The LCS semifinals showed two completely different series: a 3-0 stomp and a thrilling reverse sweep. Team Liquid and TSM move onto the 2019 Spring Split finals in St. Louis. These seem like the two best teams at the moment, making for an exciting final. But first, let’s recognize the Fantastic Four of the semifinals.
The Fantastic Four recognizes four different players from different teams that exhibited different strengths in their gameplay. To review the qualifications for these awards, read week one’s piece.
The Thing – C9 Svenskeren
Svenskeren had a stellar five-game series against TSM, helping Cloud9 earn a lead at 15 minutes in most of the games. Playing Hecarim, Jarvan and Rek’Sai, Svenskeren acted as C9’s primary initiator in almost every game. While each of his teammates had lower performances at certain parts of the series, Svenskeren played relatively consistent in his role.
The Rek’Sai pick proved to be vital to both teams by game four, but TSM adapted and drafted the Kindred-Zilean combination that Cloud9 played to great success last summer. TSM and C9 lost the games that they drafted their jungler first, but individually, Svenskeren was not the problem.
Mr. Fantastic – TL Impact
Despite receiving the Second LCS All-Pro Team award this split, Impact has felt like the weak link of this Team Liquid iteration. He did well to shut the haters up, as Impact had a fantastic semifinals. Liquid prioritized Jayce as a first-pick, flexing it to mid game one, top game two and FlyQuest banned it game three. In Impact’s hands, the Jayce got ahead by 46 CS at 15 minutes, not far off his best CS difference ever.
In the other games, Liquid put Impact on lane bullies Kennen and Viktor. Both games they picked their top lane champion in response to FlyQuest’s, and Impact held up his end of the bargain. V1per was never able to get much going. TL was able to control Baron and split-push with ease. These performances were overall much better out of Impact, compared to his last few games of the regular season. V1per crushed Impact in week eight, and Broken Blade also outplayed him in week nine. TL’s top side needs to repeat this semifinals performance in the finals versus TSM.
Human Torch – TSM Bjergsen
Bjergsen has been on a tear these last few weeks of Spring Split, and the semifinals were no different. The broadcast properly labeled him “on a warpath” and regularly cut to his game face. While Akaadian had a few hiccups in the early stages of the series, Bjergsen stayed consistent throughout the five games versus Cloud9. He played five different champions, with C9 getting to lock in mid lane after seeing Bjergsen’s champion.
Bjergsen’s biggest credit for semifinals, though, was his Akali in game three. His flanks and the way he utilized the champion to the full effect essentially got TSM back into the series, and was one of the only “pop-off” performances in semifinals. Jensen played well in his three games versus FlyQuest, but Team Liquid’s individual members are better than TSM’s and FlyQuest was an easier opponent than Cloud9.
Invisible Woman – FLY Santorin
Losing 0-3 always makes a team look bad, and all individuals will seem like they had poor performances. Either they took too many risks from behind and failed, or they didn’t take the necessary risks to get back in the game. Either they drafted too much around the meta and lacked a unique identity, or they drafted too loosely outside the meta. That one missed skillshot, or that one missed Smite, is suddenly placed under the microscope in a way that it wouldn’t have been, had they won.
In this series, though, Santorin performed the best for FlyQuest. Game one started with JayJ dying level one and Pobelter falling behind about 15 CS to Jensen. Santorin secured the Infernal Drake, and assisted in shutting Jensen down. They even secured Baron and started snowballing, but FlyQuest could not respond to the Taric ultimate properly and threw the lead.
In game two, FlyQuest was behind 2,000 gold, with V1per down 30 CS, bottom lane down 15 CS and TL securing Infernal Drake. 15 minutes in Team Liquid took down nine turret plates and FlyQuest had none. Santorin used his first Nocturne ultimate to counter-gank mid. He used the second ultimate to take down Impact. Santorin’s third ultimate dove Jensen with JayJ’s Galio ultimate and Stopwatch as followup, but Team Liquid simply outplayed the fight.
For game three, Pobelter had an early death and FlyQuest’s bottom lane lost turret very early thanks to Xmithie’s Rift Herald drop. By 20 minutes, the Liquid had a 5,000 gold lead, all outer turrets and an Infernal. With inconsistent laning throughout the series, there was not much Santorin could do. He appeared to have the most consistent performance across the series, even if it was to little effect.
Images from LoL Esports Flickr