount a late table challenge.
— UKMasters (@UKMasters) November 7, 2016
Game two continued the trend set by game one, as Perilous dragged themselves out of the bottom half of the table, taking the series 2-0 as they added some solid points onto the board.
WEEK 5 - DAY 2
Distrikt v Bulldog Esports
Very much the flavour of the month, Distrikt took on the dogged Bulldog Esports on the final day of week five in the UK Masters.
Not to let their form slip - with MnM breathing down their necks - Distrikt took game one of the series in top-of-the-table fashion as they looked to show their dominance over the rest of the teams.
Bulldog showed some fight in game two of the series, but Distrikt were able to end the game inside 30 minutes and take the series 2-0, keeping their 100% record going into week six.
— UKMasters (@UKMasters) November 8, 2016
UK Legends v TCA
Our last game of the week was between two of the mid-table teams looking to secure their spot in the top four of the UK Masters.
UK Legends took a close first game in the series, as not losing was clearly the key approach to both teams (the Jose Mourinho tactic of late, if you will).
Game two of the series was not as close as the first game; UK Legends started to turn the cogs on TCA and bring the series to 2-0, making it a massive win for UK Legends. They have ascended the table and have started to create a gap between those below them in the league.
That about wraps it up.
Week 4 and 5 went by without any major surprises, but the pressure will now be on those teams at the top of the table to continue to perform. As one mistake could see their top spot hopes fade faster than my dreams of ever getting a good ADC in my ranked games.