With everyone waiting for the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational to kick off, the European Masters has delivered some great League of Legends over the past weeks for fans to enjoy. Starting with the play-in stage and moving into the main event, the best teams from the European regional leagues have competed for the trophy and recognition from LEC organizations. With a total of 28 teams competing throughout the tournament, it came down to LFL champions Karmine Corp and the NLC champions BT Excel fighting for the trophy.
— European Masters (@EUMasters) May 2, 2021
Both teams impressed throughout the EU Masters event, but they had very different paths to the finals. Karmine Corp and BT Excel were placed in the same group, where Karmine Corp made a clean sweep with a 6-0 record. BT Excel barely got out with a 3-3 record but started to pick up the pace in the playoffs stage.
Karmine Corp looked a bit shakier in the playoffs stage compared to its performance in the group stage, but still managed to take down ŠAIM SE SuppUp in the quarterfinals followed up by UCAM Esports Club in the semifinals. For BT Excel, the team pulled off two upsets against prominent teams, taking down Misfits Premier and mousesports right after that.
For the final, everything was up in the air despite Karmine Corp taking down BT Excel twice in the group stage. It was the first best-of-five match of the tournament so everything could happen. As the first NLC team to ever make the final in EU Masters, BT Excel were the underdogs but have thrived in that position prior to the final.
The final started with a big brawl where both teams got to show what they are capable of. Right from the start, Karmine Corp got ahead through great jungle control from Jakub “Cinkrof” Rokicki. Even though Karmine Corp was in complete control throughout most of the game, BT Excel made the game a nailbiter in the late game. After more than 40 minutes of intense gameplay, BT Excel pulled off the impossible and took the game despite all odds, after an unstoppable performance by bot laner Matthew “Deadly” Smith on Jinx.
Karmine Corp had to rebound both mentally and mechanically for game two. After letting the first game slip away, it was crucial to bounce back and even out the series. Fortunately for the thousands of hopeful French fans watching, Karmine Corp returned to the shape everyone had expected and tied up the series in yet another long and close game.
It was clear the two teams were playing at an almost identical level, making it completely impossible to predict the winner. For game three, Karmine Corp held on to its momentum and got another win on the board. BT Excel was, therefore, forced to pick it back up and take the series to the game five everyone was hoping for.
With maximum pressure on both teams, the fourth game was all about keeping the head cool. Both teams were confident enough to go for some aggressive team compositions, with a rare mid-lane matchup between Renekton and Nocturne. With two wins in a row, it was clearly Karmine Corp who had the most confidence which resulted in yet another good early game. BT Excel kept biting back through skirmishes in the mid lane, but Karmine Corp was too strong.
After losing the first game of the final, Karmine Corp took three wins in a row and solidified themselves as the best European regional team.
With this win by Karmine Corp, the EU Masters trophy returns to the French LFL league for the third time. This is the first split for Karmine Corp as an organization and it’s already looking like the team will be a name at the top of the European regional scene for a while.
With the summer split coming up, Karmine Corp will look to defend its LFL title and later on potentially the EU Masters trophy.