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Unicorns of Love win IEM Oakland, take down Flash Wolves

A first-ever trophy for the Unicorns.

Riot Games

The Unicorns of Love have on IEM Oakland, beating Flash Wolves 3-2 Sunday night. With the win, UOL earns qualification to the IEM Championship in Katowice, Poland next year.

The marks the first trophy in organization history for UOL. A former Challenger team, UOL made a surprise run to the EU LCS final in its first split in Spring 2015 but barely missed out on Worlds each of the past two seasons. This win sees a new high for an organization that just announced it was keeping its current roster together for 2017.

The IEM Oakland field may not have been as competitive as once hoped, but UOL still beat three domestic champions en route to the title. The Unicorns swept Brazil’s INTZ e-Sports in the quarterfinal, came back to take down North America’s Team SoloMid in the semis and came back once again to defeat Taiwan’s Flash Wolves in the final. Flash Wolves earned a first-round bye after its Summer Split performance, and swept Korea’s Longzhu Gaming in the semifinal.

UOL relied on the veteran duo of top laner Tamás “Vizicsacsi” Kiss and support Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov — the two cornerstones the roster was built around -- to carry the team to victory, but mid laner Fabian “Exileh” Schubert had a strong series as well, especially his Game 3 10/2/5 Orianna performance. Vizicsacsi consistently won lane with Kennen and kept close enough with Poppy to dominate the late game, while Hylissang roamed and made plays with Bard.

Flash Wolves won the first game 14-11 in 48 minutes, but the Unicorns struck back with two sub-35 minute wins. But then it was Flash Wolves who bounced back, snowballing Game 4 from a Level 1 5 vs. 5 trade that went 3-1 in their favor.

It was incredible 10/1/8 game for Karsa, who was able to make plays freely with Vizicsacsi’s Poppy banned. Flash Wolves closed out the game in 24 minutes in one of the most dominating performances of the tournament, taking the final to Game 5.

In Game 5, UOL pulled out a surprise Kalista. Veritas picked up his team’s first seven kills of the game, but Flash Wolves still led elsewhere on the map. But as Kalista and Cassiopeia got stronger, UOL grouped and won fights, taking an early Baron and winning 18-15 in 27 minutes.