The EU Masters group stage has left us with as many questions as answers. So far, the LFL looks absolutely dominant as three of its teams get first place in their groups. The NLC region is its closest rival, sending both of its representatives to the playoffs. The Prime League, the Ultraliga and the LVP Superliga, meanwhile, fill out the playoff bracket with one team each.
The major leagues' playoffs are over and the world's top tiers are preparing for the Mid-Season Invitational in May. Yet for LoL pro play fans who want to get their fix, one international tournament is now in its prime. The EU Masters features the best teams and players of the European Regional Leagues and over the last two weeks, the 16 best teams have been duking it out in the Main Event group stage. Here is what we saw so far:
Group 1: This Vitality is Looking Good
Vitality.bee might be only the fourth seed of the French region, but the team only lost one game to Eintracht Spandau, ending the group in first place after a decisive victory against their main rival AGO Rogue. The Polish representatives took the second place and the playoff berth that comes with it after winning the rematch against Eintracht. The DACH representatives are left in third place and the Serbian Crvena Zvezda Esports brings up the rear, sadly winless.
Group 2: Karmine Corp's Comeback
X7 wowed us in week one as they went undefeated, even handing 2021 champions Karmine Corp a stinging defeat. The LFL team came back with a vengeance, winning all three games in the second week to force a tiebreaker - which they proceeded to win. DACH region champions GamerLegion were sadly outclassed, winning only their two games against Greece's Team Phantasma - who end the group stage with a 0-6 record.
Group 3: Bifrost is our Dark Horse
The third group was the closest one in the first week, with the NLC's Bifrost and LVP champions Fnatic TQ neck and neck. In the second week, however, Bifrost have gone undefeated, avenging their loss in the opening match to Fnatic TQ and avoiding any upsets. This leaves Team BDS Academy in third place, the only LFL team not to make it past the group stage. Team ESCA Gaming, meanwhile, is last with 1-5 despite their week 1 victory against the Spanish champions.
Group 4: The Undefeated LDLC OL
LFL champions LDLC OL were one of the three teams to end the first week undefeated and they have managed to keep their perfect records. Prime League representatives Unicorns of Love Sexy Edition were not able to challenge them and secured the second place with a 4-2 record, ahead of Italy's Atleta Esport and Spain's BISONS ECLUB, both at 1-1.
With this, the group stage is now over. Many of the groups showed clear tiers, but as tournament fans have learned many times, playoff best of five series are a different beast entirely. Interestingly, all four play-in teams are in playoffs, three of them as the first seed of their group, showing the depth of the major regions.
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The EU Masters continues on Thursday as the undefeated LDLC OL take on NLC champions X7. Over the weekend Bifrost will take on AGO Rogue, 2021 EU Masters Champions Karmine Corp face off against the Prime League's last hope Unicorns of Love Sexy Edition and Vitality.Bee go against Fnatic TQ. Don't miss it!