This article is part of our League of Legends series.
The EU Masters tournament features the best from the regional leagues around Europe, similar to the UEFA Champions League in soccer except for lower divisions. These teams rarely face each other outside of their regional leagues, so this is our best chance to see the up and coming talent before it heads into the LEC.
1. AGO Rogue
AGO Rogue are the EU Masters title holders, though that was a completely different lineup; this roster and team have just kept excelling in every aspect of the game. A 12-2 run through Ultraliga, arguably the hardest of the regional leagues, did nothing to detract from the hype around AGO Rogue. This team is looking to be the first to go back-to-back in EU Masters history, and they just might.
2. Karmine Corp
Karime Corp are a new team to the EU Masters scene, but the player's aren't. Lead by star ADC xMatty from Fnatic Rising, Karmine Corp topped the LFL in the regular season and won the playoffs 3-0. Karmine Corp could well be betting favorites if not for the group of death they find themselves in: Group D also contains BT Excel, Cream Real Betis and Schalke Evolution.
3. BIG Clan
BIG Clan are the Prime League's top seed, though splitting them from mousesports is nigh on impossible. BIG finished the regular season joint-first going 14-4, and then fell to mousesports in the playoffs. A miracle lower bracket run and 3-1 win in the grand final leaves BIG Clan with the top spot. This team is well-balanced and could fly under the radar due to the Prime League's struggles in 2020.
mousesports come in alongside BIG Clan... as they have all year. The two were the talk of Germany from start to finish in the Prime League and finished atop the podium in every aspect of the season. mousesports are headlined by mid laner Lider, who, alongside jungler pridestalker, makes up one of the most deadly duos in the tournament. This is going to be a strong stack as mousesports continue to dominate through the mid lane.
5. UCAM Esports Club
The LVP regional league was a blood bath in 2021. The three best teams finished within a single game of each other, but in the end UCAM Esports came out on top of the playoffs. This team is hard to play, if you believe the Spanish league is the strongest EU Regional League then UCAM could be as high as No. 1. If you believe the LVP has a lot of growing to do then you could have all three teams outside of the top 10. I'm somewhere in the middle. UCAM's matches should be volatile to say the least.
6. Misfits Premier
Misfits Premier are the second seed from the LFL and are looking for another deep run in EU Masters. The organization has been exceptionally good since the tournament's inception and are a threat to go deep. Misfits have one of the strongest bot lanes in the tournament, and if they can play around the bottom side of the map look for Woolite to put together some big performances.
7. BT Excel
The NLC is one of the hardest regions to rate. At the top, BT Excel and Fnatic Rising offer high-level talent, with both sides coming for the UKLC. With the addition of the Nordic countries, the NLC has gained some depth, but not enough; it's a two-horse race, and this time BT Excel won. This team could make a deep run, but with negligible competition throughout the rest of the year, NLC teams tend to struggle in the main event.
8. Cream Real Betis
Cream Real Betis are the second of the LVP teams, and could make some noise in EU Masters. They finished third in the regular season, but an impressive upset of G2 Arctic saw them earn direct qualification in the playoffs. Look for Real Betis to make a deep run, though the questions remain around the LVP's skill level this season.
Illuminar are the highest rated play-in team, but they are far better than their play-in status claims. They finished second in the Ultraliga regular season behind only AGO Rogue, and could be a dark horse to take the entire event. This fully Polish lineup plays clean games and only dropped three matches all season.
10. Schalke Evolution
Schalke Evolution are the final team from the Prime League and they barely squeaked into the playoffs, let alone EU Masters. With a poor 9-9 regular season record, this veteran roster was a big underdog heading into the Prime League playoffs. Upsets over SK Gaming Prime and Unicorns of Love Sexy Edition saw this team squeak into a play-in position. Schalke could make waves in the tournament if they return to form, but 2021 has looked off for the Prime League side.
11. G2 Arctic
The final of the LVP teams is the one that took home the top spot in the regular season, G2 Arctic. They went 12-6 in the regular season and then 0-3 in the playoffs, falling out of contention in third place. G2 Arctic stormed through the play-in, 2-0'ing a strong Fnatic Rising side for this spot in the main event. If they return to regular season form, G2 Arctic have every reason to believe they can win EU Masters.
K1CK herald from the Ultraliga, where they had a disappointing 7-7 regular season before turning up the heat in the playoffs. This team has the clutch factor that gives them a chance to make a deep run, but it's hard to rank "clutchness." K1CK are in a relatively easy group, so look for them to make the most of that and give themselves a shot in the playoffs.
13. Macko Esports
Macko Esports are a Pool 3 team from the Italian league, a two-team show all season as Macko Esports and Mkers traded back and forth, ending up tied on 11-3, with Macko taking the head-to-head 2-0. This team would be a massive dark horse if they made any sort of run, but if they do it will be on the back of Sebekx.
14. SAIM Se SuppUp
The Serbian League's first, and only, representative is SAIM Se SuppUp. Don't expect much from them, as a dominant 12-2 season saw them sit atop the standings, but they are unlikely to make many waves in the EU Masters main event.
15. Anorthosis Famagusta
Hailing from the Greek Regional League is Anorthosis Famagusta, who stormed to an 11-3 record across the regular season before winning all three playoff series 3-1. The Greek league has never shown good form in EU Masters, and this side will need a miracle to make it out of the group stage.
Last of the teams is the Italian second seed, Mkers. This team squeaked in with a very easy play-in group and playoff matchup. Don't look for much other than filling out the numbers from Mkers. It would be a story to tell any and everyone about if Mkers manage to make a deep run in EU Masters. Mkers need to make the most of excellent showings from their jungler, Taxer, who has been phenomenal in 2021.