“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” – Excel’s coach speaks about the UKLC

The UK League Championship (UKLC) offers the chance for UK League of Legends teams to compete in a knockout style tournament, in a bid to accumulate championship points and earn a spot in the EU Masters. A large proportion of the most well known League of Legends players and teams are North American or European, yet not many are UK based and so this championship holds promotional value for amateur UK teams looking to venture into the competitive scene.

Spanning across a 7 week elimination stage, the winner of each bracket takes on the ‘tower champion’ of the previous week until we are down to a 1v1 team fight for the $50,000 prize pool and those all-important qualification points. The 9 competing teams this year were soon whittled down to the final four: Diabolus Esports, Fnatic Rising, Excel UK and MnM Gaming.  That is also the order in which they ranked for the final standings.

Diabolus Esports claimed the worthy win, with Fnatic Rising snapping at their heels all the way and falling only 2 points behind, settling in second place on the board. The winning team, and also relatively new kids on the block, Diabolus recently received financial backing which has helped add to their amazing success. They are predominately focussed on the League of Legends scene and are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Another team that gave it there all was Excel UK, led by coach, Mr Tim Cho. Finishing in third place and only missing out by a mere 5 points, this commendable performance is a new one for the books. We were very fortunate to catch up with Tim and learn more about their brilliant performance, as well as gaining a deeper insight into what it takes to be a successful esports coach and team.

We began by asking a little bit more about the tower system that is in place for the UKLC and what is like to compete with such a concept, before progressing into slightly more personalised questions of which Mr Cho was more than happy to comment on.


How have you been finding the UKLC this season, especially with the tower system?

“[The tower system is an] interesting system to play in but I don’t think it’s good because it makes scheduling a pain, have to do last-minute scrim bookings on Weds/Thurs depending on the schedule. The tower is a cool concept but I think the single elimination system does not help the UK scene develop; the weaker teams are not given enough play-time to improve, whereas the stronger teams get a lot more play-time and experience. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”


What sets you apart from the other UKLC teams?

“Not too sure, I haven’t seen enough of the other teams to have a definite opinion; I came in on the 3rd last tower. But there seems to be a very big gap between the top 4 playoff teams and the rest”.


Apart from yourselves, which other team do you respect the most and why?

Fnatic Rising, they’re the most decisive team in the league.”


What do you look for in a player joining the team?

“Age, rank, player history, gameplay, voice comms, references, and most importantly their problem solving ability.”


For any avid League of Legends player, or esports follower, having this deeper outlook and personal feedback is exciting, fresh and fascinating. We want to take this opportunity to thank Tim Cho for his participation and answers and look forward to Excel UK’s future performances, wishing you all the very best success.