EU Masters Summer 2021 Preview
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EU Masters Summer 2021 Preview

With the Main Event drawing near, the top European Regional League talent is once again set to go head to head in the European Masters. The bi-annual tournament is a breeding ground for the LEC’s next rookies and players across its 16 teams will hope that this is their chance to shine ahead of the winter off season.

Lee "Couple Sodi Pops" Jones
Freelance Esports Writer
30th Aug, 21·☕️ 7 min read
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With the Main Event drawing near, the top European Regional League talent is once again set to go head to head in the European Masters. The bi-annual tournament is a breeding ground for the LEC’s next rookies and players across its 16 teams will hope that this is their chance to shine ahead of the winter off season.

Competition Information

Starting on Monday 30th August, the EUM Main Event kicks off with the group stage in which the 16 teams are split into 4 groups. Each group will play out a double round-robin to determine placing, and the top 2 from each will move on to the knockout stage.

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The group draw was made using 1-4 seeds in each, with pools based on each team’s position in their own region as well as their league’s overall strength.

Group A

SeedTeamLeague
#1Misfits PremierLFL
#2UCAM Esports ClubSuperLiga
#3Anorthosis FamagustaGLL
#4AGO ROGUEUltraliga

Group B

SeedTeamLeague
#1PWDUltraliga
#2PENTA 1860Prime League
#3Tricked EsportNLC
#4Movistar RidersSuperLiga

Group C

SeedTeamLeague
#1BIGPrime League
#2Illuminar GamingUltraliga
#3Zero TenacityEBL
#4Fnatic RisingNLC

Group D

SeedTeamLeague
#1Vodafone GiantsSuperLiga
#2Karmine CorpLFL
#3Macko EsportsPG Nationals
#4mousesportsPrime League

With dates not yet confirmed, the knockouts will be played in a straightforward single elimination bracket. Finally, for the first time, all knockout stages will be decided in best-of-five series (rather than only the grand final as had been the case previously).

The final is scheduled for Sunday 19th September and so far no live venue has been announced. With logistics still difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament will most likely be held online in its entirety.

All stages of the main event will be streamed on the EU Masters Twitch channel.

The Current Season

As is often the case, the four major leagues in the LFL, SuperLiga, Prime League and Ultraliga (all of which qualified 3 teams into the tournament) will hope to bring the EU Masters crown back to their regions as they have done in the past.

Group A

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After their surprise LFL final victory over EUM holders Karmine Corp, Spring 2019 winners Misfits Premier will see anything but knockout qualification as a complete failure. Having seen the immense support for their fellow countryman last time around, the organisation can grab a decent share of the growing French fanbase with a positive run in the tournament.

They’re up against tough opponents in group A in Spain’s UCAM Esports Club and Poland’s AGO ROGUE, both of which will also expect themselves to progress from the groups, while Greece’s Anorthosis Famagusta are expected to prop up the group.

Group B

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Poland’s Ultraliga has mostly been dominated by a handful of teams, however PDW’s Summer title has abruptly ended that. Previously known as 7more7 Pompa Team, PDW now enters as first seeds in a difficult group B alongside Germany’s PENTA 1860, who themselves have gone from strength following their promotion into the Prime League at the end of last season.

3rd seed in the group is the NLC’s Tricked Esport who provided a huge upset to not only qualify ahead of Spring runner’s up BT Excel but also take the NLC title against the region’s other academy Fnatic Rising. Final seed, but by no means a weaker side, Spain’s Movistar Riders join via the Play-In stage to round out a strong group.

Group C

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Heading up group C and no strangers to the European Masters, Prime League champions Berlin International Gaming enter their fifth iteration of the tournament and will hope to replicate their title victory in Summer 2019. They’re joined by one of Poland’s staple organisations Illuminar Gaming, who themselves enter EUM for the fourth occasion.

Perhaps considered the weakest team in the group, the EBL champions Zero Tenacity join the tournament for the very first time and will hope to provide an upset in the group. They’ll also be up against frequent qualifiers Fnatic Rising who will need to improve on recent appearances after failing to qualify from the Play-Ins in Spring.

Group D

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Undoubtedly the ‘Group of Death’, group D has once again managed to be the most stacked of all. Having the current holders Karmine Corp is not only strong enough to start with, but their LFL final loss to Misfits means that they only enter a second seed. As a result, they’re matched up against Spain’s first seed Vodafone Giants whose playoffs run saw them take the SuperLiga title having only finished 6th in the regular season.

Joining the two is Italian champions Macko Esports, hoping to improve on their 3rd place group finish in Spring which saw them agonisingly crash out through tiebreakers. Entering as the fourth Play-In seed is another German side that seems to be a mainstay at the tournament; mousesports. The team has impressively reached the semi-finals on three separate occasions, however they’ve never managed to reach the grand final. Spearheaded by Summer 2020 EUM winner Czekolad, they will surely aim to go a step further this time around.

Sodi Pops’ Pick - Tricked Esport to reach the semi-finals

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Despite entering their first EU Masters in a difficult group, the Danish organisation may be a dark horse to not only make it out of their group but to also make a decent run in the tournament. The squad are no strangers to providing an upset having knocked BT Excel out of the EUM qualifying race, only to follow up that achievement with the NLC title in a 3-2 final win over Fnatic Rising.

Experienced jungler Taxer has already been to the tournament on four occasions during his time with Excel and Mkers and will provide a cool head for the side with little experience elsewhere at this level. Combine this with the fact that coach Vandett0 has frequently ‘overachieved’ within the NLC, both with Tricked as well as former team Godsent, and the chance for the NLC champions to make a surprise run at European Masters may not be so far fetched.