From Dawn, against Dawn: Pre-game with FBM

     Before week 6 of the Upsurge Contenders League kicked off, I caught up with First Blood Maurader’s mid laner, “FB dts”, and jungler, “FB Mike”, for an inside look at tonight’s match. “Our preparations for Dawn Pheonix feels like preparation for any other team. We look over their [profiles] and past games… going into the series relaxed and confident.” dts tells me when asked about his pre-game prep. “Mike” followed up on that thought and explained that “[They] try to approach every team the same, regardless of how good they are. We’re always making sure we’re in a good state of mind going into it.” With some light-hearted competition, “dts” let me know that after playing under Dawn’s name for quite some time that “it’s always nice to see them and beat them.” Covering for his players competitive remarks, team manager “Pichilote” explains that “We only focus on ourselves because we know we’re better than them. So just learning to play better, we can beat any team here.” Both players made it obvious that they have this match in the bag, but will the rift be in their favor tonight?


All or nothing: Dawn Pheonix vs. First Blood Mauraders

     DAWN and FBM kicks off this Thursday night with intensity through the roof and first seed in playoffs on the line. If Dawn Pheonix can take down FBM, there will be a 5-way tie for first place going into playoffs. Both teams geared up, but FBM would be the ones to walk off the rift with egos high and their standings higher. 


     Game one led with a first blood fight so close, the audience cringed. DAWN “Qualityy” on Kai’Sa secured first blood onto the opposing ADC and slipped away with a measly four health remaining. FBM’s Neeko wasn’t willing to let Kai’Sa get away, but DAWN’s “9Lives” on Yuumi support punished him for the greed to start off bot lane at 1/0/1 for both of DAWN’s laners. Dawn Pheonix received the lead they needed and squeezed out every last early advantage they could. First, they controlled the bot side river, quickly followed by the top side, then back to the bot side for the first turret. FBM searched frantically for a crack in the road, but DAWN just plowed through objectives and kills. A Mountain Drake in the mid-game should have granted FBM their ticket back in due to their siege team composition, but DAWN’s “SUPERSTAR1” on Skarner snatched their opportunity with his chilling smite. Late-game came with ease for DAWN. DAWN’s “Qualityy” on Kai’Sa kicked his feet up after a quadra kill that allowed his team to not only secure Baron Buff but lock down two additional turrets mid lane. FBM was shoved back behind their turrets and was forced to put up all walls in a final attempt to hold their base. At 10/1/4, DAWN’s Kai’Sa gave FBM another love tap as he swiftly secured the second quadra kill of the game. FBM’s base was cracked opened as they watched their games turn gray and their death timers tick down. DAWN raced the clock and won, ending game one at 30 minutes. 


     DAWN hoped to keep the rhythm going in game two, and for the early game, the beat was there. Their Xayah ADC secured the first blood, but FBM’s Lux’s ignite turned it into a 1 for 1 trade. This helped First Blood Mauraders as they kept their heads high and against all odds, won the early game after an uncontested first turret bot lane. However, DAWN refused to let this game go to waste and they dropped the Rift Herald to equalize the bot lane. Meanwhile, FBM stayed busy as they continuously won small trades and crept up on their adversaries. A 1 for 3 trade repelled the remaining players of DAWN and opened the Baron Pit to FBM. FBM assumed all of DAWN reset, but “A Panda Milk Tea” on Zoe snuck behind the pit and stole the baron from four of FBM’s powerhouses. Waves on minions kept crashing into DAWN’s and they were barely able to utilize the stolen buff. FBM shook off the missed advantage and continued to walk all over DAWN. They waited for DAWN’s Baron Buff to wear off and sparked a4 for 0 fight to conclude the second match at 29 minutes. 


     *Writers Note: Unfortunately, my notes from game three were deleted and I could not get the VoD to cooperate, so game three is cut off from this article. From other posts and spreadsheets, I was able to gather that First Blood Mauraders won game three, taking home the series win and securing their spot in the UCL playoffs. 

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