The UKLC’s third tower tournament begins tonight. Many organisations have already established themselves as frontrunners, most notably the LEC sister teams Excel UK and Fnatic Rising. However, now that every team has adjusted to the system again, tonight will be the night where the true playoff contenders will rise.
One of the teams touted for success before the Summer Split began was Barrage Esports. Yet coming into the third week, they have recorded zero points as of right now. The sides’ head coach, Torok, is still confident in the ability of his side. Essentially stating that while his team on paper are winless, they should not be considered weak coming into the third tower.
He says: “Naturally, starting the season 0-2 is not what many people would call, “ideal” for a team’s momentum, especially within the Tower format. However, I think in both of our games we gave a good showing to give us enough credit to come into week three as the UKLC enigma. On one hand, we have lost both of our two games thus far, but within that came reasonable performances versus class opposition in XL and MnM,”
“This means for us and for many people, this week is one where we will start to show how good we really are, and begin to define our chances in the League,”
“A victory against Phelan this week is crucial to us if we want to truly be recognised as a top-four contender. Every win against opposition which you believe should be lower in the table than you are equally, and perhaps more so important, than versus the top three. This is because when objectively examining the UKLC: Excel, Fnatic and MnM should theoretically place in positions one, two and three; with 4th up for grabs between us and any other organisation.”
It’s clear to see that despite their less than ideal start, the coach feels that his line-up can push on for a playoff spot. In fact, anything less than that, according to the Brit, would be considered an underachievement.
“Our goal always has been and always will be top four. I know that with the fantastic staff team and talented group of players I’m working alongside, we can push to gain Barrage’s best-ever finish in the UK, and perhaps go even further!”
Barrage’s first obstacle will be to claim some valuable points on the leaderboard. While the team’s first two games were against some of the best the UK has to offer, today’s match-up against Phelan Gaming is a must-win clash. This will be the first time that Barrage are the heavy favorites so far this split. Torok knows that for their playoff dream to be achieved, then they must be victorious. This doesn’t mean that he is underestimating the Irish organisation though.
“I’m really excited to be going up against Phelan on Wednesday, as I believe we match up incredibly well versus them to pull out the victory. Phelan so far seems to be a roster in disarray, whom in theory looks good on paper, but in reality, are struggling to convert their strengths into official matches. Hence, I believe this week there is a lot of pressure on for Phelan to make a statement as to where they can go in the UK this split, having lost already to Diabolus and Demise thus far,”
“I’m stoked to see how Chemera performs versus us and for the rest of this split, as I consider him one of the more promising UK rookies. Whilst clearly not having a great showing versus Vixen, as his former coach I know he has a lot to bring to the league and can prove himself this season.”
The UKLC is one of the harshest ERL’s. Your team has one chance to impress every week, an off-day could result in you going home with nothing. Due to the grueling nature of the competition, not many sides have reached their full potential despite it being the third week. Torok feels that while his side will be victorious today, his line-ups true ability may not be shown until later on in the split.
“I don’t think you will see us at our best, not because we won’t perform in our games, but the ceiling for this roster is incredibly high. We are still exploring how deeply we can play the game at the moment and rest-assured building towards the midpoint of the split we will be playing our macro game to the standard of any high-level ERL side. That being said, don’t count us out for a good run this week should our form continue…Let’s just say we have a few things prepped which may take us a little further than expected! 😉”
Barrage and Phelan have the chance to put themselves into playoff contention. Whoever wins today’s match will gain some much-needed momentum. Whoever loses the match-up will remain winless in the tournament. For both of these teams, a loss now will have a massive impact on how they perform for the rest of the Summer Split.
Make sure you tune into the UKLC today live on Twitch at 6pm to see some of the UK’s best talent in action!
By Tom Daniels