Karmine Corp Defend EU Masters Title in 3-2 vs Fnatic Rising

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Fnatic Rising pushed KC to game five - but it wasn't enough. © Riot Games

It took five games for Karmine Corp and Fnatic Rising to elect the EU Masters 2021 summer champion. Despite the LFL team getting two early leads, Fnatic Rising came back and nearly completed the reverse sweep. Yet in the last game, KC were on top and showed why they deserve to be the first team to defend their EU Masters title.

With over a month of games, it was finally time to find which the best team at the European Masters 2021 Summer would be. After two intense semifinals that both went to five games, Spring EU Masters champions Karmine Corp stood poised to defend their spring title. On the other side, NLC representatives Fnatic Rising had gone one a series of underdog wins to challenge for the cup.

  • How did Fnatic Rising's upset streak start? Find out here.

Strong Start for KC

The two teams went at it from the opening minutes of the game, trading blows throughout the early game. Fnatic Rising was more proactive and 14 minutes in, this paid off as they won two skirmishes in different parts of the map, leading by over 4K gold in what had until recently been an even game. Karmine Corp were able to stay in the game by punishing their overextensions, however, and in several well-executed fights turned the game around. A heroic 3v5 fight gave them the ace and the Baron 27 minutes in, and what looked like a catch for FNCR a minute later ended in a clean ace and the win for Karmine Corp.

After the rough-and-tumble game one, we were treated to a much more careful early game. Karmine Corp took the first fight, but their lack of early dragon control meant that a 3-1 for Fnatic Rising 18 minutes in allowed them to get an early third drake. However, the NLC champions’ aggression work against them as an attempted pick shortly afterwards ended in four kills and a Baron. Karmine Corp’s teamfighting carried the mid-game once more 30 minutes in, when FNCR secured the infernal soul only to lose four in return. The LFL team pushed down the mid lane and took down the Nexus to get to match point.

Fnatic Rising Bring it Back

Fnatic Rising were a lot more controlled in game 3 and it worked to their benefit. Despite suffering two early deaths in the bot lane, 11 minutes in they exploited KC’s focus in the mid lane to get two kills and a dragon, getting the first gold lead of the game. Several teamfight victories saw their advantage grow, and a clutch ace in a big teamfight 24 minutes let them secure the first Baron. In the decisive fight near the dragon, Lucas "Cabochard" Simon-Meslet’s Kennen got a good flank, but it was not enough. Fnatic Rising got four kills and ended the game before the respawns came, showing they would not be swept from the finals.

The UK squad came in hot after their win and soon took the lead in the next game as well, with a well-executed tower dive and a good use of the first herald. Unlike the first two games, KC were looking rattled, even losing a 4-0 17 minutes in when they botched and engage. The French team managed to delay the Baron several times, but a good engage by Rúben "rhuckz" Barbosa on Rell got them another near ace and the objective. With the purple buff, they were unstoppable and for the first time in EU Masters history, the finals would go to a game five.

Showing Up when It Counts

KC fans were no doubt chilled when Fnatic Rising once more got first blood in a 2-1 in the bot lane. However, the LFL team focused their efforts there and soon turned the lane to their advantage. A 5v3 in the bottom lane 13 minutes in turned into three kills and first turret, and soon Karmine Corp were 5K gold ahead. Despite having the first three dragons, Fnatic Rising were soon left with no control over the map. KC delivered the final blow just 20 minutes in, engaging on the enemy carries for a 4-0 and ending the game before the respawns could come. With this win, they are the first team to defend their EU Masters title in the tournament’s history - and though not easy, the victory was well-deserved.

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With this, we take our leave of the EU Masters. However, Worlds is coming soon - and if you want to be prepared and up to date with the state of LoL, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.