NLC Spring 2021: Week 4 Wrap

It’s hard to believe, but we only have one more week of regular season before the NLC moves into playoffs! As such, Week 4 was a crucial week of momentum for many of the teams. Let’s look back on all the action and preview the final week before playoffs.

Day 1

MNM Gaming took on Riddle Esports for our first game, and the last time both teams met Riddle won in an astonishing 25 minutes. MNM’s luck would not be much better this time around, as Riddle’s teamfight combos this game were just immense. While this game was slower to end at 36 minutes, Riddle’s dominance was clear with 28 kills to 9.

The second game in Fnatic Rising vs KOVA Esports was a slugfest. KOVA showed that even gods can bleed and fought evenly against Fnatic for most of the match, trading blow for blow. When it looked like KOVA could cause a monumental upset, Fnatic slammed the door. One Pentakill later for botlaner Bean and Fnatic took the game.

Team Singularity vs Barrage Esports was next. Barrage while typically have shown a tendency to prefer taking fights, showed a more composed form going into this match where they were aiming to scale. Try as they might, Singularity could not prevent Barrage’s onslaught later in the game. Barrage took the game at 40 minutes.

The final game was Tricked Esport vs Nordavind, and it looks like Nordavind’s victory over BT Excel last week has empowered them. Nordavind led from the start and continuously pressured Tricked, and even though Tricked found a handful of chances, Nordavind proved too strong and sealed an all-important victory.

Day 2

We start off with Granit Gaming vs BT Excel. It seemed Excel’s loss against Nordavind was still stinging, as they ran through Granit from minute one and hounded them mercilessly. In a game that caster Guldborg would say ‘win lane, win game’, Excel did just that and ended decisively in an incredible 23 minutes.

Godsent vs Dusty was next, and Dusty’s recent form continued here. Despite Godsent finding several good fights to challenge Dusty, it would not be nearly enough. Dusty fought back and took the win and continued to pursue the ‘miracle run’ storyline, ever aiming to reach playoffs after their poor start in NLC spring.

KOVA vs Riddle was the third game. Both teams have very strong showings on Day 1 and this form continued, with both teams fighting tooth and nail late into the match. It was not till KOVA secured the Infernal Soul that the tides started to shift in their favour, and at 33 minutes KOVA found a huge teamfight and with it, finally closed the game.

Singularity vs Fnatic rounded off the day in a potential match of the week. Any questions or doubts surrounding Fnatic were cast aside as they swept Singularity aside in a rather one-sided match. A 10k gold lead before the 20 minute mark was testament to Fnatic’s dominance. With this win, Fnatic sit at the top of Group B till Week 5.

Day 3

MNM vs Barrage started Day 3 with Barrage capitalising hard on MNM’s poor run of form. Barrage as caster Excoundrel said, ‘absolutely ran MNM over’. A 7k gold lead at 14 minutes meant MNM’s chances of a comeback was next to none, and Barrage clinched the fastest game of NLC spring at 22 minutes.

Dusty vs Granit followed soon after. While their first game was a Granit win in the longest game of NLC spring so far, Dusty clearly did not want a repeat of that. The game looked relatively even until Dusty truly came online, and botlaner Hoiz’s Kai’Sa became an unstoppable force. He ended the game 16/1/4 as Dusty took revenge.

MNM vs KOVA was up next and just like the first time, it was another roller coaster of emotions. KOVA and MNM aimed to teamfight at every chance, and even with KOVA’s advantages they had a lot of trouble finishing the game. Eventually, KOVA baited MNM at the Elder Dragon before a backdoor to take an open Nexus sealed their win.

Barrage vs Fnatic was the third game and Fnatic were out for vengeance. Barrage fought back hard and were even until a big fight at 18 minutes went south for them. In true Fnatic fashion, they hard snowballed this advantage into an avalanche. Fnatic constantly caught Barrage and punished all their plays before taking the win.

Up next, Nordavind vs Godsent. This would be an incredibly unexpected match, as Nordavind has been looking on form recently but it was Godsent who came out on top. Godsent never backed down and slowly but surely tore down Nordavind’s defenses. This win keeps Godsent’s playoffs dreams alive. 

The last game of Week 4 would be Excel vs Tricked in a fight for first. Unfortunately Tricked would not avenge their loss to Excel in Week 2, with Excel continuing to show why they lead the group. Even with jungler Flipper’s clutch Baron steal for Tricked, it would not be enough to turn the tides as Excel later marched in to take the nexus and take first in their group.

Preview for Week 5

The final week of the NLC regular season is upon us! 

Group A has Excel locked in at first as they hold the head-to-head record over Tricked. Tricked however, need one more win to secure second for good and they face potential banana peels in Godsent and Granit. After Tricked, who makes playoffs is anyone’s guess at this point with four teams tied at 3-5. 

Godsent have the hardest route on paper, as they face both Excel and Tricked. Dusty has been performing very well in the past two weeks, so teams should be on the lookout for them. Nordavind and Granit can still make it, but consistency has been an issue for both teams. Group A’s final standings will go down to the wire.

Other than the similarity of an academy team sitting pretty at the top, Group B’s standings are more set with Fnatic, Barrage and Singularity already locked in for playoffs, leaving one more spot open.

KOVA are the most likely candidate not just based on recent form, but also due to a head-to-head record over Riddle. While in theory MNM can challenge that, they need KOVA to lose both their matches and they win theirs. The issue is that MNM face Fnatic and Singularity. Riddle face Barrage and Fnatic, so they too have a thorny path to thread.

The final week beckons! Which teams are your picks to make playoffs from both groups? Let us know on Twitter @NLClol!

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