UCL Week 1: UoH vs. FE

     Wednesday night saw the 2019 debuts of both University of Houston Alpha (UoH) and Fruition Premier (FE) on the UCL stage as both teams battled to grab a victory in their first match of the season.  A back-and-forth series saw both squads struggle and triumph, though only University of Houston Alpha would leave the full three-game series with a match victory.

 

     Fruition and Houston didn’t wait to get the action going once they entered the Rift for Game One.  A few ganks from both junglers nearly produced first blood in the bottom lane before the five-minute mark, but it was just after that point when Houston’s ‘Meaningless Life’ was finally able to make a gank stick.  Making another appearance in bottom lane shortly after five minutes, ‘Meaningless Life’ drew first blood against Fruition’s ‘Phoenix Main’ on the Vel’Koz. Houston then began to really build a lead as the bottom lane took out ‘Lokidosi’s’ Caitlyn a few minutes later.  The bottom lane would play a significant part in the early and mid-game for Houston as ‘Noodlz’ and ‘Banshee Rush’ looked impressive on the Swain and Thresh respectively and maintaining perfect scores through the first 21 minutes of the game. Fruition’s ‘Tilted’ kept things as close as he could in the mid-game, but a risky Baron call at 25 minutes cost his team three kills and their middle inhibitor.  A Houston Baron secure before 30 minutes seemed to be the finishing touches on Game One but Fruition hung in the game as best they could. Forcing the game to nearly 50 minutes and surviving two elder dragon spawns (Houston would collect 5 elemental drakes in the game) as well as a ‘Noodlz’ pentakill on the Swain, Fruition put a up a valiant effort. However, another risky Baron call would cost the team the game as Houston was able to back door through bottom lane and finish the game to take the lead in the series.  

 

     Game Two began with good signs for Houston as top laner ‘UchihaScar’ was able to grab first blood on his Urgot, but things quickly fell apart for the Texas club thereafter.  Despite the loss, Fruition seemed to carry a lot of momentum from their Game One stall and pounced on an unsuspecting Houston team. Two early kills for ‘Dorjan’s’ Camille in the mid lane really got the ball rolling for Fruition.  A four-versus-four fight at the Cloud Drake 13 minutes into the game broke things wide open. Fruition traded four kills for one and secured the drake, never looking back. By 23 minutes, Fruition has secured an early Baron and built up an impressive 7.5k gold lead.  Houston seemed to be reeling from the strong early and mid-game performance of Fruition and never got coordinated in a comeback effort. Solo deaths were aplenty for Houston after the Baron and finally resulted in a Fruition victory in less than 30 minutes.

 

     Going into Game Three, Fruition seemed to be hot and carrying all the momentum.  Both teams traded blows in the early game as neither seemed able to grab a significant advantage on the map.  Houston secured first tower and first drake (ocean) before 15 minutes. Houston’s ‘UchihaScar’, who struggled after laning phase ended in game two, was impressive in the decider.  Bringing out the Riven top, ‘UchihaScar’ dominated his lane and had a 4/1/1 score by the 14-minute mark. Through 20 minutes, though Houston had been able to build a 4k gold lead, the game seemed to be sitting on a knife’s edge.  That is until another fateful Baron call from Fruition. Trying to grab Baron to hopefully spring ahead of Houston, Fruition got caught in a bad fight peeling away from the neutral objective. The subsequent teamfight went four-for-zero in favor of Houston.  Adding on the Baron thereafter exploded Houston’s gold lead to over 9k. Around 25 minutes, Houston forced the issue in the bottom lane, securing a few more kills for themselves and grabbing the nexus, putting the finishing touches on a wacky 2-1 victory over Fruition Premier.  Both teams showed moments of brilliance as well as some head-scratching plays. Both squads will need to clean up their macro play before heading into Week Two as well as the rest of the UCL season.

 

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