Playoff Heartbreak for Thunder LoL Roster
It was heartbreak for Team Norse Thunder’s League of Legends roster last night as they were knocked out of the VL playoffs by DSPAN in a best-of-five thriller.
Having earned a playoff spot thanks to a reverse sweep run of three back-to-back wins after defeats in the opening two weeks of the split, Thunder went into the playoffs as the third seed. Garlic Bread Mafia, Ronin Myra and Paragon 6 were the other three teams to have made the post-season. However, an unexplained, last-minute change to the fixtures saw DSPAN replace Garlic Bread Mafia - and thus be named as Thunder’s first-round playoff opposition.
The opening game of the match saw Thunder select Hecarim, Maokai, Swain, Varus, and Renata, while DSPAN drafted Mordekaiser, Jarvan IV, Vex, Kai’Sa, and Leona as their team composition. Thunder started brightly and once they got a lead, it never really looked in any danger of evaporating. The game ended in a little over 30 minutes with a Thunder victory and KDA scores at 26/12/63 to 12/26/25.
With playoff matches set up as best-of-five affairs rather than best-of-threes as they were in the regular season, Thunder needed two more wins to close out the series. However, DSPAN took control of the match with two back-to-back wins in games two and three.
Game two slipped away in 40 minutes with KDA scores of 36/19/84 to 19/36/38, while game three ended in defeat with the scores at 31/16/81 to 16/31/32. Knowing only a win in game four would keep Thunder in the match, the roster had everything to play for.
For game four, Thunder selected Sejuani, Malphite, Sylas, Kai’Sa and Renata, while DSPAN went for Tahm Kench, Trundle, Orianna, Miss Fortune, and Amumu. A much-improved performance from Thunder earned a somewhat one-sided victory inside 40 minutes with a gold lead of just under 10k and scores were sat at 22/36/60 to 36/22/85.
The win in game four sent the match into a fifth and final deciding game. The regular season saw three matches go the distance with Thunder winning each of them, so hopes were high.
Game five saw Thunder draft Maokai, Malphite, Vladimir, Varus, and Renata as their team while DPSAN opted for Miss Fortune, Sejuani, Tahm Kench, Nami, and Vex. A nail-biting game saw Thunder scaling and with an early advantage, but two ill-timed team fights went the wrong way and DSPAN took advantage to put the game out of reach. They earned the victory with the KDA scores at 24/15/64 to 15/24/30.
The defeat was the first time that the roster had fallen in a match that went to a deciding game, but reaching the division one playoffs in the roster’s first split together is being seen as an achievement in itself.
Speaking about the roster’s performance, Team Norse Thunder’s Dave Scotford said: “Defeat in the playoffs always feels rough, it’s never nice, but we did well to get there to be fair. We’re gutted because it was winnable, but sometimes it’s just not your night. That’s the nature of competition - you win some and you lose some. We’ll use the night as a learning experience and we’ll come back stronger from it.
“We started with two defeats so to win three on the bounce was a great way to recover and it put us in contention… especially when you consider we made some roster changes along the way too. I obviously want to say thanks to everyone who represented the organisation during the split and we’re looking forward to the off-season now where we get to work together to build on this.”