League of Legends UK Masters Final Preview and Interviews: MnM vs Excel

The UK Masters Final between MnM and Excel kicks off at midday today (Friday August 25th), live from i61 at the Birmingham NEC and streamed on Twitch.
We asked both teams for their thoughts ahead of the game.
While it was expected MnM would make it to the final, many thought NerdRage would be joining them. But it was Excel who fought hard to qualify from the third/fourth bracket, beating NerdRage and Enclave twice to make the final.
Coming from the winners’ bracket, MnM have a one-game advantage over xL coming into this final.
So who will win? We put it to a poll, and it’s looking pretty even:

Let’s see what the teams have to say ahead of the final.
 
 

‘Expect a quick 2-0 and chill’ – MnM Gaming


 

How would you weigh up your performance overall this split in the UK Masters?

Kalvin “Kalkal” Chung, MnM founder: I think this split can be seen as rocky but I think a lot of MnM’s previous splits have had a rocky start. I know the players work hard though and it showed in the later stages of UKM.
Rafael “Dinep” Nunes, MnM coach: It was decent, quite clowny until Dinep arrived and we started to be more serious, we lost some games that we shouldn’t have lost. After that was just rolling over and winning everything.
 

 

What are your thoughts and feelings going into the final, what is your prediction?

Kalkal: I feel confident, I have a lot of faith in everyone and they have put in the hard work so of course I will believe in my team.
Dinep: We are prepared, our objective is not only to get the trophy, but as well not let the enemy team play the game, so expect a quick 2-0 and then go chill, hangout you know.
 
 

“We don’t expect to have any pressure from our opponents, we are superior. People can think that we have the pressure on our side but they will be the pressured ones to try and play this beautiful game called League of Legends.”
Dinep, MnM

 
 

What are your thoughts on the opposition?

Kalkal: I am glad to see players like Aux finally reach a Grand Final. They’ve worked hard and the results speak for themselves, so I am going into this with nothing but respect for them.
Dinep: We don’t focus that much on the opponents, but we don’t expect to have any pressure from them, we are superior. People can think that we have the pressure in our side but they will be the pressured ones to try and play this beautiful game called League of Legends.
Expect some quality gameplay like never seen before in the UK scene – and a big shoutout to our fans!
 
 

‘We feel prepared, excited and want to prove ourselves’ – Excel Esports 


 

How would you weigh up your performance overall this split in the UK Masters?

Dan “Aux” Harrison, xL support player: I think we started the split really strong, lots of new rosters had formed and it was interesting to see how they matched up against each other. Playing in the qualifiers and our early 1-1 against MnM was a big confidence boost and a lot of people had us pegged as top 2.
Mid-late season though we started to struggle, Enclave had worked on some of their mid-late game issues and Nerdrage looked dominant. To top it off due to a series of holidays, we played half the season with subs and as a result lacked practice and came into playoffs as 4th seed. I think this was the big turning point, we put in a lot of practice and even though our first series of playoffs ended 0-2 against Nerdrage we felt confident we knew what we had done wrong and could improve.
On day two, we got back to back 2-0’s against Nerdrage and Enclave which we were really happy with. We sorta came into day 2 as underdogs as we’d been 2-0’d by Nerdrage in our last two encounters so it was good to be able to make an upset.
 
Ryan “Barnetto” Barnett, xL LoL manager: We started off very strong like Dan said. The first game we had against MnM as a team we had not scrimmed at all. In fact, we only just brought Kruimel out from his previous contract the night before so the first game against MnM was our first game as a team.
Our break mid-season was down to many things, holidays, complacency and one thing or another but we found our rhythm again.
The two weeks before playoffs we had the team back and we were scrimming double blocks every day pretty much up until the weekend of playoffs. The first 2-0 loss against NerdRage helped us in a lot of ways; we sat down, spent hours looking over our mistakes and learnt a lot. It showed some weaknesses we didn’t know we had and I think we needed it otherwise they’d be shown later. It meant so much for us and the org to reach the grand final and we’re feeling good about the season so far.
 

“Both teams could take it but MnM are in a strong position with the 1-0 advantage. I definitely think we can make the upset and most of all I hope it’s a well-fought series from both sides.”
Aux, xL

 
 

What are your thoughts and feelings going into the final, what are your predictions?

Dan: I think the one game advantage is a big factor but I also think momentum will carry a lot of weight as well. It’s been almost 2 months since we’ve last played MnM so I think the team to take the first game will be in a good position as the other team may struggle to match them.
That being said, MnM can drop 2 games while figuring this out, while we only have 1, so the pressure is definitely on. I think with us having not played against each other for so long it’s a hard one to call, both teams could take it but MnM are in a strong position with the 1-0 advantage. I definitely think we can make the upset and most of all I hope it’s a well-fought series from both sides.
 

 
Ryan: The one-game advantage as Dan said is a definite talking point, but I think it’s the first game of the series that really matters. We need 1 win to reset the bracket and make it essentially a bo3, I think whoever wins that first game is going to be favourites to take the series, especially with momentum playing such a big factor.
MnM are our strongest opponents and I think we’re the two best teams at the moment so I really can’t make a prediction. Overall I think we feel prepared, excited and wanting to prove ourselves, as for so long we’ve been nearly there and this our chance but we’re not gonna take anything for granted from MnM. They will punish us if we get complacent.
 

What are your thoughts on the opposition?

Dan: I think MnM are a strong roster, particularly Rifty and Toaster are two very talented individuals both capable of hard carrying their team, so making sure we shut them down is vital.
That being said I think Kruimel and Taxer win out the Jungle/Mid battle, they play really well off each other and I think Kruimel is the best mid in Masters, so if he gets a lead he will be hard for them to deal with. I think it’ll come down to who’s the best at making proactive plays happen which is something MnM are very good at, they’re all experienced players and will punish you for a slip-up.
Ryan: MnM are a team across the board that have the strongest individuals. I don’t know how much they’ve played as a team but I think they need less practice than other teams in order to play at the same level because of their individual skill.
Hopefully we can play off their perceived weaknesses there and capitalise on unforced errors they make. Toaster is an amazing player and perhaps the strongest member on the roster but they are all terrifying in their own right. I think the org is amazing and Kal does wonders there so I really can’t think of a better opponent.
 
 

“I don’t know how much MnM have played as a team but I think they need less practice than other teams in order to play at the same level because of their individual skill. Hopefully we can play off their perceived weaknesses there and capitalise on unforced errors they make.”
Barnetto, xL

 
 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Dan: Me and Adam have a bet where the winner gets to wax the loser’s legs, so the pressure is on. Should hear more on that after the finals have finished.
Ryan: Thank you to Excel and Multiplay for making it all happen and to everyone that’s supported us this season, hopefully we can reach the mountain top this time!
 
Esports News UK wishes good luck to both teams. You can watch the finals here live on Twitch from midday.

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