Hey! Coach Bob “Supp Ins” Gellaerts here, UEM or University Esports Masters is a European tournament with the best League of Legends student teams of different countries. Teams get decided by their national tournaments which for us was the Dutch College League (DCL). Where we got 1st in the regular season which gave us the opportunity to represent The Netherlands in the Univeniversity European Masters (UEM). With the possibility of sending a 2nd Dutch team providing we get out of groups, so there was quite the weight on ETT’s shoulders to represent Dutch league of Legends.
With The Netherlands not performing in previous years, we had a low tier when it came to seeding in groups, which would mean that we will always be put in a rough group. But as the well-known caster Jatt once said “Good teams don’t complain about hard groups, because they are what makes the group hard.” So we started preparing, researching the rules and our opponents and there was hurdle number 1, players who have participated in ERLs (European Regional League, like Belgian League and Dutch League) in the past split are not eligible to play, this meant that Finn “Klonkie” Tempelaar our trusty mid laner for this whole season was not allowed to play our UEM matches. This prompted us to call upon an old friend: Mart “Zhìì” de Geus, the mid laner we placed 3rd in the Open Tour Benelux and with that we started practising with Zhìì and Klonkie alike because there were still the normal DCL play-offs to be played which we would do with Klonkie.
Groups day 1
On to groups now, our group was group D, the biggest group with 5 teams: Red Dragons from Turkey, UPV Stingrays from Spain, 4eSports from France, PG lions from Poland and us. The format was a double round-robin meaning we have to play each team twice and only the top 2 of the group would make it out into play-offs. We started against the team we believed would be our biggest problem in groups: The Red Dragons, and wouldn’t you know it they completely humiliated us in the first game. So yes we did not have the best start but it could be worse right? At Least that is what I thought at the time not knowing the worse thing was about to happen. The 2nd match of the day was against 4eSports where we got a really good lead and were humiliating them in the early to mid game… until a point where we forgot how to close out a game and eventually let them get back in the game. 0-2 is not the best start but we would not let it sway us from our goal to make it out of groups. We decided to play our hearts out, our 3rd match against the PG Lios we got the draft we really wanted and what can I say about the game except for Emiw on Tanks, it may be a running joke within the team but his Malphite ultimates set up so much for us, next to this QTKT had such a great early game. This re-established our mentality into knowing we can just win every game we play. Just like that, we had momentum again, then for our match against UPV Zhìì came with a suggestion out of nowhere: Lee Sin mid, this was on that day still a new concept together with the Morgana jungle. With our momentum and the adrenaline within the team, we all agreed and trusted Zhìì with every fibre in our beings… and my lord he delivered! From highlight play to highlight play especially 1 together with QTKT were amazing. We couldn’t have started the day worse, but we also couldn’t have ended the day better!
Groups day 2
Second day, second chances. The same pattern of teams so Turkey into France into Poland and ending with Spain again. So there is this meme within the DCL where if you beat ETT once they will come back with a vengeance, a no mercy like game style that leaves little room for breathing. This is exactly what happened to the Turkish and France team, as quoted by my colleague: “Ett is angry and you don’t like them when they are angry.” So we humiliated the Turkisch team with 1 kill a minute in a short 23+ minute game. The game versus the French was a bit rougher because we knew we could beat them but we played a bit more cautiously because of the day before, but in the end, we prevailed and beat them in a quick few teamfights. No stalling, no late gaming, just a clean teamfight into ending the game. A donkey never hits the same stone twice! (Yes I called our team donkeys) While we kept our momentum from the first 2 games we just had to win against the Polish to secure our place in the top 2 in our group, so with that in mind, we went into game 3 of the day and cleanly played it out. Al be it with a few overaggressive kills that gave the Polish a slight chance to get back in the game, but a clutch 5 man Nautilus ultimate by our own co-founder Jan-berend “SlimyDevil” Mooijaart to get an ace into the baron and a clean closeout of the game! Then to keep our momentum high even though the game did not matter for standings we decided to just cleanly play it out against the Spaniards… and by cleanly I meant the game became a massacre and we ended the game with 32 kills in 23 minutes and as a last hoorah we danced in front of the nexus to celebrate the success we brought The Netherlands as the first Dutch team to ever qualify for playoffs, might not be first place in groups but we made it out and that’s something other teams have not done before!
It was time, time for play-offs, but first we faced an opponent from the Last Chance Qualifier, as the name implies is the last chance for teams to reach the play-offs. It is do or die from here. Our first opponent in a Best of 3 setting was YTU Dogdok another Turkisch team so we had an inkling what to expect… at least we thought that but boy were we wrong. We had a completely wrong read on the meta and did not execute well, the LeBlanc pick really put a wrench in our game plan and decimated the first game. So we are 1 game down and 1 game away from going home, we decided to just have fun and whatever happens happens, we took the LeBlanc pick for ourselves this game because Zhìì used to be a seasoned veteran on that champion and he absolutely slapped on it this combined with QTKT on Jarvan 4 and level 2 ganking the mid laner to get Zhìì ahead, which in turn also showed a weakness in the draft of the Turkish team: They don’t have an answer nor have anything else prepared next to the LeBlanc pick. So for game 3 we had adrenaline rushing through and just decided to flip it on a first pick. LeBlanc got a similar draft and game plan in game 3 and just drove it out into victory! Sadly due to personal reasons, I was not there with the best of 3 versus the French team L’ABEILLE COOL which we won 2-0 and the semi-final match against Polish team AGH which we lost 2-1, which ended our run getting 3rd place in UEM in general. This was not only the best starting year for ETT but we also showed the whole of Europe that The Netherlands is a force to be reckoned with!
This is it for today! I am Bob “Supp Ins” Gellaerts League of Legends coach from ETT signing off! Please follow ETT on all social media and keep updated with us. If there are questions or anything in general you can always shoot me a DM on Twitter @Supp_Ins or join our discord through the link on our site!