The culmination of Europe’s best tier-two talent, the European Masters has consistently provided a platform for up and coming players to showcase their abilities and earn moves to LEC sides.
The culmination of Europe’s best tier-two talent, the European Masters has consistently provided a platform for up and coming players to showcase their abilities and earn moves to LEC sides. Summer 2020 will surely prove to be no exception, with the best teams in Europe’s regional leagues once again converging to crown an ERL champion.
After a semi-final finish in Spring’s EU Masters, AGO ROGUE were unfortunate to lose support Mystiques to Polish rivals K1CK. The move appeared to pay off for the player, winning the Ultraliga split by taking down his former side 3-1 in the grand final.
This meant that ROGUE entered EU Masters as a pool-two team, eventually landing themselves in a tough group up against Germany’s Team GamerLegion, Spain’s Movistar Riders and the Balkans’ SuppUp eSports.
ROGUE seemed less than convincing title challengers in the group stage, tying with both GamerLegion and Movistar with a 4-2 record before they eventually progressed as the first seed through a tiebreaker win over GL.
This should have earned them a more favourable quarter-final matchup, however they found themselves up against France’s Misfits Premier who had shown their ability by winning their opening four matches (only to drop to second in group C with a collapse in their last two games). AGO ROGUE took full advantage in Misfit’s subsequent confidence hit and cleanly won the best-of-three series 2-0.
Next up was Germany’s mousesports. This was a team that came into the tournament full of bravado, fresh off of a 3-0 Prime League final win and heading into an assassin meta that heavily favoured their explosive mid laner LIDER. Mouse had knocked out ROGUE’s rivals K1CK in their own quarter-final match and headed into the series as favourites to take another Polish scalp.
AGO ROGUE had other ideas, winning another lossless series as they yet again swept a best-of-three by a 2-0 scoreline.
This put them through to the first EU Masters final in the organisation’s history and gave them a chance at becoming the first Polish side to win the tournament. In their way was fellow group B qualifiers GamerLegion, who made their way to the final by beating all Spanish seeds as well as Spring winners LDLC and were expected to be ROGUE’s strongest task yet.
However, when the final rolled around AGO ROGUE once again looked above and beyond the competition, with vastly superior macro play making games look more like exhibition matches as they completed another series without giving a single game.
This time in a best-of-five, Poland’s ROGUE secured the country’s first European Masters title through a 3-0 victory and showed their pedigree as top European players.
The grand final matchup saw a Polish side compete for the trophy in the second successive split (after K1CK’s loss to France’s LDLC in Spring), with AGO ROGUE up against an in-form GamerLegion who themself was looking to become the first German champion since BIG in Summer 2019.
Game 1 saw ROGUE come out swinging as they perfectly targeted Nite’s immobile mid lane Kog’Maw pick. Early ganks which ensured flash usage saw ROGUE’s Czekolad earn a lead in the lane on an Orianna pick that would only become more useful as the match progressed. A strong showing from jungler Zanzarah and immaculate late-game teamfighting from ADC Woolite aided the side to secure the victory and take the first step towards the title.
AGO ROGUE was able to secure a similar draft in game 2, once again picking up Sett, Orianna and Ezrealm, however Trymbi’s Leona was the star of the show on this occasion. A much more dominant display led to a 9k gold lead within 15 minutes as Trymbi’s constant picks terrorized GL, so much so that he ended the game with 5 kills himself (second only to Czekolad’s 8). 20 minutes was ultimately all it took for ROGUE to take a 2-0 advantage and set up match point for the next game.
GamerLegion looked to finally begin getting into gear for the third match, managing to prevent another gargantuan early gold lead against a ROGUE side that was now full of confidence. ADC Hjarnan managed a decent Jinx performance, netting five kills, however against a draft of Skarner, Zoe and Morgana the Swede was at constant risk of getting caught. Woolite, on the other hand, had plenty of peel on his side to disengage from GL’s Ornn, Olaf and Ekko composition.
Despite a valiant fight from GamerLegion, they were ultimately outclassed once again as AGO ROGUE eventually strolled to a 3-0 victory and bagged the EU Masters title in the process. In doing so, they become the first side from Poland’s Ultraliga to win EUM for the region.
AGO ROGUE have an incredibly difficult task on their hands to keep Czekolad with the organisation for 2021 having now shown himself as a stand out player at this level and one that’s ready to make the step up to the LEC. The success of ROGUE’s main roster this split means that internal promotion is unlikely, however speculation of a move to the likes of Astralis or Excel is already rife.
The mid laner boasted the second highest average kills (5.71), second highest KDA (5.5) and second highest gold per minute (436) in his position, demonstrating his value as a consistent performer which proved vital in a macro orientated team that thrived with such a player as the central cog in their machine.
AGO ROGUE to win EU Masters
Though they entered the tournament as one of the stronger sides, they were ultimately not even seen as Poland’s most likely contender after falling to K1CK Neosurf in the Ultraliga final. Having been behind Germany, France and Spain since the European Masters began, Poland was yet you see a champion from the region with K1CK’s second-place finish in Spring the closest they had come.
Few would’ve expected AGO ROGUE to finally make history for the region, especially in an EU Masters where the likes of mousesports and Misfits Premier came into the tournament in hot form while also having some of the best rosters on paper.
ROGUE’s run eventually showed itself to be more than an overachievement; their map play was strides ahead of the competition and the players have done an excellent job at proving that they are ready to make the leap to Europe’s greatest stage.