Excel Esports’ League of Legends academy side, BT Excel, have ended their UK League of Legends trophy drought this evening by winning the NLC Spring 2021 grand finals.
They beat fellow UK-based team Fnatic Rising in a convincing 3-0 series. In doing so, they ended Fnatic Rising’s long back-to-back string of victories in the UK/Northern Europe League of Legends scene.
Fnatic Rising’s most recent UK ERL (European Regional League) victory was last year in the NLC Summer 2020, where Fnatic Rising beat Riddle in the final. They had won several tournaments in UK LoL in recent years, including Forge of Champions and UKLC titles before the higher-tier NLC was introduced.
For BT Excel, this victory will be particularly sweet, considering Excel’s last victory of this nature was winning the ESL LoL Prem way back in late 2017, and this time last year they threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to Fnatic Rising in the UKLC Spring 2020 finals.
And, after the oh-so-close but ultimately disappointing finish in the Spring 2021 LEC, with Excel’s main team finishing eighth, tonight’s victory will certainly give Excel Esports a lift as an organisation.
BT Excel now head to the EU Masters Spring 2021 Main Event, while Fnatic Rising qualify for the Play-Ins stage.
Excel Esports did win the Neosurf Cup back in early 2020, but that was a one-off one-day tournament at their Twickenham Stadium esports facilities rather than a usual ERL with a league stage and playoffs.
In today’s finals, BT Excel swept aside Fnatic Rising in games one and two, with Excel’s on-fire British ADC Deadly proving too hot for Fnatic to handle.
Game three saw Fnatic step it up a gear to take the driving seat, but a decisive team fight in the mid-game swang in Excel’s favour, giving them the baron. From there they pulled themselves back into the game to take the series.
Excel’s team today was Orome (top), Markoon (jungle), Hatrixx (mid), Deadly (ADC) and Advienne (support), while Fnatic consisted of Pride (top), Maxi (jungle), Febiven (mid), Bean (ADC) and rhuckz (support).
Fnatic Rising previously had MagiFelix and Dan on their books – two players who are now in the LEC with Astralis and Excel’s first team respectively.
The casting team today included Hiprain (PBP), Aux (colour/desk) and desk hosts/analysts Excoundrel, Guldborg and Troubleinc.
Excel were all smiles tonight and deservedly so – as seen in this NLC interview with Advienne and this clip featuring a brief post-match team talk from academy coach Swiffer:
Get the news in video form and see how the other UK LoL spring 2021 tournaments went
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.