Team Liquid defeated TSM in the penultimate of the Mid Season Showdown. They took the series 3-1 in fairly dominant fashion, which is surprising considering Armao had to sub in for Santorin on short notice. The win qualifies Team Liquid to the finals, where they will face tournament favorites Cloud9. The winner of that match-up earns themselves an LCS title and the chance to represent North America at the Mid Season Invitational next month in Iceland.
Game 1 – Jensen Inting, Alphari Gnar Carry
Game 1 started off pretty quiet. No one died in the first 17 minutes. Alphari and Jensen pulled ahead in their individual match-ups, but otherwise Team Liquid and TSM shook hands and farmed it out. The first real action occurred near top lane after TSM took First Turret. CoreJJ used Flash-Magnet storm onto SwordArt and Lost. Alphari followed up with damage out of Gnar for the Double Kill. From this play, one turret, one drake, and superior laning, TL gained a 2,000 gold lead.
Spica stealing Baron at 22 minutes was the next big play. Team Liquid had a good start timing, but the Hecarim charged his way up past mid lane to Onslaught of Shadows over the wall and Smite steal. TSM closed the gold gap immediately, and surpassed Team Liquid a bit by sieging. TL took their third dragon, but Jensen randomly walked into melee range of Huni’s Renekton. TSM killed Jensen and CoreJJ on the play, before knocking down two inhibitors. Upon spawn, Jensen Teleported behind TSM as they retreated, but they simply collapsed on him with ease–puzzling play out of the mid laner.
TSM started Baron, but had to pull off, followed by a rotation to the top lane. They knocked down Team Liquid’s inhibitor turret, but Alphari flanked with Mega Gnar well enough to save the inhibitor. Next, both teams wrestled for control of Infernal Drake. TSM secured the dragon, but Tactical’s Xayah cleaned up the fight for a Triple Kill. The game lulled until the next Infernal Drake, but Alphari’s Mega Gnar landed a clutch ultimate while Team Liquid secured Infernal Soul. They immediately pushed for the win in Game 1.
Game 2 – TSM Throws Huge Early Lead
Game 2 got a little spicy, as Team Liquid drafted Nocturne jungle and Annie mid. On top of that, Lost started the match with a Double Kill at level three as Tactical and CoreJJ contested the tri-brush near bottom lane. SwordArt’s Gragas Body Slam set up the Tristana Rocket Jump, while the TL duo both used Flash and still died. SwordArt roamed mid for another two kills onto Armao and Jensen under turret. PowerOfEvil and Spica joined in on the play.
TSM tried to keep up the tempo with another play mid, but Jensen survived with a sliver of health. Armao and CoreJJ counter-attacked to shut down Spica. Meanwhile, Lost completely knocked down bottom lane tier one turret, followed by a TSM Rift Herald taking mid tier one. Overall, TSM secured 11 turret plates to TL’s one, pulling ahead 4,000 gold by 14 minutes. Lost alone held 2,700 gold more than Tactical.
TSM kept up the pressure by securing Rift Herald, dropping it top for the turret, killing CoreJJ, and then Huni jumped in as Mega Gnar to finish off Jensen and Tactical. Armao dove in with Paranoia to shut down Lost, but died in the process. Team Liquid started mounting a comeback at 21 minutes, when CoreJJ and Armao found an excellent engage on several TSM members. The whole team joined in a 3-for-1. Several minutes later, Team Liquid caught Lost and Spica in fog of war, then turned on the Baron and secured it. A few picks, messy teamfights, and Ocean Soul denial later, and TL actually closed out the game.
Game 3 – PowerOfEvil Out-Carries Tactical
Tacticore kicked off Game 3 by hard-winning a trade in bottom lane, blowing both Lost and SwordArt’s Flashes. Shortly thereafter, action happened across the map. Spica found a good angle to Flash-Bear Stance stun Jensen, which PowerOfEvil followed with his own Flash for the kill. Armao joined in just enough time to trade back one kill before dying himself. Tactical and CoreJJ caught TSM’s bottom lane overextended and secured a Double Kill. The Varus-Thresh combination proved much stronger than Kai’Sa-Rakan in the early game.
The first major fight occurred at 14 minutes ahead of the second dragon spawn. CoreJJ landed a Thresh hook on Spica. Both top laners Teleported, but Huni’s Renekton fell and TL took the Infernal Drake. Minutes later, PowerOfEvil and SwordArt comboed for a pick on Jensen in mid lane. PowerOfEvil also caught CoreJJ with a Shockwave while roaming in the jungle, giving him a 550 gold bounty. This match was shaping up to be “Who can carry harder, PowerOfEvil’s Orianna or Tactical’s Varus?”
TSM snuck a Baron at 28 minutes, followed by a fight for mid lane control. Spica Flash-stunned Tactical with Orianna’s ball on him, setting up a Shockwave to burst out the marksman. Directly afterwards, Tactical caught Lost with the Chains of Corruption and the rest of Team Liquid picked Spica off in top lane. Leading into the sixth dragon of the match, Team Liquid attempted a pincer move with Sion and Hecarim ultimates, but TSM cleaned up the entire team and rotated top to push for the win.
Game 4 – TL Absolutely Destroys TSM
Game 4 started as a travesty for TSM. Team Liquid secured First Dragon, First Blood and two other kills 6 minutes into it. Liquid’s Senna-Tahm Kench duo, Jensen’s Viktor and Armao’s Hecarim expertly split up and chased down Spica, PowerOfEvil and Lost. Jensen also blew PowerOfEvil’s Flash in the 1-v-1 mid lane. Armao ganked top in perfect time for Alphari’s Unstoppable Onslaught for a kill on Huni. TL gained a nearly 3,000 gold lead by 12 minutes.
Huni died two more times early on. Jensen chunked him out in mid lane, and Tactical lined up the Dawning Shadow to snipe him. Then Huni went back to top and engaged onto Alphari with Spica, but Team Liquid turned it around on him. By 15 minutes, every TL member had more gold than TSM’s highest total gold.
From there, the game became a total bloodbath. Team Liquid members ran around the map securing kills left and right. The kill score read 14 to zero by 17 minutes. They played out the rest of the game cleanly, only dropping one execution death by Tactical running into the fountain at the end.
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