It was a surprising start to week 4 of the UK League Championship (UKLC) as tower champions Fnatic Rising were sent packing by a one-two from MnM and Enclave.
It was Diabolus who became eventual tower champions this week, beating MnM in the final match. This put Diabolus in second place overall and continued the trend of a different tower champion rising up each week.
Diabolus fought very well as a team, particularly in their first match against Excel, where they clawed back from a 17-6 kill deficit and 10k gold deficit to win, thanks to decent teamfighting (just in case anyone doesn't understand whether this paragraph is an insult or compliment to Diabolus, it's the latter).
There were other great performances from orgs including Enclave, and Barrage had a convincing win over Phelan.
The Poppy with Mejai's
Before we move onto the big matches, a special shoutout must be given to Bulldog this week for picking up their first win (over Darkspawn). Plus, their jungler Toliam picked Shaco versus Diabolus and their top-laner Egospeed built a Mejai's Soulstealer on Poppy in the match versus Darkspawn, in which he played very well. No other words necessary.
🏆 @BulldogEsports take their first win! Who else could we award MVP to but the guy who built Mejai's Poppy?
Disagree with our MVP choice? Reply here or tweet with the hashtag #UKLC to nominate players for the end-of-day Unsung Hero poll!
— LVP UK (@LVPuk) March 6, 2019
Diabolus give MnM hell
In the final match this week, Diabolus went head-to-head with MnM in an attempt to take their freshly-claimed tower spot (see the other game below for more on how they got it).
Munckizz picked up first blood for Diabolus in the jungle as Rek'Sai, helping take down Mumus as Ryze in the top-lane, helping Kerberos pick up an assist as Yorick.
It was a slow-paced affair in the early game, with gold even at 12 minutes, Diabolus 2-1 up on kills and MnM having secured the first drake.
A few minutes later, MnM were 4-3 up with a second drake, but gold was still even. Each team's jungler was doing the damage at this point, with Noltey 2/0/3 as Sejuani for MnM and Munckizz 3/1/1.
This even growth continued; it was 6-6 at 23 minutes though Diabolus had two drakes and a 1k gold lead.
But it was Diabolus who won a teamfight and took the baron at 25 minutes to take a stranglehold on the game.
A few minutes later, their impressive team fighting shone through again as they aced MnM and took the Nexus after only suffering two deaths themselves.
MnM vs FNC: Sweet revenge for the flame
In the first game this week (a rematch of last week's final tower match-up between Fnatic and MnM), MnM came out swinging to give Fnatic something to think about.
Fnatic initially went 4-2 up at 7mins with a 1.5k gold lead, with talented UK ADC xMatty 20CS up as Sivir over MnM's carry, who we'll talk about more in a moment.
MnM kept fighting though and took the second drake of the game (an infernal):
— LVP UK (@LVPuk) March 6, 2019
MnM had evened the gold at the 20-minute mark, with the kill scores also level at 7-7.
Good play from MnM jungler Noltey (playing Sejuani) saw him steal an infernal drake for his team, before they aced Fnatic and proceeded to take the baron.
At 27 minutes, MnM were 18-8 up and you felt at this point they should go on to win.
It was that man Joosep 'MonkWillCarry' Kivilaan who stepped up again this week as Kai'Sa, amassing 13,000 gold and having a 6/1/8 scoreline at around 28 minutes.
Fnatic didn't even bother to contest the next baron, and MnM soon had an 11k gold lead at 58k to Fnatic's 47k.
MnM pushed towards Fnatic's nexus, Monk somehow survived the teamfight and Chibs picked up a triple kill as Irelia, sealing the win for MnM at 29 minutes with a 22-8 scoreline.
What an incredible win! We got to draft comfort comp/champs for everyone and it really shun through! GG to @FNATIC glad to see you are actually mortals. Looking forward to defend the tower tomorrow!
Gogo @MnMGamingUK @LVPuk MarshmallowPad out #ForTheFlame 🔥🔥🔥
— MNM Pad (@GGEPad) March 6, 2019
Mumus as Sylas and Shogun as Thresh also played well. For Fnatic, they had Jarvan in the top-lane (Shikari), Rek'Sai jungle (Dan), Ryze mid-lane (MagiFelix) and Galio as support (Prosfair).
ENC vs FNC: The most tense match of the UKLC so far?
It was then Enclave's turn to show Fnatic what they're capable of.
The interesting pick was undoubtedly Neeko for Enclave ADC Kehvo. Alongside Galio (Raizins), with Yorick top (Governor), Syndra mid (Warszi) and Nidalee in the jungle (Wysek), Enclave certainly had an interesting comp.
For Fnatic, they went Gnar top (Shikari) Olaf jungle (Dan), Jayce mid (MagiFelix), Ezreal ADC (xMatty) and Braum support (Prosfair).
This was a much slower-paced game than the first. At 11 minutes in, gold was even and first blood had yet to be drawn.
Enclave took the rift herald and proceeded to take the first tower in the top-lane, before Fnatic took the first bot tower and the ocean drake.
At 20 minutes, Fnatic were 2-0 up, with Shikari and Dan picking up kills. Then ten minutes later, they had three drakes to Enclave's one.
But while Fnatic were taking it easy, Enclave were growing. In particular, Kehvo was scaling up, farming well and becoming very strong as Neeko ADC.
🎥 NEEKO ONLINE! @EnclaveGamingUK take the Baron and push into Fnatic Rising's base!
— LVP UK (@LVPuk) March 6, 2019
Raizins put in a good play to defend Neeko bot and help his team kill Gnar. Then at 32 minutes, Fnatic dithered, allowing Enclave to take the baron. Fnatic killed Raizins but Enclave took out four Fnatic players which was arguably the moment the game truly swung in their favour.
At this point, the game got very tense. Enclave pushed lanes but withdrew at times too, they weren't cocky enough to keep pushing and this meant it allowed Fnatic back into the game.
At 40mins, it was 6-5 to Enclave, who had two drakes to Fnatic's three.
Enclave took the bot lane inhibitor before Fnatic tried to rush baron. They succeeded - but at what cost? Because Enclave picked up two kills as Fnatic got one.
At 43mins it was Enclave's turn to defend. Their 4-1-4 Neeko was enough to help them push through, going up against the 3-1-2 Ezreal in a big teamfight mid that Enclave won (just killing xMatty) before pushing towards Fnatic's base.
At 45 minutes, Enclave were 9-8 up, and pushed through to take the last tower and Fnatic's nexus. GG.
Let's fucking go 300iq nidale build ^_^ we are beting @FNATIC and getting another point :) GREAT GAME TEAM
— Damian Adamczyk (@wysekelite) March 6, 2019
This means Fnatic went out of this week's matches early and lost their turret spot. How will they - and the other teams - respond to Diabolus next week?