Today saw the semi and grand final games of the MCM eSports League of Legends Championship. Hosted by Backdrop Gaming and sponsored by Razer, this was the first time the MCM Comic Con had held an invite only tournament for professional UK teams. After winning May’s open tournament, team Dignitas UK returned to defend their title against contenders FM Storm and Perilous Rift.
Perilous Rift sailed through the semi-finals, beating FM Storm 2-0. FM Storm has lost badly in the first round, playing a strategy which was different to their usual approach–which proved ultimately too risky. But even after going back to a more familiar play-style for their second game, Perilous Rift brought them down easily, despite the game being significantly less one-sided.
Perilous Rift, having come third in their last tournament against eight other UK teams, know that they’ve got talent despite only having formed back in September. But even so, speaking to their team leader, they were pleasantly surprised to see themselves come at least second.
“We knew it was going to be kind of 50/50, but I don’t think any of us expected us to do so well.”
Although they conceded that beating Dignitas UK was unlikely, although not out of the realms of possibility, the team was confident that they’d put up a fight none the less.
“We’re going to take the game as it comes and see what happens. Naturally, they’re a really strong team, and they’re really good. But we’ll just see what we can do. I’m confident we can play well regardless of the result.”
Bringing a large crowd of noisy fans with them to the arena, Dignitas UK came straight out with the fighting talk. Speaking to their team leader before the match, they weren’t at all phased by Perilous Rift’s underdog win, and the notion of failure was simply wasn’t on the cards.
“They played alright. But we should be able to beat them providing we know what we’re doing as a group. We’re here to win, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
When shaking hands, Dignitas UK threatened to beat Perilous Rift in under 20 minutes.
The odds were stacked a little against Perilous Rift, with Dignitas UK entering the match with one point already towards their title. This mean that Perilous Rift would have to win a further two matches to clinch the €7,000 prize money, after already playing two earlier matches. Whereas Dignitas UK were coming in cold, fresh, and ready.
Alas, the underdogs weren’t able to sweep the rug out from under the feet of the champions. They held out well in the first phase of play, preventing Dignitas UK from barnstorming the map, but afterwards it was clear that Dignitas UK were going to remain champions.
But that’s not to say that they didn’t put up a fight. Indeed, they thwarted Dignitas UK’s threat of beating them in less than 20 minutes.
“We lasted for 29 minutes, which is better than other people at that grade.”
However, despite not winning as easily as they had hoped, Dignitas UK were unmoved by the longer-than-expected game.
“I’ll settle for 29 minutes; that’s alrgitht. Any longer than 30, and that would have been bad.”
They’ll Get You Next Time?
But that’s not to say Perilous Rift are without potential. Match casters Pulse (@impulsable) and Spuddington (@spuddington) did wonder if Perilous Rift might just pull off a coup d’état at the start. But even though that never happened, given some more time, they could become worthy adversaries. Both recognised that Perilous Rift have some excellent teamwork, but will need to get more experience before they have a chance of toppling the title-holders.
“Perilous Rift would make the right choice and be in the right place at the right time; they can coordinate really well together. But then they would just straight up loose in the 1-on-1 or be unable to make the right play in the tough situation. That’s something you can work on as an individual. As a team, they were really very good for what they were. But the problem was that Dignitas UK has much more experience as individuals.”
Talking to Dignitas UK after their win, when asked if Perilous Rift could ever beat them, they recognised the team’s strength but also echoed the fact that they need to get more playtime behind them.
“I don’t know [if they’ll ever beat us]. It depends how long they last.”
The MCM eSports League of Legends Championships took place at MCM London Comic Com on October 26th 2013. For more information about the expo, visit www.mcmcomiccon.com/london.