If you didn’t think it was all over, it is now. After weeks of competition, we finally have a tournament winner and a future home for those HyperX prizes. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you players for your support this term and we look forward to seeing what the next has in store. Here are the results for the Winter Championship 2017, along with the match report for the Grand Final.
National League 1
1st 50 Kent – In Da Rift (University of Kent)
2nd UAE Monkey Cage (University of East Anglia)
3rd Shoutout to my Exe (University of Exeter)
National League 2
1st Twisted Treeline Mains (University of Exeter)
2nd Watt Puns care cringe (Heriot-Watt University)
50 Kent – In Da Rift vs UAE Monkey Cage
As expected, the teams decided to play to their strengths. With Rumble and Yorick banned by Kent, UEA were looking to KARMA ENVY’s Darius to bully Greggo in lane. However, Kent’s man was able to stand up well to the pressure on his Ornn. The teams traded kills on either side of the map, but it was Kent who got the better of it, taking first tower and the first Dragon of the game after well-orchestrated dive by Skudzy’s Jarvan IV. UEA were able to grab a tower for their troubles, meaning the gold difference remained negligible. With UEA’s bottom tower gone, Kent sent their strong bottom lane towards the topside of the map. UEA were unwilling to give ground, sending their own men in response. A big fight over Rift Herald occurred. A fantastic use of the Package from HotCrossBon’s Corki meant the East Anglia team were split, ensuring that the battle went Kent’s way. Rift Herald was now in their pocket and their carries were reasonably ahead of the curve. Grouping with HotCrossBon’s Corki and kaiwhy’s Miss Fortune meant towers would fall quickly. The mismatch in drafts was becoming apparent, Nerve’s Brand being forced to play around Citilan’s Braum shield and KARMA ENVY’s Darius unable to get through a sizeable Kent frontline. With a 5k gold lead, 50 Kent were able to smother Monkey Cage, eventually catching them outside their base at thirty minutes. Despite admirable defending, a Baron buff and inhibitor deficit were too much for UEA to come back from, Kent closing out the first game.
It had been a reasonably convincing victory for 50 Kent over UAE Monkey Cage in the first game, but they would come to regret the picks and bans for the second game. KARMA ENVY’s Rumble and Yorick made it through the first ban phase meaning the main carry for UEA had the pick of the litter. This meant he got his hands on Rumble, while Kent prioritised their ADC, taking Xayah in the first rotation. The two teams exchanged junglers, Lolman07 now on the Jarvan while Skudzy took Sejuani. The Kent gameplan became apparent as two hyper-carry bans aimed at the East Anglia ADC, Tristana and Twitch no less, restricted the available pool. The plan seemed to be to make it as tough as possible for UEA to break down a frontline of Sejuani and Maokai. I Came To Party picked Varus in response while Nerve was given Zilean, a huge enabler for the team.
Things seemed to be going well for Kent early on, UEA’s KARMA ENVY pushing up at early levels with Lolman07 clearing top to bottom. This meant he was an easy gank for Kent, Skudzy grabbing first blood and giving a slight advantage to his own top laner. Nevertheless, the UEA top laner mounted a comeback and was able to establish a sizeable CS lead over his opponent Greggo. It was perhaps a missed opportunity for Kent as the flashless KARMA ENVY pulled himself back into the game and called for a dive onto Greggo. Skudzy read the play well, shadowing Lolman07, but a great Equaliser and Cataclysm from the UEA duo meant that both Kent players would fall. The tower would be next, and Kent were on the back foot. Lolman07 was now free to help his bottom lane. What seemed an easy pick onto Citilan’s Morgana turned into a prolonged chase and teamfight on the bottom side of the map. Both top laners would use their Teleports, but a with only one viable ward for Kent’s Maokai to use, UEA’s Rumble had the better of it, turning an ugly looking fight into a win. Kent struggled to contest objectives against a fed Rumble and the threat of a Jarvan and Alistar engage. A 7k gold lead opened up for East Anglia, the gold difference becoming apparent when they chose to dive the opposition under their inhibitor tower, securing kills, an inhibitor and Baron Nashor. UEA ended the game in twenty-six minutes to level the series, Lolman07 finishing with an impressive 100% kill participation.
The NUEL channel’s Twitch chat was doing their best to get Rumble banned, Kent duly giving in to their demands. Yorick was also taken off the table meaning KARMA ENVY would be back on Darius. It was UEA’s turn to make drafting errors as Ezreal was allowed to slip into kaiwhy’s hands, the Kent captain having been prolific on the champion in previous rounds. Skudzy would also find himself on Xin Zhao, a pick that had seen much game time in the semi-finals. A Xerath flexed to the support role caused some confusion as Corki was locked in for HotCrossBon, Kent putting together an incredibly deadly poke composition against a UEA line-up not lacking in engage, but devoid of any reliable crowd control.
An early kill for Kent onto Nerve’s Zilean meant that UEA were off to a bad start. It was a game characterised by plenty of early skirmishes, Kent getting better of them and able to establish a small lead. Greggo held up well on Maokai against KARMA ENVY’s Darius meaning Skudzy was free to aggressively roam the map. UEA were seemingly under pressure from all sides, their bottom lane losing their tower and falling into a deficit of one kill and 40 CS. This was not a fun game for East Anglia as they struggled to hang on throughout against an oppressive and incredibly slippery poke comp. There was no way to get onto the Kent backline and limited access to significant magic damage made itemisation easy for the opposition frontline. In hindsight, the draft had left too much to do for UEA as Kent cleaned up in twenty-nine minutes.
