UK org Barrage won the off-season League of Legends NLC Fall Open last weekend, beating fellow UK org NVision in the final.
Megalodontus looks back on the road to the playoffs, as well as the grand final itself, which concluded this year’s UK & Nordics circuit.
The Playoff gauntlet
Featuring a brutal single-elimination format where losing meant no second chances, the best eight teams of Fall duked it out with everything they had to advance forward.
All eyes were laser-focused on the match many predicted as the undisputed finalists of the tournament: Barrage vs Tricked.
While Tricked came close a few times, they were ultimately no match for Barrage’s rampage through this tournament, winning 2-0. They would also beat ENCE 2-1 and march on to the finals.
NVision, meanwhile, a UK team that has been more or less hounded by naysayers every step of their journey, silenced them all.
First, winning the ‘Battle of the Underdogs’ against Absolved 2-1, and then taking down dark horses Dusty in a shocking 2-0 sweep, brought NVision one step closer to achieving a true Cinderella story: from UKLC champions to potential NLC Fall champions.
The stage was set for the much anticipated all-UK team finals. And a great spectacle for our Nordic brothers and sisters too, since both rosters were filled with mostly Nordic talent (seven Danish players between two teams)!
As is always tradition on finals day, we started off by watching our beloved NLC casters stand divided in picking their favourite Dani- I mean, British side.
Let the battle commence!
Game 1 surprisingly went the way of NVision who came out of the gates swinging! Jungler Music was a true menace on Lillia and while it looked like Barrage sometimes had tiny avenues to mount a comeback, the gold lead became larger and larger and NVision closed the game out at 36 minutes.
Not to be outdone by that drubbing, Barrage reloaded their vaunted cannons and soon ‘barraged’ NVision in Game 2 (groan – Dom), with Sencux’s Galio ending the game with a monstrous score of 12-0-4.
At 1-1, both teams had all to play for.
Game 3 turned out to be a spectacular fiesta, where you could be mistaken for thinking the Cirque du Soleil were in town!
It was a drawn out, back-and-forth contest of tug of war where both sides were willing to just slam the big, red ‘TEAMGFIGHT’ button.
In the end though, NVision traded the Elder Drake for their Nexus and Doxy backdoored his way to victory. 2-1 to Barrage.
If there was a moment in time where the proud underdog esports story of a lesser team came back from a daunting deficit against more prestigious foes, this would be it.
Unfortunately for NVision, game 4 would be the final nail in the coffin as Barrage sent them to Davy Jones’ Locker, sunken beneath their imperious momentum.
A dominating start to finish secured Barrage’s first ever trophy in LoL, and this of course makes boat memes all the more illustrious forevermore!
‘It was nice to come in as a favourite for once, as we were always seen as an underdog before this cup’ – Froomie
We speak to Barrage’s League of Legends director Richard ‘Froomie’ Froom on what this win means to him and the org, as well as their plans for the future.
“Winning the NLC Fall Open feels fantastic. I’m coming up to two years at Barrage, and to take them from a bottom-end UKLC team, to winning this, feels amazing! It’s a big achievement for the org, and puts the cherry on top of what has been a decent 2020 for Barrage.
Our summer roster didn’t all want to play in the NLC Fall Open, so we looked at options for who to replace, or if we wanted a revamp. We gave Flipper, DenVoksne and Akkers our academy team’s spot, and helped them to fill in the blanks.
I was talking to Reje about his options, and he said the ex-Riddle roster were looking to play together, due to Riddle being forced to drop them in order to play in the Telialigaen. Not many teams were aware of this, and it was an absolute no-brainer to pick them up.
It was nice to come in as a favourite for once, as we were always seen as an underdog before this cup. I wasn’t actually nervous until we drew Tricked. I saw them as the only ones who could stop us, and I was surprised we beat them 2-0 in the manner that we did.
I was also a little nervous after the second game against ENCE as they looked far better than they had previously. The final felt different as I was confident we could beat NVision – even after the first game I still felt like we’d win.
For 2021, I’m expecting we’ll have a few fresh faces. The plan is always to try to go one step further than the previous split.
The offseason is starting now, and that’s always a tricky time, but I’m hoping players watching Barrage in 2020 will see what we’re capable of and will want to come here as a result.
Hey, maybe Barrage’s first trip to the European Masters could be on the cards!”
Be sure to keep a close eye on NLC’s Twitter account for more info on their upcoming plans for 2021
Megalodontus is a miraculous survivor from the mass extinction and somehow learnt how to use his stubby fins to operate complicated mechanical equipment and drink tea. Worryingly for cryptozoologists, he’s been writing League of Legends articles too.
A self-taught writer who’s had the privilege to work with good editors who aren’t terrified of his pearly whites, Megalodontus is often seen writing either independently or for various websites such as this one. When not writing, he usually runs it down mid in real life and is fascinated with watching paint dry.