Over the past week or so, UK org exceL Esports hosted the 2018 UK Scouting Grounds, providing League of Legends talent with the chance to showcase their skills to potential organisations.
Lee "Couple Sodi Pops" Jones (who runs NineTeeSix) provides a recap.
Online qualifiers featuring 20 players from Diamond 2+ were held from November 5th-7th, with each player having six games to earn their place in the final.
Based on win/loss ratios, the best two performers from each role reached the LAN final held in Statford's Belong Arena.
The LAN final began with a talk from exceL's head coach Josh "Furndog" Furneaux and player development coach Jon Ellis.
After breaking down the schedule for the day, they took some time to discuss topics from the daily scrim schedule for exceL, to key habits that can be applied outside of the game to improve performance (eight hours of sleep is key)!
With experienced hosts Aux and HiprainCasts casting the games, the players were split into Team Aux and Team Hiprain to compete across four matches. After each one, the coaches gathered the players around for a VOD review, highlighting what could've been done differently and what to focus on for the next game.
|Team Aux||Team Hiprain|
Game 1 started with a dominant bot-lane performance from Yusa and Kiao on Lucian and Zilean respectively. With the accuracy of Kiao's Zilean bombs looking like a point and click ability and Yusa's commitment to engage given the chance, the bot lane looked somewhat of a mismatch and saw a 30-minion lead by minute 10. Despite a fighting performance from Team Hiprain's Kerberos on Akali, a ten-kill Lucian was more than enough to secure the win in game 1 for Team Aux.
Team Hiprain came out stronger in game 2. A good top/jungle synergy between Kerberos’ Camille and Demo’s Lee Sin was a focal point for the game.
Beeley also put in an impressive LeBlanc performance (including a triple kill) which helped to earn the team a win 36 minutes in.
Game 3 was more of the same for Kerberos, with a first blood solo kill on Urgot - the first of ten kills he would earn throughout the match. He also went on to pick up an explosive quadra kill in the game, while Yusa's spirited Xayah performance (which saw him pick up a triple kill) was not enough for Team Aux, as Team Hiprain took a 2-1 lead on the day.
The last game of the final arguably proved to be the most one-sided, with Team Aux gaining a 5k gold lead within the first 15 minutes. Noltey's Nidalee and Yusa's Vayne were prominent picks in the game, earning 6 kills each, particularly with the latter's heavy damage output being a major influence in teamfights.
Within 25 minutes, Team Aux were able to level the result to two wins apiece: a fitting result on a day in which the overall team scores were not the focus, but rather the chance for UK talent to flourish and potential to be shown.
After the conclusion of the final game, the coaches gave their verdict on the best players in each role:
- Kerberos (top)
- Noltey (jungle)
- Royal (mid)
- Yusa (ADC)
- Kiao (support)
The coaches also had a close choice between Kerberos and Yusa for the overall MVP, eventually swaying towards Yusa as the best player in the tournament for not only carrying his team to two wins but also shining in losing matches.
A huge pat on the back to all players who took part, as well as exceL and Statford's Belong Arena for running and hosting the tournament. Finally, good luck to all players in finding a team for the 2019 season.
Further reading: Check out Esports News UK's 2017 Scouting Grounds here
Image and video credit: exceL Esports Twitter