The third week of the North American League Championship Series, or LCS, had Team Liquid up against the middle-of-the-pack 100 Thieves and floundering Golden Guardians. This is the Team Liquid LCS Recap for Week 3.
TL LCS Recap Week 3
100 Thieves: 2-2
Right before the 100 Thieves vs Team Liquid game, caster/analyst Joshua “Jatt” Leesman held a segment on the champion Senna, talking about some of her strengths, but also highlighting some of her weaknesses. The takeaway being, the way Team Liquid uses ADCs to clear sidewaves, Senna is not optimal for their draft. TL is already 0-2 with the pick. So when Team Liquid picked Senna into Aphelios, it did not bode well. Senna historically has a low win rate into Aphelios, across the LCK, LPL, LEC, and LCS, it’s about a 33.3% win rate over 21 games.
The stats for this game also did not turn out well either. 13 kills on 100 Thieves, to 5 kills on TL, 11 turrets to only one for TL. 100T also claimed every dragon that spawned, including 2 Elder Drakes and the Infernal Soul.
Team Liquid got off to a rocky start, with a roam from William “Stunt” Chen combined with William “Meteos” Hartman catching Shern “Shernfire” Tai off guard for a First Blood. The roams from Stunt continue to enable 100T to build more pressure around the map that TL could not contest. TL did continue to fight however, making small picks and even obtaining a tower.
Rift herald ends up being highly impactful this game, with 100T obtaining multiple tower advantages with the objective. Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho’s pressure and presence that accumulates over the game make it so that Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong cannot even solo lane against him without fear of dying. This is backed up by the other members of 100T being able to play well against the remainder of TL.
Team Liquid was able to posture and steal a baron before the game ends, but it was too little too late. The minions from a previous push were able to push into the nexus turrets and nexus. Shortly after, Ssumday ends the game with a quadra-kill on Aatrox after 100T claims the elder drake for the second time.
Team Liquid would not go down without a fight, but they need to play to their strengths from the draft stage if they want to win. With Doublelift now being 0-3 on Senna, hopefully that champion pick will stay lost in the mist.
Player of the Match: 100T Stunt
Stunt stood out this game by enabling a lot of the early game of the team through his roams. His vision game around the game enabled his carries like Ssumday to play aggressively and have peace of mind about his safety. Stunt’s hooks on Thresh were on point this game, making multiple important picks throughout the midgame. Make no mistake, while Ssumday’s impressive 7/0/1 certainly stands out, it is important to not overlook the supporting cast.
Golden Guardians: 2-3
The game and draft both started by including another Senna pick on the side of TL. At this point, Team Liquid has not looked so great with Senna, highlighting their playstyle with ADCs. This game showed us again why Doublelift just does not seem comfortable on this pick. However, the rest of TL’s draft is actually fairly well rounded. Galio to keep the Senna safe and engage, J4 for engage, Rumble for his powerful ultimate and Kennen to help fight and keep up with Aatrox in the side lanes.
The game is fairly back and forth in terms of kills, with Golden Guardians finding ways to keep pushing the tempo thanks to their vision and roams.
The cold stats give us 11 kills for GG to 7 kills for TL. Three Drakes for Liquid, while Golden Guardians obtained both of the Rift Heralds.
The bot lane of Golden Guardians, Yuri “Keith” Jew and Victor “FBI” Huang, both show up huge this game, with the former obtaining the first blood. This is in stark contrast to Keith’s performance over the past few games, and displays that he is very much still an LCS caliber player. Their roams enable the rest of GG to create advantages around the map. Around a slower midgame, GG lost out on dragon objectives.
One can see what TL’s draft was headed or intended for during the few five-on-five teamfights in the midlane. Jarvan 4, Galio, Kennen, Rumble and Senna. Combined, their ulti’s can rip through an enemy team with a powerful wombo combo. However, GG played very smartly around this, using Thresh and Lee Sin to catch out and isolate different members so the composition could never live up to its full potential. This game, Senna’s relatively low mobility and low wave-clear was definitely exposed again and again.
The sneaky Baron enabled a hard push on the bot side, cascading into kills and more towers thanks to Closer’s Lee sin ultimate. After a reset, TL tried to fight back against the crashing waves and the last push from Golden Guardians, but it was not enough. They could not even deal with the minion waves and Doublelift dies after being destroyed by Aatrox.
An interesting fact between these two games for Team Liquid this week is that the opposing supports have both played Thresh, and their roams and catches made it hard for TL to execute their comp.
Player of the Match: GG Keith
After a poor showing across the previous five games of the Guardians, Keith showed up in a huge way today. Very similar to how 100T Stunt has performed on Thresh, Keith enabled his team to catch players of TL off-guard. In combination with GG FBI, they beat out the defending champion bot lane of Doublelift and CoreJJ. No easy task, as those two have been on form beyond when Doublelift has played Senna. Keith smartly took advantage of Thresh and was able to abuse the weaknesses of TL’s draft.
Previewing Week 4
Immortals is an interesting case. Ex-TL jungler Xmithie takes on his old team and with his scheduled replacement of Broxah as well. Altec and Hakuho have shown to be a good duo bot lane, but they have their weaknesses. Team Liquid should be able to handle the pressure that IMT puts out and be able to win the match. The IMT v CLG game this week has definitely shown that IMT can not be underestimated, going so far as to win the game, even when they were behind.
Counter Logic Gaming: 1-5
CLG had finally found their footing after free falling for four games at the start of the split. On paper their roster is great but in practice it just has not come up to par. Their win has had them enabling Stixxay with a good performance all around. In the game versus Immortals, CLG actually looked very good, up until they lost. With Broxah being added into the mix for Team Liquid, TL can easily take out CLG.
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