The Amazon European Masters 2022 Summer Main Stage starts today with the best European Regional Leagues (ERLs) teams pitted against each other. This tournament will not just bring home the glory of regional pride, but also gives players a chance to impress eager eyes from the LEC. You can check out our coverage on it here.
Before the Main Stage begins, we had the Play-ins stage to determine which four teams would filled the last spots. For those who missed it, here’s what happened.
The EU Master Play-ins stage is often the breeding ground for upsets but this time, one could say it was the perfect storm for the non-accredited ERLs. At least, for groups.
LPLOL surprise on Day 1
Day 1 kicked off with Anorthosis Famagusta Esports defeating the NLC third seed in JD Excel as well as the White Dragons taking down Bisons Eclub. What a way to start the tournament! The only ERL representatives that did not falter were GameWard and Vitality.Bee from the French LFL, who both went 3-0 after the first day was through. The Prime League’s third seed in SK Prime went 3-0 as well. The biggest surprises were from the Portuguese LPLOL in representatives FTW Esports and White Dragons, who ended the day 2-1. This gave fans a lot to hope for, as the LPLOL often had poor showings at past editions of this tournament.
Slugfest on Day 2
Day 2 did not relent with the surprises with White Dragons again making the headlines by taking down LFL giants GameWard, who looked extremely dominant on Day 1. The day carried on with a slugfest between teams who knew this was their last chance to qualify. JD Excel bouncing back from the 0-3 start and winning two on the trot while Bisons looked to climb as well. However, the final results proved the smaller ERLs were here to play this summer as KRC Genk Esports defeated JD Excel in the last match of Group A to seal their place in Knockouts with Anorthosis leading the group, FTW Esports doing the same to Illuminar Gaming from the Ultraliga as well as White Dragons maintaining the momentum to finish ahead of Bisons. ESuba and aNc Outplayed played a tiebreaker at the end with eSuba coming out on top to qualify for Knockouts.
This meant that out of eight Knockout teams, five team were from the non-accredited ERLs and at least one would make the Main Stage. With three accredited ERL teams sinking in Play-ins, the question if there would be even more upsets in the Knockouts remained.
The Knockout games kicked off with GameWard taking on Genk and Anorthosis facing off FTW. The GameWard/Genk series was the more straightforward of the two series with GameWard winning it 2-0 to advance to the Main Stage. However, Genk showed extreme resilience in Game 1 and at one point almost overturned a 10k gold deficit, even scoring an Ace in the Baron pit at 34 minutes. Unfortunately for Genk in Game 2, they had a promising start but GameWard snowballed their advantages from the mid-game onwards and sealed a 2-0 victory.
The match Anorthosis/FTW series was much closer. Game 1 saw both teams slugging it out against one another and even though Anorthosis led in kills and gold, FTW held on and after a huge fight near the Drake pit, FTW turned the game on its head and close out a comeback victory. Anorthosis were not done and out yet. They started off brightly with bot laner Valmir "Goldento4st" Fejzullahu securing First Blood before two minutes into the game. Anorthosis continued to snowball from there with a decisive 28 minute victory. The final game was close and even saw FTW take a large kill lead for a time. Anorthosis remained patient and found their opportunity at 21 minutes, winning a big fight and securing the Baron. The game then snowballed from there and Anorthosis took the series 2-1 and moved on to the next stage.
LFL teams reign supreme
The last two series of the day would follow the GameWard/Genk series with relatively straightforward outcomes. Vitality.Bee vs eSuba saw the Hitpoint Masters champions take on the LFL giants. The first game saw Vitality taking it slow before finding a good fight and taking the Baron. From there on, the French team did not let up and and powered their way to victory with 30 kills in 33 minutes, bot laner Jesper "Jeskla" Klarin Strömberg taking 19 of them. Game 2 would be even more dominant from Vitality and despite eSuba finding a 4-1 trade on topside at 15 minutes, Vitality simply battered their opponents in the ensuing fights and took the victory in 26 minutes, ensuring both LFL teams advanced to the Main Stage.
SK Gaming Prime vs White Dragons would be the final nail in the coffin for the LPLOL’s summer dreams. The first game was a slow and steady game with very little kills, but SK were slowly pulling away in gold through objectives. When SK pulled the trigger at 24 minutes, White Dragons could not hold on any longer and SK took Game 1. Game 2 went differently and saw both teams going at each other from the start. But as the game went on, SK continued to come out on top and with their Fiora constantly pressuring the sidelines, the Prime League representative eventually found their victory at 27 minutes.
Now our 16 teams for EU Masters 2022 summer has been determined, we will also see a new champion be crowned since defending champions Karmine Corp did not qualify. Which teams will make the finals? Will the LFL continue its reign of dominance? We will find out soon enough.
The EU Masters Main Stage runs from August 29th to September 8th. You can catch all the action live on the official EU Masters Twitch channel.
Feature Image Credit: Michal Konkol/Riot Games