NLC Spring 2021: Playoffs Round 1 Recap

NLC playoffs have arrived! We now bear witness to the best teams duking it out not just to win the title of NLC champion, but also for that precious ticket to the bi-annual European Masters tournament. How are playoffs shaping up so far? Let’s find out!

Upper Bracket

Barrage Esports vs BT Excel started off the day, and Game 1 would see Excel in their usual dominant form we were so used to in the regular season. Excel led from start to finish and dismantled Barrage’s best laid plans, taking the all-important first game of the series. 

Game 2 came about and while Barrage would have loved to have a fresh start, Excel gave no quarter. They led the game by nearly 10k gold at 15 minutes and didn’t let up. Try as Barrage might, Excel proved too dominant and Excel finished both games under 30 minutes. 

Final score: BT Excel 2-0

The second series would be Fnatic Rising vs Tricked Esport. Tricked were holding Fnatic at bay, until Fnatic secured the Baron at 23 minutes. Fnatic then played methodically and a Pentakill by botlaner Bean at 31 minutes sealed Game 1 for Fnatic.

For the second game, Fnatic had no interest in taking it slow and giving Tricked an avenue to fight back. Fnatic constantly pressured Tricked, and even when Tricked had a chance to mount a comeback, Fnatic masterfully turned it on it’s head and marched down to a 25 minute win with Bean putting in another incredible performance.

Final score: Fnatic Rising 2-0

Lower Bracket Round 1

Nordavind vs KOVA Esports was the first series. Game 1 would be the first time we see Nocturne by jungler Sharp and both teams went in looking to brawl. However, botlaner Chrisberg showed why Kai’Sa is a must ban against him as Nordavind steadily won the crucial fights and took the nexus.

Game 2 started off quieter with both teams fighting less than Game 1. Gold remained even till 21 minutes where Nordavind snuck the Baron, marking the turning point of Game 2. Nordavind proceeded to take the teamfights once again and eventually, taking the win. 

Final score: Nordavind 2-0

Team Singularity vs Granit Gaming was next. Game 1 looked very favoured to Singularity in terms of kills as Granit held on by taking objectives elsewhere, but an incredible fight at 27 minutes put Singularity in the driver’s seat and they drove on steadily to victory.

The next game would be more or less even between both teams until a big fight over the Cloud Dragon resulted in a Singularity win. However, the game would stall for a bit before Singularity found the winning teamfight at 32 minutes and closed the game immediately.

Final score: Team Singularity 2-0

Lower Bracket Round 2 

Game 1 for Nordavind vs Barrage had both teams going at it cautiously with both teams trading advantages. The game swung firmly towards Nordavind after Barrage lost a big fight in the blue jungle which allowed Nordavind to secure Baron then the nexus.

Game 2 saw a similarly slow start with both teams somewhat even. But this time it was Barrage who found the crucial engage and secured Baron at 21 minutes. From there on they never let Nordavind come back and snowballed their way to a 30 minute victory.

It would be all or nothing for both teams in Game 3, but it was Nordavind that came out ahead in the early game. Jungler Sharp’s Nocturne applied an incredible amount of pressure to allow botlaner Chrisberg’s Vayne to scale, and after several teamfight wins Nordavind took the series in dominant fashion.

Final result: Nordavind 2-1

Tricked vs Singularity followed on and Game 1 was a true back and forth between both teams. Singularity had the better early game, Tricked the mid game and took a commanding lead. However, Singularity refused to give up and as their scaling champions came online, sealed an impressive comeback victory.

The second game would be eerily similar in terms of how events played out. A somewhat even start but Tricked dominated the mid-game. Despite Singularity almost coming back late-game again, Tricked shut the door this time and brought it to 1-1.

Game 3 would be un-‘bear’-able for Tricked as toplaner WeiZoR’s Volibear pick proved to be too much to handle. There would be no mid-game stumbles here with Singularity decisively winning the game with dominating plays from start to finish. As caster Troubleinc said of WeiZoR’s performance: “Bwipo who?”

Final score: Singularity 2-1

Round 2 of playoffs will begin on March 17th, with Nordavind taking on Singularity first! Which two teams do you think will make the finals? Let us know on Twitter @NLClol!

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