The LCS Playoffs continue on and this matchup has Worlds 2020 implications. Golden Guardians and Team Liquid will do battle for the chance to join Flyquest as an LCS Worlds representative. For TL this will be their first series of Summer Playoffs after having their best Split ever finishing in first with a 15-3 record. Golden Guardians on the other hand, beat TSM, well, rather handily. Who will come out on top?
Golden Guardians showed quite a bit in their first series of Playoffs. Not only did they come out swinging, but they were also able to come back and win in very creative fashions. Now they will look to similarly surprise the world with a win over TL and make their first-ever Worlds appearance. Here are three keys to victory for Golden Guardians in their matchup against Team Liquid.
1. Play Around FBI
One of the major reasons why Golden Guardians not only beat TSM but had a successful Split was because of FBI. He has been a monster carry and normally GG are able to do enough in the early game to have a lead. Then they squander it in the mid-game but come back and win late because of FBI.
During the TSM series, FBI and Huhi showed that they can be lane dominant. They pushed in constantly and got FBI massive leads early. This made their mid-game transition a bit smoother and then they were able to close out fights. By playing through this style, FBI proved that he is the carry for GG and the one that can lead them to the promised land.
When it comes to picks, giving FBI the counter might not be the worst idea. Because Hauntzer is a great weak side laner and Damonte is more of a supportive style mid, making sure FBI gets the advantage will be important in draft. Look for him to continue to spam late-game carries like Ashe, Ezreal, Aphelios, Caitlyn and possibly even something like Jinx.
2. Get Early Dragon Pressure
This is similar to playing around FBI and the bot side of the map but it will be crucial for GG to control the dragon pit throughout this series. Team Liquid are masters of scaling, absorbing pressure and playing for the late game. Because of dragon’s importance in this meta, this gives TL an instant playstyle advantage.
During the TSM series, GG had early dragon control in nearly every game. This meant that they could control the rest of the map when the teams fought. It was so important that it even won GG a game because TSM had to fight for the dragon but lost everything because they had to take it.
For GG to win this series, dragons will be imperative. If they can get early dragons then the scaling option for TL gets to a point where it is negligible because GG can focus on getting the soul. While GG have lost some games with dragon soul, their macro has improved greatly. With picks like Ziggs and Camille available in this meta, GG can keep the pressure on TL all around the map while still getting dragons and staying relevant in the late game.
3. Don’t Lose Confidence
Team Liquid are a team that slowly suffocates their opponents. They are the older style, that still works but, it is not as sure as it once was. What allows them to do it is the confidence in their individual ability and group experience. This can surely intimidate teams, especially if they go down in the first game.
For Golden Guardians to beat TL they have to stay confident in their abilities and teamplay. While TSM looked awful, GG still made gutsy calls that helped them come out on top. The swift end while down in game one and the triple teleport in game two tilted a team with two of the LCS’ most veteran players. This only happens when a team is confident and playing aggressively.
This will easily be the biggest challenge GG have had all year. There is a good chance that they could go down 0-1, 1-2 or even 0-2. In any of those instances, then need to keep their confidence and play like they have nothing to lose. At worst, they get swept and have a favorable matchup against TSM with a chance to play either C9 or EG for the opportunity to still make it to Worlds.
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