Origen thumped Illuminar Gaming 3-0 in the EU Masters 2018 League of Legends final in Leicester on the weekend.
It was great to see two days of top LoL action in the UK, with the community coming together to enjoy the matches and ESL putting on a stunning show. Tom Beer recaps the action from the revamped Haymarket Theatre.
Semi-final: GamersOrigin vs Illuminar Gaming
This was an exciting series with a pre-match hype video from GamersOrigin claiming that they had yet to be challenged in this tournament so far.
Little did they realise however, that they were about to come up against a challenge that would prove too much for them to handle.
Illuminar Gaming blew GamersOrigin off the rift 2-0, with each game finished in less than half an hour, taking the all-Polish roster straight to the finals.
It was a shame to see GamersOrigin ADC Toaster fall short: he was the only player with solid experience from the UK LoL scene (though it seems his dance moves more than made up for it).
Semi-final: Origen vs Mad Lions EC
Origen went into this series perhaps having one eye on the final already. They were passive in game one, waiting to scale. MAD Lions E.C powered to a 28-minute victory.
Clearly there were some stern words at the interval, as the Origen that came back onto the rift were a different team. They turned it around to win the next two games in a total of 67 minutes.
— Illuminar Gaming (@illuminaRGaming) April 29, 2018
Final: Origen vs Illuminar Gaming
The 3-0 score suggests that this series was very one-sided. Unfortunately, despite some early game aggression and proactive play, Illuminar never really looked like taking a victory.
In game one, Illuminar were in control of the early game but an overstay in top lane at 16:30 just stifled their momentum and gave Origen a double kill onto Forgiven. A mere seven minutes later, Origen had secured an Infernal Drake, two more kills mid and the Baron.
From that point on, they could push pretty safely to the nexus with Illuminar unable to engage for fear of the Froggen shockwave.
The all-Polish roster were fully in control in game two. Their only failing was probably not being clinical enough with the advantages they were securing.
In this game Origen were making lots of mistakes. They failed to get first-brick gold allowing a rotation and rift herald from Illuminar to secure it. They also gave up a free Baron through Insec and Froggen trying to two-man it, and getting taken too low.
The key moment was leaving Origen's bot-lane inhibitor up with a sliver of health remaining. Had they taken that objective and gained a lane of superminions, their control over the map could have given them a better chance.
At 42:56 Illuminar had three drakes, three more towers destroyed and a bot lane inhibitor exposed. At 43:00 the game was over, thanks to Froggen: Flash, Miasma then Petrifying Gaze and Origin were 2-0 up.
Game three of the series was Origen slowly marching towards the trophy, winning a key teamfight at 31 minutes that allowed them to close cleanly.
— lolesports (@lolesports) April 29, 2018
Analysis: 'A special mention must go to Froggen'
The weight of expectation on Origen coming into this tournament was huge. The organisation that placed top four in Worlds 2015 (see our interview with xPeke here) has not lived up to that standard since.
Illuminar did some good things in this series, they were pro-active early, which they needed to be, and took objectives. The star-power of Origen however, was far too much to deal with. Great players can make mistakes and still make the key plays.
An example of this was Insec getting killed by wandering alone into a bush to die, but still going huge on Lee Sin with the play that bears his name. Great teams can fall behind early and not panic with the sheer wealth of experience they can draw on.
A special mention must go to Froggen who carried Origen to victory, through his damage and command of mid lane. Illuminar had to focus him. This meant that Forgiven was left untouched to delete health bars.
— Origen (@Origengg) April 28, 2018
It's possible that Illuminar were giving Origen too much respect. The way they dismantled GamersOrigin in the semi-final was so brutal and yet in the finals they looked far more tentative.
They were proactive, but not quite so fierce in the early game, allowing Origen to sit back and scale. Origen were happy to let Illuminar take objectives knowing that their teamfight potential was superior.
With EU LCS franchising on the way, it will be interesting to see if Origen can secure a place, although that will be bittersweet for Forgiven who will have to complete his deferred military service before aiming to return to LCS in 2020.
Check out Esports News UK soon for an opinion piece from Tom Beer on Leicester Haymarket Theatre as an esports venue