The first EU Masters Semifinal saw LFL's Karmine Corp take on the Prime League's Berlin International Gaming. The series went to the full five games, but in the last one KC's early game dominance and map awareness proved too much for BIG to handle.
Karmine Corp and Berlin International Gaming entered the tournament as favorites and deservedly won their places in the semifinal. Both teams already have won the tournament before and both were among the favorites to take the cup again this time. They were nigh-flawless in the groups and swept the opposition. We were eager to see those two powerhouses clash in the semifinal - and they delivered, giving us the first five-game series of the event.
The French finalists came out strong in the first game, taking it to BIG and getting an early advantage. The DACH champion was not used to having to play catch-up, but they managed to adapt, using their pick potential to keep close and secure the early dragons. The game was decided by a big 5v5 fight 24 minutes in, where BIG masterfully defended their ADC and utilized the terrain to get an ace that netted them a cloud soul and a baron they used to take two inhibitors. What started as a single catch 29 minutes in ended with an ace for the German team and they used it to take down the Nexus.
Karmine Corp did not get the first blood in the second game, but several skirmishes going their way quickly turned the game around. A sloppy fight by BIG 23 minutes in saw the LFL team get three kills and the Baron and with it, they were fully in control. BIG seemed to lack both damage and durability from behind. In just under 30 minutes, KC took the win and equalized the series.
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The two teams went back and forth as the third game went on. Both teams had their small wins, but the gold and kills were virtually even in the first 20 minutes. KC was the first team to break the tie when they turned a pick on Lucas "Saken" Fayard into four kills with a show of force by Matthew Charles "xMatty" Coombs’s Ezreal and secured the first Baron. BIG had the first three drakes, but were aced trying to secure the fourth. Karmine Corp got a second Baron as well and with it and 12K gold lead, pushed in, batted BIG aside and took the game.
Berlin International Gaming looked to finally be getting the good start that we expected from them from the start, getting several early kills and maintaining an over 2K gold lead from the 10-minute mark. The LFL champions found their way back into the game with a huge teamfight 25 minutes in, avoiding the BIG engage and getting four kills and the Baron in return. Yet just when KC were on the cusp of winning the game, they went a step too far and BIG pounced, getting an ace and ending the game just as respawns were coming.
It was time for both teams to dig deep and bring out their A-game for the decisive game - and it was Karmine Corp that did it better. A masterful play by Jakub "Cinkrof" Rokicki 6 minutes in set the stage for the LFL team to dominate the early game. The DACH champions tried to fight back, but with every lost skirmish they fell further behind. Around the 25-minute mark, they chose to prevent an infernal soul but they were aced in return. KC got two inhibitors before retreating, but a minute later a kill on the enemy Gnar signalled the last fight - and the LFL team’s triumph.
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With this, Karmine Corp earns a spot in the finals and a chance to be the first team to win back to back EU Masters trophies. Its opponent will be chosen in the second semifinal, where Misfits Premier take on Fnatic Rising. Meanwhile, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more League of Legends news and analysis!