A series of dominant victories awed us in the first round of the EU Masters playoffs. Karmine Corp and Berlin International Gaming swept their opponents, while Misfits Premier and Fnatic Rising only lost one game eachin their series. After such one-sided victories, will these teams give us more contested series in the semis?
After the wild brawl of the EU Masters groups, the top 8 teams entered the tournament’s playoffs. The Spanish Superliga sent all three representatives - Movistar Riders, Vodafone Giants and UCAM Esports club - followed by the LFL top two, spring EUM champions Karmine Corp and LFL final winners Misfits Premier. Berlin International Gaming, PDW and Fnatic Rising filled out the top 8. Which four teams would be going home and which four would be the winners?
- Want to find out who's who in the EU Masters Playoffs? We've got you covered!
Movistar Riders 1-3 Fnatic Rising
Movistar Riders came out of the gates looking very good, getting several early kills in the early game. Fnatic Rising managed to steal a Baron and slow down the game, but great flanks by Pedro "Marky" José Serrano’s Kennen decided key teamfights and gave Movistar the first win.
However, things quickly fell apart for the Spanish team. Early in the second game, they fell behind after a dive gone wrong. Jungler Oliver "Dajor" Ryppa led Fnatic Rising’s offense and put the Superliga team on the ropes. Movistar tried to sneak a Baron, only to have it stolen from them and get aced.
The NLC team was just as dominant in game three, taking several early kills and winning the first big teamfight.All the healing and shields proved too much for Movistar, who ended up falling short of getting clutch kills and fell behind. A mountain soul redoubled FNCR’s power and the NLC team was soon on match point.
Game four started promisingly for the Spanish team,who got two early kills and a gold lead. However, Fnatic Rising’s jungle pressure equalized the game and 14 minutes in, they turned a close fight into a wipeout. Once more, Movistar proved unable to fight from behind and a series of aces ended the game in just over 20 minutes.
Berlin International Gaming 3-0 PDW
The clash between the champions of the DACH Prime League and the Ultraliga started with a dominant performance by BIG, who got an early lead and ran away with it. PDW found no answer and an attempt to stop the baron 23 minutes saw them routed, giving BIG the win.
It didn’t get much easier for the Ultraliga champions in game two. BIG got early advantages in the side lanes and while PDW made some moves as the mid-game started, losing their jungler 21 minutes in cost them the Baron. With the purple buff, the DACH champions were unstoppable and were soon at 2-0.
It was do or die for PDW, but their early aggression in game 3 was nipped in the bud with brutal pressure on the bot lane, leading to a Jinx who was 0/3 just six minutes in. PDW fought on and a heroic effort shortly afterwards got them several kills, but that was not enough to stop BIG. AD Carry Tim "Keduii" Willers was on fire for the German team and PDW had no answer to him. A heroic effort by Mateusz "Czajek" Czajka to hold off BIG’s fountain dive gave him the Penta, but he was too late to save the game.
- Looking for a new ADC to play? Check our guide!
Karmine Corp 3-0 UCAM Esports Club
The Spanish team got the lead in the first game off a 3-1 fight in the bot lane. However, they were unable to press the advantage and the spring champions chipped away at it, eventually getting ahead. Once they did, they dominated the map, using skirmish wins to get a cloud soul and an uncontested Baron. Rafa "Rafitta" Ayllón Zapata’s death prompted the final offensive and KC took the first win of the series.
Karmine Corp took the first blood in the second game and used the pressure from their side lanes to amass a growing lead. Lucas "Saken" Fayard’s Leblanc was a terror lurking in the dark and UCAM had to give more and more of the map. After the second Baron and with an infernal soul to their name, KC pushed in for their second win of the series.
Game 3 saw UCAM get the first two kills, but a series of bloody losses sent them reeling. KC smelled blood in the water and pounced mercilessly, amassing a nearly 9k gold lead just 15 minutes into the game. Their advantage was key four minutes later, turning what could otherwise have been a close fight into a 2-0 and a Baron. KC pushed in the enemy base, where a masterful Azir ultimate by Saken ended the game in style.
Misfits Premier 3-1 Vodafone Giants
Karmine Corp delivered a stunning performance, but Misfits Premier were the LFL champions and they had something to prove. In their first game, they kept VGIA were kept on the back foot from the start. After the first Baron, Misfits’ control on the map was complete. The Giants chose to make their stand near the dragon pit 27 minutes in, but lost four to Paweł "Woolite" Pruski’s fed Aphelios and had to start the series with a loss.
Game two began with another strong start by the LFL team. Giants, however, had a point of strength in Ismael "Miniduke" Martínez Cortés’ Sylas. As the game went on, his teamfight presence proved clutch. Misfits once more opened up the enemy base, but Giants won key teamfights and slowed the game down. Eventually, they secured a Baron and Elder Dragon and clawed their way to victory.
Misfits Premier came back with another masterful early game, punishing the Cho’gath top and taking over the game. VGIA’s composition needed to find success early and time and again, their rivals got the better of them. The LFL team dominated the mid-game teamfights with ease and scored yet another win, reaching game point.
It was scary to think that Misfits Premier could drive this up a notch, but that’s what they did in game four. A series of aggressive plays shut down the Vodafone mid and top lanes and soon the Superliga was left reeling. Just 18 minutes in, they had to defend their Nexus after a masterful engage by Jakub "Jactroll" Skurzyński. Misfits easily secured a Baron and with it, they ended VGIA’s resistance to knock out the last Superliga representative in the tournament.
- Who's Who in the EU Masters Playoffs
- Bjergsen Set To Return To Pro Play In 2022
- LoL Worlds 2021: Location, Time & More
EU Masters continue on Tuesday as Karmine Corp takes on Berlin International Gaming. The following day will give us our next series, with Misfits Premier clashing with Fnatic Rising. For more news and analysis, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!