Football teams looking to invest into the European League of Legends will now be thinking twice, after PSG Esports become the second sports backed side to fail to make the European League Championship Series promotion tournament, after suffering defeat to Fnatic Academy.
PSG Esports will now join Schalke 04 back in the European Challenger Series regular season next split.
Misfits earned their qualification last week, with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Schalke. Fnatic Academy’s qualification was a much closer affair, with the series against PSG heading to five games. PSG even took the lead, claiming the first game off the back of an outstanding performance from Korean AD Carry, Na “Pilot” Woo-hyung, who’s Ezreal finished with eight kills and only one death.
Games two and three headed in favour of the academy side, with Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek pulling out the surprise Akali top lane pick to great success. PSG tied the series up and forced a deciding fifth match after Jin “Blanc” Seong-min dished out a devastating domination on Syndra. Ten kills, zero deaths, and no chance for Fnatic Academy to take the 3-1 win.
Unfortunately for Blanc, even his fourth game performance couldn’t give PSG the momentum to take the match. Superior map control proved key for Fnatic Academy, who didn’t give up a single dragon, and only three turrets in their game five victory.
Fnatic and Misfits have squeezed in at the last moment, and could be the last organizations to ever have academy teams promoted to the LCS. Riot changed the rules last year to prevent LCS level sides from ‘farming’ LCS spots, creating challenger lineups and then selling them once they qualify for the league. The rule was only implemented in North America this split, and will applied to Europe for the Summer split.
The tournament features a double elimination bracket and takes place next month. Only two of Fnatic Academy, Misfits Academy, Origen, and Giants will pull through and earn a spot in the Summer split.