KARMA ENVY’S Rumble continued to be banned, but UEA came into picks and bans with a much clearer gameplan. Banning Ezreal and securing the Xin Zhao for Lolman07 with their first pick took two picks away from Kent, preventing another dominating performance from Skudzy and kaiwhy. A Yorick for their top lane and a Corki for Nerve meant tidier waveclear, potential split push pressure and another takeaway from the opposition. Kent were able to secure Xerath, this time for HotCrossBon rather than Citilan while Greggo was finally allowed a game on Shen, a pick that had served the team well in the semis.
The game started off quietly as both junglers looked content to farm out the early stages. The first piece of action saw UEA’s support TheKat being caught looking for vision in the river at eight minutes. Slowly but surely, KARMA ENVY’s Yorick was opening up a lead on Greggo. UEA would make full use of this with the bottom lane recalling at level eight, buying items, and being sent to the top lane. With Greggo’s Shen on half health and with the threat of a four-man dive, Kent’s top laner was forced away from his tower. It looked to be a simple tower exchange as Kent nabbed the tier one tower in bottom lane, but with the help of the Maiden and multiple auto-attacking champions, UEA continued to push and took the tier two. Kent scrambled to respond, catching out Yorick as East Anglia looked to back out. KARMA ENVY went down, but with the rest of UEA pumping out damage for free, three men from Kent would go down in return. An inhibitor tower would follow, putting UEA in control.
50 Kent managed to find picks in their own jungle to keep them in the fight, but KARMA ENVY’s Yorick had a growing lead, a constant thorn in their side. Kent found themselves constantly shoved in, but mistakes by UEA kept them relevant, if still behind. The East Anglians were finally able to use KARMA ENVY’s pressure to secure vision in the top side jungle for Baron. With Kent unsure over whether to deal with Yorick or contest vision and Baron, the team ended up doing neither, UEA taking the purple worm as well as a bottom lane inhibitor tower. Kent felt themselves being choked out and decided to take the fight to the enemy, venturing out of their place to find another pick. They caught UEA in a 4v4 situation, but with Lolman07 going down slower than anticipated and kaiwhy zoned from the fight by TheKat’s Alistar. The price of that failure was two inhibitors, East Anglia able to run it down the middle after recalling and roll over a deflated Kent to end the game. 2-2.
This time, Yorick was sealed away by Kent, along with Rumble to prevent any more KARMA ENVY shenanigans, while Alistar and Leona bans were used to limit TheKat’s playmaking potential. However, whatever Kent were planning for, they won’t have anticipated UEA’s moves. UEA decided to ditch the Darius pick, instead taking Warwick in the top lane while TheKat was given even more playmaking responsibility with a Blitzcrank. Kent had secured their own playmaker in the form of Thresh for Citilan, the supports now key to ensuring the team’s success.
With snowball potential for both teams in the bottom lane, there was heavy focus from both junglers. The first major interaction between the teams was a large skirmish in the bottom lane started by UEA. Both junglers and midlaners were present, Nerve blowing his Teleport and HotCrossBon walking down. However, a failure to land crucial skillshots by both teams meant that the only casualties were multiple summoners on either side. It would be Skudzy who would take advantage of this soon after, netting first blood for his ADC through the death of I Came To Party. More skirmishes led to Greggo killing Nerve’s Corki, but two kills fell into East Anglia’s lap after some overaggression from Kent in the river. A valuable Infernal Dragon followed.
Aside from this hiccup, it seemed Kent had the tidier teamplay, able to accumulate a small lead. The spawning of the next dragon would mark the next significant fight between the two teams. With UEA’s Corki in base, Kent pulled the trigger with Skudzy’s Jarvan trapping TheKAt and Lolman07 out of position. Unable to finish them off, Kent continued the fight in a prolonged chase that allowed Nerve to rejoin his team with the Package’s speed boost. It was only small margins which decided this fight, Kent coming out victorious with three members incredibly low on health. Had HotCrossBon failed to use his Stopwatch with Nerve’s Big One in the air, it may have been a different story for Kent, saving his own life and most likely his teammates’ too.
This was a pivotal moment as UEA were left to fish for picks to pull themselves back into the game. A good Rocket Grab from TheKat’s Blitzcrank meant Skudzy fell in the midlane, but another a prolonged chase allowed Greggo’s Maokai to flank. A well-timed hook from Citilan meant that Nerve’s Corki was caught with his team zoned off by Maokai. With the team in retreat and a key member missing, UEA were forced to retreat and slowly picked off leaving three dead. Kent took an inhibitor for their troubles.
Another Citilan Rocket Grab meant Greggo’s Maokai would fall later on, sparking hopes of a comeback. These were further fuelled by Citilan inexplicably throwing himself into the opposition team soon after landing a hook, his suicide presumably illustrative of his despair at seeing his favourite tree felled by the East Anglians. However, these hopes were short-lived as UEA struggled under the weight of Kent’s lead. Caught out in the jungle, key members fell as Jarvan and Miss Fortune ultimates devastated their line-up. This meant a free Baron for 50 Kent and, with the base already open in the midlane, it was simply a matter of shoving coaxing minions through the bottom lane to exert pressure elsewhere. TheKat could not find any more picks for his team as the base and then the team fell. Kent emerged victorious.
Congratulations to our Winter Championship 2017 winners 50 Kent – In Da Rift from the University of Kent, after an entertaining five-game series. Thanks to everyone who participated and see you next term!