Technical issues marred what was an impressive set up at the ESL UK & Ireland League of Legends Autumn 2017 Premiership finals at EGX.
Packet loss/lag problems occurred throughout the day, pushing back the first semi-final between Excel Esports and NerdRage.Pro by around two hours in the morning, from 9am to 11am.
Players had difficulty at times when inputting commands, seeing a delay between input and the outcome on screen. For example, casting an ability, but seeing it play out a few moments later. At other times, the problem cleared up, but it made for an inconsistent day with lots of pauses.
Esports News UK understands that while the internet connection was fast enough, the packet loss problems persisted. ESL checked with Riot if there were problems with the tournament client, but that was all clear; it seems it may have been the venue/organisers side at EGX at the Birmingham NEC.
"Facing Singularity in the final isn't really something I expected - they're a wildcard team but I think we're the stronger team. I think we'll end up beating them."
Aux, excel esports
Because of the delays, there wasn't enough time to play the grand final. This has been pushed back and will be played online - ESL caster Dan Gaskin told the audience that the details will be announced on Twitter in the next few days. Both finalists have had pictures and video taken of them lifting the trophy, ready for whoever actually wins.
Some of these lag problems affected other parts of the arena too - some of the group finals in the Overwatch tournament were apparently also postponed.
It was a shame, because the set up from ESL was fantastic, and the live audience numbers swelled nicely in the afternoon - which would have been an ideal time for the grand final. Online numbers reached around 1,300.
The venue had to close by 9pm, and this meant there weren't many around to watch the final few games in the second semi-final.
— Dominic Sacco @EGX (@Dom_Sacco) September 21, 2017
Despite the technical hitches, the semi-final LoL matches were reasonably close, with both best-of-threes going to a full three games.
In the first semi, xL defeated NerdRage 2-1, while reigning champions MnM suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Singularity in the other match, despite them winning the first game.
Singularity delivered with some surprising picks - a Malphite support in game one and a Kayn top-lane in game two.
xL support player Aux (who previously told Esports News UK xL would win the UK Prem final) said: "Facing Singularity in the final isn't really something I expected - they're a wildcard team but I think we're the stronger team. I think we'll end up beating them."
— #SNGARMY (@SingularityDK) September 21, 2017
[#LoL] IT'S GRAND FINALS TIME BABY!
GGs @NerdRage_pro, what a series!
2/2 Grand Finals this split - let's get ourselves a trophy! pic.twitter.com/08iqlmGzMs
— exceL Esports™ (@exceL) September 21, 2017
While MnM may have been disappointed with the result, their finals qualification streak should be noted. We're told this is the first tournament playoffs in 19 that MnM haven't made it through to the finals (including other games, not just LoL).
MnM top-laner Rifty was furious after the match for another reason; Singularity's mid-laner ParisGRE had laughed at him during the post-match handshake and said: "Good luck in the final."
We caught up with Singularity afterwards and ParisGRE told us it was said because Rifty was apparently talking up before the semi-final implying MnM would win, but others have dismissed this as untrue.
Rifty said in a Tweet that it was bad manners/unsportsmanlike for Singularity to have done this.
Imagine being so insecure you BM at a UK LAN, atleast keep the social autism in check for a handshake mate.
— Rift @I61 - F63 (@PureRifty) September 21, 2017