Four things we learned from UKLC Summer Finals
By Yinsu Collins
Last Updated: 05/09/19 12:41pm
Fnatic Rising were crowned champions at the UKLC Finals this weekend after beating Excel Esports 3-1 at Twickenham Stadium.
It was a disappointing end to Excel's season after their dominant performances throughout the split but there was plenty more to take away from the finals beyond the eventual results.
Here are four things we've learned from the UKLC Summer Finals
1. It's a lot harder than it looks to pull off a reverse sweep against Fnatic
League of Legends fans were treated to one of the greatest European playoff matches of all time when they witnessed G2 Esports' reverse sweep against Fnatic in the LEC.
And when the academy team Fnatic Rising lost their third game against Excel after going 2-0 up, it felt like history was destined to repeat itself - just 24 hours after the LEC playoff match.
However, it isn't as easy as G2 made it out to be and Excel ultimately weren't quite able to upset the Spring Split champions.
And when asked about how Fnatic Rising felt about the possibility of being reverse swept, Support Ronaldo 'Ronaldooo' Betea said: "We got a bit scared after we lost game 3, we said to ourselves 'let's not repeat what the LEC team did with this one!'
"We changed our tactics a bit but we weren't that stressed about losing in the end."
2. The Brits love the British underdogs
When Excel first announced their participation in the LEC, many League of Legends fans were sceptical and some even critical of their involvement. But just eight months later, their academy team played in front of a sold-out crowd at Twickenham.
It's never an easy task to go up against Fnatic, who are one of the most renowned and established esports organisations in the world with millions of loyal and dedicated fans. However, perhaps Excel's home advantage gave them an edge, but there were plenty of Excel chants in the arena and it definitely did not go unnoticed by the players.
Excel's top laner Rosendo 'Send0o' Fuentes said: "It was pretty insane, I've never had this feeling in the UK and I've been here for three splits now and there is rarely a big crowd.
"The crowd at Twickenham was crazy, every time we made a good play I could hear them cheering and shouting on stage.
"Of course, you don't focus on that but when you can hear everyone cheering for Excel you do think to yourself 'we gotta win this boys!'"
3. Twickenham Stadium is becoming home of UK League of Legends
Twickenham, which is known for being the home of English rugby, is quickly becoming the home of League of Legends.
After opening their doors to Excel earlier this year, they took on the task of hosting the first ever UKLC Summer Finals for hundreds of eager League of Legends fans.
Beyond giving the players a stage and the fans their seats, Twickenham also provided a fan-activation area where teams and sponsors had the opportunity to set up booths to interact with the community.
Ben Akroyd, the Esports Consultant for Twickenham Stadium, is confident that the relationship between Twickenham and esports will deepen.
He said: "We sold out this event within two weeks of tickets being on sale and you can see how much it means to the UK audience and League of Legends fans. In fact, I don't see any reason why we wouldn't host something like Worlds in 5 years' time!"
Akroyd also revealed that even the England rugby players are getting on board with Twickenham's relationship with League of Legends.
He added: "The guys from the England rugby team have been upstairs to visit the Excel facilities and they're curious. They want to see what the gamers are doing, what they're playing and how they're playing it.
"Kyle Sinckler was up there having a tour, they want to get involved and it shows that there is a natural affinity between these two groups of guys who are both on the top of their disciplines."
4. Don't underestimate the UK as a region
Fnatic might have taken the UKLC crown but there is an even bigger feat waiting for Fnatic Rising and Excel at the end of September as both teams will be representing the UK at EU Masters.
Traditionally, UK teams have underperformed at the European competition which have resulted in UK talents not being taken as seriously as players from other regions.
However, this year, Fnatic Rising's Ronaldo is confident that they can be the team to change the narrative and put UK on the map.
He said: "We are going to win EU Masters and people won't think of the UK as a bad region anymore. There aren't many teams that can cause us problems, Spain could be a bit difficult just because they win almost every EU Masters
"I think Excel can go pretty far too because they can flex everything and swap things around and in a best of one situation they can beat any team at EU Masters."
Sucks to lose the finals but atleast it was a really great experience to witness the majority of excel fans today supporting us! Love you guys and sorry for losing, we’ll bring it home at Eu masters :D— Raymond Tsang (@Kasing) September 1, 2019
Excel's Send0o is also optimistic. He said: "We don't normally care about what other people say or think, however, we've been playing against some of the top teams in other regions in scrims and we've been winning. We can tell that we are playing at a high level.
"I can't tell you how Fnatic have been doing in scrims but they beat us in a best of five on stage and I'm pretty sure that our region's top two teams can beat 95 per cent of the other European teams at EU Masters."