The Interviews: The Pre-Game Strategists

                Before both teams got to tussling on the rift, I was able to get backstage access to the inner minds of both team’s coaches going into today’s match. My first interview was with the Radiance assistant coach ‘Luciæn’, I asked how he was feeling on tonight’s match “We have played them before in player one and we did pretty good against them a week ago, so we are feeling pretty good”. Then asked what Radiance was thinking about playoffs, “We’ve got equal chances, kind of like the wild west, were also getting a feel for our new roster as we haven’t had a lot of competition together but were definitely looking to show that we are on equal footing as the rest of the teams.” The prediction for ‘Luciæn’ on the match “We will win, 2-0 or 2-1, we have been really good as of late and got a new jungler that actually came from Mirage and will get people to think were back in good form”. Finally, Radiance Assistant Coach ‘Luciæn’ left off with “I’m really excited for these playoffs and our players at Radiance definitely want to show they are the best in the amateur scene.” Radiance look to prove that they are the best and there is no better place to do it then here in the Upsurge Premier League.

               My second interview was with the head coach of Mirage Esports’ ‘Dayos’, when asked on what to expect from Mirage coming into this match today, he said “Were feeling pretty good, this will actually be our third time playing against them”. I then asked him on the overall playoff picture and where Mirage Esports were at in it, “For playoffs, all the teams are really competitive and we recently had a changeup in our jungle that I feel makes us matchup against Radiance and the other teams pretty well.” It looks like Mirage Esports will be coming onto the rift primed and ready but, there was a little spice added to today’s matchup as ‘Dayos’ gave the remark “We will actually be playing against our former jungler ‘Hyper’ on Radiance, we definitely wish all the best for ‘Hyper’, but we would like to enjoy some revenge.” And the prediction on today’s results for Mirage “Obviously were going to win, third times the charm.” Head Coach ‘Dayos’ giving a confident answer shows that Mirage Esports will be coming into tonight’s match ready to win.

A Nail-Biting Battle: Mirage Esports vs. Radiance

                Mirage Esports (MIG) contend with Radiance (RAD) in the first round of playoffs to determine who will be going forward to have a chance at winning the Upsurge Premier League Championship. Both teams came to play their hearts out but only one will be coming out of the competition glowing.

                Game one starts with a slow and steady pace, but the game is sped up with first blood going over to MIG jungler ‘ego jungler’ on Jarvan IV in a mid-lane gank taking out the RAD mid laner ‘KatEvolved’ on Azir. The progression of the game continues with a back and forth kill format with no team making clear who is in the lead. With a shift into the mid game, the gold lead starts tipping into MIG’s favor when two successful team fights take place in the dragon pit and jungle with MIG coming out on top. Taking advantage of a pick onto the RAD support ‘Winter’ on Rakan, MIG go for a baron play but it turns sour with multiple members of MIG going down in a team fight pulling the game back to an even state for RAD. The game resumes the back and forth tempo into the late game, the decisive fight comes when MIG go down in a scattered team fight in the mid lane, RAD take the win making the series 1-0.

                Game two begins with MIG on the back foot but looking to make a comeback in the series, what better way to start the comeback than an early level two bot lane gank by the MIG jungler ‘ego jungler’ on Jarvan IV picking up first blood. After the first blood, RAD start making multiple mistakes allowing MIG to get ahead in kills and an infernal dragon. Transitioning into the mid game, RAD begin rallying and pick up kills and an infernal dragon to even out the pressure from MIG. Both teams really want the win, fights start breaking out constantly that are insanely close for both sides but, RAD has the fewer deaths in the fights and slowly take the lead. In a disastrous teamfight in the jungle, RAD support ‘Winter’ on Yuumi lands a three-man root that leads to an ace and RAD taking baron. With the power of the baron buff, RAD force their way through the MIG base taking out the nexus and winning the series 2-0. Both games were filled with fighting and showed how competitive the UPL playoffs are going to be, GG to both teams but Radiance advances towards the UPL Championship.

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