The river flows red on the Rift today. Lovecraftian nightmares stalk the jungle, and every spawning dragon is an Infernal. Diabolus Esports hold the tower!
The slow and steady ascent of Diabolus has seen them become the only team never to have suffered an exit in the Round of 8. With three consecutive bracket final appearances, last week marked their first tower challenge—and, subsequently, their first time as tower champions. (Check out our Week 4 recap here.)
Now, just one point behind Fnatic Rising at the top of the table—and with the knowledge that they will overtake them, unless Fnatic themselves win the tower challenge this week—can Diabolus be considered the most consistent team in the UK League Championship?
Fnatic will surely be determined to hold back their hellish tide, and Excel UK will be eager to bounce back after two consecutive Round of 8 defeats shockingly saw them slip into third. With both LEC teams out for blood, can anyone prevent them reclaiming their reputation as the league’s giants?
Meanwhile, last week’s results ensured there are no winless teams remaining in the bottom half of the UKLC table. With two David-versus-Goliath games and a dogfight, who is capable of causing another head-turning upset?
It all starts with the Round of 8.
Bulldog Esports vs. Phelan Gaming 18:00 GMT
Bulldogs will battle wolves in our first bout of the evening. Bulldog Esports will be buoyed after securing their first UKLC win, against DarkSpawn Gaming, last week. Phelan Gaming, however, have looked to be on a less inspiring trajectory. A promising start to the league showcased the roster’s potential, but a fall-off in form over the last couple of weeks has raised questions about Phelan’s ceiling. With both teams locked on one point, this fixture could prove crucial in the final standings.
MnM Gaming vs. Enclave Gaming 19:00 GMT
Despite sitting in adjacent positions in the table—with Enclave Gaming in fifth, and MnM Gaming tied for third—a gulf in points divides the two. That exists partly due to a difference in the difficulty of starting fixtures, and partly because of MnM’s tremendous Week 3 run, which saw them defeat Enclave on their way to the top of the tower. In that match, Monk’s Kai’Sa enabled MnM to make a huge comeback from a tremendous gold deficit, despite Enclave’s excellent start to the game. Will we see a repeat result this week?
Barrage Esports vs. Excel UK 20:00 GMT
The other team tied for third is Excel UK, who have had a pretty poor couple of weeks after initially looking like potentially the strongest side in the league. But two consecutive first-round exits—against MnM and Diabolus—has left viewers questioning their consistency, whilst the introduction of LEC talents Exile and Kasing into the lineup has yet to truly pay off. For Barrage, a team that has looked to be steadily growing in strength after solid wins against teams below them in the standings, Excel’s floundering form may mean they smell blood in the water.
DarkSpawn Gaming vs. Fnatic Rising 21:00
After securing just one victory so far this split, this game will see DarkSpawn Gaming play only their sixth game of the season so far—and their third against Fnatic Rising. A quirk of the fixture schedule means that both teams should be well used to this match-up; but have DarkSpawn’s experiences playing against Fnatic allowed them to find weaknesses to exploit, or will their continued meetings prove to be merely bad luck?
All match times are subject to change slightly depending on the length of the games. Need a reminder on the format? Check out our handy explanation here!
Remember, this week’s action doesn’t stop there. The four winners of the above fixtures progress to the bracket semifinals on Thursday, which also starts at 6pm GMT. The winner of the bracket will then have an opportunity to dethrone Diabolus in the UKLC’s fifth tower challenge.