After some time away, the 2019 LCS Summer Split is finally here. Team Liquid faced off against their rivals, Team SoloMid. The two more recently met in the spring finals during April, where Team Liquid were crowned champions. This time around, TSM were looking for revenge.
It seems pretty clear that both teams had scattered ideas about who to ban however, Team Liquid were closer to the mark. Their bans of Yuumi, Draven and Sivir were obviously directed towards their bot lane opponents in Jesper ‘Zven’ Svennigsen and Andy ‘Smoothie’ Ta. This ultimately forced Zven onto Ezreal, the same champion that he infamously tripped on during the spring finals. By limiting TSM’s bottom lane, they become far less useful and more prone to outside pressure.
Team SoloMid countered with Top and Jungle-oriented bans, such as Jayce, Akali, Jarvan IV and Rek’Sai. It felt as though they had little idea of what to expect, so they banned fairly general champions. Jung ‘Impact’ Eon-yeong of Team Liquid has been known to pick Kennen the majority of the time, so it was very questionable for TSM to focus on such odd champions to ban. Nonetheless, Team Liquid’s victory in champion select translated onto the rift.
TL Show No Rust
The competitive resume between Team Liquid and TSM certainly gave this match-up a lot of hype, however Team Liquid blew the wheels off of TSM’s wagon. Many speculated that their time spent at MSI would limit their preparations, but that was not the case.
To start, Team Liquid made it clear that they would dominate the Top Lane. This strategy is normally a favorite of TSM, and turning the tables on them proved effective. They were able to secure first blood for themselves, establishing a lead on the top side of the map. This made it much harder for Matthew ‘Akaadian’ Higgenbottham to counter gank or help his suffering Top Laner.
— lolesports (@lolesports) June 1, 2019
As the game rolled along, Team Liquid’s dominance spread to the Bottom Lane, where Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng secured an emphatic triple kill. This would ultimately make him a rich man, as he maintained the highest gold differential of any laner. His high damage output on Xayah ended up being too much for TSM’s Bottom Lane, resulting in a 5/0/2 scoreline with 353 CS.
Overall, Team Liquid looked more put together and synergized than TSM. Their rotations and movements as a team were fluid and countered a team that is known for their macro play. By establishing leads in both the Top and Bottom Lanes, Team Liquid defeat TSM and start off the Summer Split with a bang.
One of the biggest factors in TL’s success was the play from their prolific Bot Laner, Doublelift. His outstanding performance made beating a rival look rather easy, but of course it was anything but. Doublelift has been essential in Team Liquid’s game plan ever since he’s been on the roster, so it was certainly important for him to be as involved as possible.
As both teams look towards their next opponents, neither side should take this first match too lightly. Obviously it has to feel good for Team Liquid to get a win under their belts, but they have a long and grueling split ahead of them. The same goes for TSM, but they will need to spark something much sooner.
Featured Image Courtesy of LoL Esports.
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