NLC Spring 2021: Week 5 Wrap
It’s the final week of NLC! Time sure does fly by and five weeks have passed in a blink of an eye. Watching the NLC accelerates the flow of time perhaps? We’ll never know. What we do know is here is the recap of the final week and a short preview for the tiebreaker games. Let’s get to it!
Tricked Esports vs Godsent went first. Many expected Tricked to play their game and defeat Godsent, but Godsent refused to bow. Godsent fought hard and when both teams looked even, a timely catch onto jungler Flipper got Godsent the Baron and they never looked back. They cause a big upset and keep their playoffs hopes alive.
Granit Gaming vs Nordavind was game number two, with toplaner Kerberos bringing out one of the many picks he is known for: Nasus. Granit fought back as best as they could, but as the game got later and later, Chrisberg’s Kai’Sa, Erixen’s Sylas and Nasus all became far too strong. Nordavind sealed the win and continued to chase playoffs.
Dusty vs BT Excel came on next with Excel already secured in first place. Dusty tried hard to upset the LEC academy team and fight for a playoffs spot, but Excel as usual, were too organised to be caught off guard. Midlaner Hatrixx had an extraordinary game on Azir and the Emperor of Shurima shuffled Excel’s way to another dominant win.
Last game of Day 1: MNM Gaming vs Team Singularity. MNM desperately needed a win here or face the certainty of another relegation battle. And fought desperately they did. Even with an advantage, Singularity were punished several times by MNM. However, a quick decision by midlaner Furuy and toplaner WeiZor to run into MNM’s open base sealed their fate and give Singularity hope of fighting for second seed.
KOVA Esports vs Barrage Esports was game 1 for the second day. Barrage were heavy favourites and they led for more than 20 minutes before a big blunder at Baron allowed KOVA to regain control. Support Tiara once again led the team with some spectacular engages as KOVA clawed their way back inch by inch and eventually completed a comeback victory. This also means KOVA are locked in for playoffs.
Perhaps one of the biggest upsets of the spring season would be Riddle Esports vs Fnatic Rising. As is with Fnatic games, they lead for most of the game. But Riddle constantly found small gaps in their armour, and eventually a big fight at the Baron Pit where botlaner Orre secured a pentakill sealed Riddle’s comeback. Despite this game having little impact on either team’s standing, it’s not one spectators will soon forget!
Granit vs Tricked was next. Granit who were on a five game losing streak needed to use a substitute jungler and while that seemed like Tricked could take this easily, Granit said ‘no’. Granit constantly found engage after engage and eventually Tricked could not contest them. As caster Excoundrel said, “Tamoz the bloody tank engine!”. Granit chases a playoffs spot with this win.
The final game of Day 2 would be Dusty vs Nordavind, with this game being do-or-die for both teams. Despite Dusty leading in kills early on, Nordavind held on sturdily. A big Baron fight went awry for Dusty, and Nordavind capitalised hard on this to snowball the game to their advantage and eventually took the win. This meant Nordavind ties with Tricked for second place.
Excel vs Godsent started the final day of the regular season. Godsent would be buoyed coming into today with all the upsets yesterday, but Excel as always remained mostly impeccable...mostly. Despite accumulating a large lead, Excel’s attempts to cleanly close out resulted in several errors that almost gave Godsent a way back in. Eventually, Excel closed out and this meant Godsent would playing a tiebreaker match.
Singularity vs KOVA would go next and both teams have already locked in playoffs. KOVA started off brighter and tried a seldom seen pick in Kayn. But Singularity were unfazed and as the game rolled on, Singularity persevered and turned the game around during the big fights. KOVA could not hold on and Singularity claimed victory.
MNM vs Fnatic was the third game. The memory of Riddle upsetting Fnatic yesterday still lingered as MNM searched for the same scenario. Unfortunately for them, Fnatic were not interested in a repeat. Botlaner Bean especially had an extremely good game going 6/0/8 as Fnatic bulldozed their way to first place in Group B.
The final game of the regular season between Riddle and Barrage would be a crazy send off to an action packed spring. This game had a lot of wild moments, crazy dragon steals on both sides, a staunch base defense by Riddle despite Barrage’s large lead, and the longest game of NLC spring a 50:35! This means Barrage will play Singularity in a tiebreaker for second.
Preview for Tiebreakers
You know how the old saying goes: It would not be EU without ties. And we have a few.
From Group A we have 2 tiebreakers: Tricked vs Nordavind and Granit vs Godsent. Tricked has been struggling since Week 4 and have been on a four game losing streak while Nordavind seems to have finally found their stride. Getting second in their group will have big implications for seeding in playoffs, so needless to say, both teams will be fighting tooth and nail for it.
Granit vs Godsent is also another important match, as it determines the last team to enter playoffs. Both teams have shown they can compete with the best in their group, but consistency remains an issue. Who will show up?
For Group B we only have one tiebreaker and that’s between Singularity and Barrage for second place. While Barrage did defeat Singularity in Week 3, they have shown very rocky performances as of late. Singularity have shown more consistency but have had their struggles too. Hopefully the fans get a nail-biter of a game!
Dusty vs MNM is a tiebreaker to decide seeding in their relegations series and Dusty will have side selection in their first game, as per them winning the coinflip on broadcast. This is a best-of-3 series and on paper it favours Dusty, but MNN have shown in recent weeks they are no pushovers either. This promises to be an action packed series.
We’ve come to the end of the NLC regular season but stay tuned for tiebreakers! Who do you think will be our final playoffs teams?
Let us know on Twitter @NLClol!