UCL Semifinal Recap

     After a dominant 3-0 win Tuesday night sent Dramatik Jade to the UCL Finals, the only thing left up in the air in the UCL was who would challenge Dramatik for the crown.  With both Purdue University and Semantics coming off 2-0 sweeps in their respective quarterfinal series, both squads had a lot of momentum heading into Wednesday’s best-of-five.  And while Purdue started the series hot, jumping out to a commanding 2-0 lead and pushing the series to the brink, Semantics would not be denied and pulled out an impressive reverse sweep to take the series 3-2 and move on to face Dramatik Jade in the UCL Finals.  

     Purdue’s fast start had Semantics reeling early in the series.  IRL circumstances for Semantics jungler and captain Zhadox made things more difficult as being forced onto a friend’s computer as well as an illness had Zhadox uncomfortable to say the least.  Early in Game 1, both teams stayed relatively even in terms of gold and kills, but things started to go awry for Semantics once ‘RockyTSaws’ Sivir began to come online for Purdue. The one saving grace for a while was Semantics toplaner ‘Uncle Darry’ who, piloting his signature Yorick, became a menace in the side lanes.  Nearly taking the Purdue nexus at 25 minutes despite Baron being on Purdue’s side was certainly a scary moment. However, once Purdue stalled the split pushing from ‘Uncle Darry’ they were able to push to a solid 37-minute victory and a 1-0 lead in the series.

     Laning phase in Game 2 went heavily in favor of Purdue University as they seemed to really have Semantics on the ropes, but Semantics wouldn’t go down without a fight.  Timely skirmishes in the mid-game kept things close as Semantics attempted to even the series. However, everything changed when a risky early Baron call from Semantics cost them dearly.  A huge steal for Purdue jungler ‘Blitzkrank’ turned into a barn-burner of a fight that kept Semantics from taking a lead. From that point on, a second impressive performance from Purdue botlaner ‘RockyTSaws’ on the Vayne carried Purdue to a 2-0 lead and put Semantics on the brink of elimination.  

     With three must-win games ahead of them, Semantics came back with a vengeance in Game 3.  On the back of a strong early game from ADC ‘Lolly Fanboy’, Semantics methodically built a lead and entered the mid-game poised to take a win.  Using the strength of ‘Lolly Fanboy,’ Semantics took an early Baron and were able to accelerate the pace of the game and finish in just over 25 minutes to make the series score 2-1.  

     Game 4 saw the mid and jungle duo of ‘Zhadox’ and ‘shmekek’ put on their carry pants for Semantics.  An early fight in top lane got Semantics jungler ‘Zhadox’ rolling on his Rek’sai as Semantics turned the fight win into a Rift Herald.  ‘Zhadox’ continued to dominate through the mid-game as Semantics slowly grew their lead. Another early Baron allowed Semantics to break the Purdue base.  And, as the case was in Game 3, Semantics pushed through to victory soon after. With the Baron buff only freshly expired, Purdue tried to put up a defense at their bottom inhibitor that would be their undoing. Clearing the tower and subsequently the Purdue roster out of the base, Semantics tied the series up at two as they were now poised for the reverse sweep.  

     In the deciding game, Semantics would again show why they have been one of the favorites to take the UCL title this season.  Another stellar early game from jungler ‘Zhadox’ paired with ‘Lolly Fanboy’ performing well on the Vayne had Semantics sitting pretty in the mid-game.  A 21-minute ace for Semantics turned into an early Baron for the third game in a row as Semantics was ready to book their tickets to the UCL finals. However, Purdue ADC ‘RockyTSaws’ wasn’t going to go down quietly.  Piloting the Caitlyn, ‘RockyTSaws kept Purdue in the game as multiple Semantics pushes were repelled from the Purdue base. Sadly for Purdue, it wasn’t enough to gain control over the neutral objectives. A second Baron buff for Semantics would be the final nail in Purdue’s coffin.  Semantics was able to finally push to a win and take the series 3-2. With the reverse sweep completed, Semantics will move on to face Dramatik Jade in the UCL Winter 2019 Finals this Wednesday at 8pm EST.

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