UPDATE (May 4th 2021): The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has apparently congratulated Karmine Corp for winning the EU Masters.
Macron said: “It wouldn’t surprise you if I told you that I was no LoL expert, but I wanted to send you this message after learning about your wonderful victory. As the European champions, you are honouring our flag. You are showing to the whole of Europe that French people are talented in esports. So a huge congratulations to the whole team.”
Original article (May 2nd 2021): France secured its third League of Legends EU Masters trophy today after Karmine Corp defeated BT Excel 3-1 in a tense grand final.
And Karmine’s ADC xMatty (pictured, second from right) became the first UK player to win the EU Masters.
Karmine Corp – champions of the French LFL league – were the favourites going into this match-up, but it was the boys from Britain who took a surprise first game.
BT Excel, the LoL academy team of UK-based Excel Esports (who won the UK and Nordics NLC league last month), almost took the second game as well. But BT Excel’s UK ADC player Deadly and others were caught out of position a few times in the late game, giving Karmine the chance to come back into the tie and take the base.
While Karmine took the next two games to seal the victory, the final was incredibly close at points, with the gold difference pretty close between the two sides for large parts of the series. Just when Karmine looked to be establishing a solid lead, BT Excel would come in and win a clutch team fight or take an objective.
It made for a thrilling final series in the EU Masters – the tournament that pits top teams from the various European Regional Leagues (ERLs) against one another. It’s one level below the top-tier LEC in Europe, and several players from today’s final showed they are good enough to step up to the LEC level.
One Karmine Corp player in particular, ADC xMatty from the UK, received a lot of praise for his performance. As mentioned, he became the first UK player to win an EU Masters title.
In fact, xMatty was one of only two UK players in the whole tournament – the other being the aforementioned BT Excel UK ADC Deadly.
Credit is also due to BT Excel. They became the first UK team to reach an EU Masters final and should be proud of their performances to make it that far, though no doubt they will be stinging right now. As will Deadly, who previously made it to an EU Masters final with Giants Gaming.
It will be interesting to see whether xMatty, Deadly or any of the other players today will make it onto the LEC stage in the future.
xMatty was playing alongside support player Targamas today, and the pair previously played together for a short stint with UK side Fnatic Rising back in 2019. xMatty had been with Fnatic Rising for longer – a two-year stint – before moving on at the end of 2020. You can check out our old UKLC interview with xMatty here.
Excel Esports’ first team disappointingly finished eighth in the Spring 2021 LEC, but came very close to reaching playoffs as there weren’t huge win/loss differences between the teams around the mid table positions.
By winning the EU Masters today, Karmine Corp gave France its third EU Masters trophy, following LDLC in Spring 2020 and Misfits Premier in Spring 2019.
Today’s final saw more than 370,000 peak viewers watch the two sides.
The next EU Masters will take place in Summer 2021.
BT Excel reaching the final today also raised questions around seeding for EU Masters. The UK and Nordics currently share one Main Event slot, while other regions like Germany and France have two.
On a separate note, Riot recently said it was ‘looking into potential improvements’ for EU Masters Play-Ins following criticism around the format.
EU Masters Spring 2021 final player rosters:
- Karmine Corp: Adam (top), Cinkrof (jungle), SAKEN (mid), xMatty (ADC), Targamas (support)
- BT Excel: Orome (top), Markoon (jungle), Hatrixx (mid), Deadly (ADC), Advienne (support)
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.