It’s time. The moment North American fans, and League fans all around the world have waited for: the NA LCS Finals! Taking to the stage are Team Liquid (“TL”) and Cloud9 (“C9”). TL looks to continue their dominance of the league and defend their title from last split. C9, on the other hand, seeks redemption. They want to prove to their fans their strategy works and to secure their spot in the World Championship.
Extensive history exists between the players and teams, and with so much on the line, the two teams put everything they had into this best of five series!
In this first game of the series, TL took the win. They managed to keep calm in the face of C9’s crazy draft and brought it to the late game where they thrive. C9 did have a decent game, though. In the losing two-versus-two, C9’s bottom lane duo got First Blood onto Doublelift. But it wasn’t enough, as TL had immense pressure all over the map. Xmithie found successful ganks in the top and middle lanes, killing or blowing Flashes from the C9 solo laners. Xmithie commanded the tempo, securing two Dragons, the Rift Herald and the First Tower bonus.
TL was ahead at this point, but C9 found an opening and exploited it. They found a kill onto an isolated Impact, which allowed C9 to take two towers in the middle lane. With this, they were able to secure pressure on the map and some semblance of control. It didn’t last long however, as a crucial fight broke out at 27 minutes. It started with TL getting a pick onto Jensen, and when C9 tried to collapse and get something in return, TL struck back. They hard engaged, slaughtering two additional C9 members. Because of this, TL was able to get an easy Baron.
With the Baron, TL took almost all of the towers outside of C9’s base and another Dragon. They grew the gold lead in their favor, having a 3.9k Baron Power Play, a significant swing in this close game. It proved to be more than enough when the teams met in the middle lane. Impact engaged a team fight for his team, and they followed up. TL decimated C9, killing four members while losing only one. They charged down the middle lane, took the Inhibitor and the defending C9’s members’ lives. TL destroyed the Nexus at 35 minutes to get a lead in the series.
TL demonstrated why they were the favorites for this series in the second game, smashing C9. They absolutely dominated almost every point in the game. It all started with Pobelter solo-killing Goldenglue for First Blood before three minutes. Though C9 did find some winning fights in the bottom lane, Sneaky didn’t secure any kills. They looked as though they were about to come back, but then TL pushed the pedal to the floor. TL kept forcing skirmishes, and won two major ones – three-for-one and three-for-zero, respectively.
TL won these fights, and always secured objectives off the backs of these plays. They brought down multiple towers, Dragons, and the Rift Herald as well. From this point on, TL commanded every point on the map. They found more picks and forced down towers with little apprehension. At 24 minutes, TL made a huge move. They started a team fight in C9’s jungle, where they won it four-for-two. This allowed them to secure Baron Nashor’s buff.
C9 somehow found a winning fight in the bottom lane, which went three-for-two, and halted TL’s push. TL did get a couple towers from it, but not much. This was until TL won another team fight two-for-zero in the top lane off of positional errors from C9, which gave them the top lane Inhibitor. Now with over a 10k gold lead, they ran down mid to face C9 head on. TL piled onto the helpless C9 members, obliterating them to get a clean Ace. With no one to defend, TL blasted the Nexus at 32 minutes to bring the series to match point.
In another dominant game, TL won their third game in a row to clean sweep C9 in the NA LCS Finals! Like in the previous match, TL had control the entire time. Xmithie punished Licorice, killing him for First Blood then returning to kill him again. Though C9 secured two Dragons, TL was too good at pushing the pace of the game and finding kills. The early game was quiet, with TL slowly building their leads until 19 minutes came around. Here, TL brute forced a play in the bottom lane to kill three C9 members easily.
The play netted TL the First Tower bonus, and with the Rift Herald secured earlier, took a second tower. This brought TL into the mid game with a significant lead, and they continued to bring down these objectives. C9 attempted to trade towers when they could, but looked helpless. They did show signs of life in a 31 minute fight, where the teams went two-for-two. But C9 were too far behind and couldn’t find a way to do anything.
TL grew their lead even more at 33 minutes. They started it by winning a team fight one-for-zero, which allowed them to take the Baron buff too. C9 tried to contest, but only ended up giving TL three more kills and the Elder Dragon to boot. With these buffs, TL easily brought down all three Inhibitors. Finally, at 40 minutes, TL put the final nail in C9’s coffin. They forced a fight in C9’s base, killing multiple members while losing none. They cut through the rest of the defenders to destroy the Nexus Towers, and ultimately the Nexus at 40 minutes. TL hoisted the trophy another time this year, and will go into Worlds on a high.
To watch the NA LCS, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the split, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.
Featured image via LoL Esports.
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