Match report written by Dave Wright.
Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, 8 teams of students have been competing in an inter-college league. However, students were not representing their colleges in football, cricket, netball, etc but for an esport, namely League of Legends. The teams were known as Alpha Squadron, Quadra, Dudehond is a Beast, Zelkova, Exalted, Ouroboros, the Long Road Lancets and forthememe. However, only four could go through to a final tournament, hosted by Hills Road on 24th April 2019.
On 24th April, Alpha Squadron and Quadra from Hills Road, and Exalted and Ouroboros from Long Road met up to decide which college could boast the best League of Legends team for the 2018-2019 academic year. To start with, Alpha Squadron and Quadra played against each other to find the Best of Hills. While Quadra put up a valiant fight, Alpha Squadron, who have beaten every other team during the year, won out in the end.
After that Exalted and Ouroboros met to decide the Best of Long. This was definitely a closer match with Exalted coming out on top due to Ðëv executing some expert plays with the champion Vladimir. However, now came the final showdown between Hills Road’s Alpha Squadron and Long Road’s Exalted. We’d found the Best of Hills and the Best of Long now was time to find the Best of the Best.
Alpha Squadron wasted no time in banning Vladimir, clearly impressed by Exalted’s performance in the previous game leaving them to pick Yasuo instead. However, this allowed CappinBanarblez to counter pick with Malzahar. During the early game, Exalted looked to be in a strong position and were definitely in the lead both on number of kills and gold. But their Yasuo just wasn’t finding the kills and farm he needed to dominate the late game. Alpha Squadron hung on and, with some excellent mechanical play, won a crucial team fight just outside the dragon pit.
Alpha Squadron then did very well with the macro play, keeping the minion waves pushed in their favour while baiting Exalted into five-manning the mid lane. That left them vulnerable to being picked off but Exalted just couldn’t find the engage. Eventually, Alpha Squadron grouped up and managed to find a couple of kills. That was enough to allow them to take down a couple of inhibitors and move on to an uncontested Baron. With super minions streaming into Exalted’s base, Alpha Squadron grouped up for the final inhibitor, playing it cool and allowing the super minions to split up the enemy team. After a last-ditch re-engage from Exalted they found a good knock up from Cho’gath with a follow-up from the Yasuo, but it just wasn’t enough. Alpha Squadron had three inhibitors down and Baron empowered super minions, leading them to a victory.
With around 50 students turning up for the event, this was a fantastic occasion. I’d like to thank Sam Silvester, captain of the Cambridge University League of Legends team for commentating on the event as well as Ayden Duffy and Steve Dann for being advocates of both the league and tournament. If you would like to make the 2019-2020 season even better, please fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SLRCQKM.