In a close game, Patrik's Aphelios was the difference maker

Excel Esports Defeat Team Vitality in Contested Game

League of Legends
Excel Team

Image credit: Riot Games

A messy game between Excel and Vitality ended in a win for the UK team. With a big clump of teams in the middle of the LEC pack and a 2:0 record against two possible competitors, can they finally reach playoffs this season?

The opening match on Saturday was a key game for both teams that previously had a 5-7 record and shared the 6-9th spot. Excel struck first with a bot lane gank 5 minutes in where AD Carry Patrik "Patrik" Jírů picked up two kills on his Aphelios and secured a big advantage to him in his lane. The team tried to double down on this lane two minutes later, but poor execution saw Vitality take a kill back. Despite their better objective control, the UK team were unable to press their lead. Vitality kept up in gold with better farm and eventually equalized the dragons after exploiting Excel’s mistakes.

Video credit: Riot Games

However, Excel’s insurance policy - Patrik’s Aphelios - was happily scaling and picking up kills, reaching a 5/0/0 score in a fight near the dragon 28 minutes in where his team took the third drake. Five minutes later, his team pushed vitality away to go for the ocean soul. The French squad tried to trade the baron, but Excel was ready for that, leaving Camille to solo the dragon and pushing away Vitality to secure the baron. With an ocean soul, the Baron Buff and an extremely fed Aphelios, Excel pressed on. A kill on the enemy mid laner was all they needed to break Vitality’s resistance and get the key win.

With this, Excel are now standing at 6:7 with only five wins to go. Even more importantly, they are 2-0 against two possible playoff rivals, Vitality and SK Gaming. Two of their remaining games are against FC Schalke 04 and Misfits Gaming, who both struggled for most of the split. Is this the season Excel finally make playoffs?

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Boyan Penev