The 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs officially wrapped up the Finals today, with Evil Geniuses taking home the trophy. They took down 100 Thieves in a 3-0 for the shortest Finals in LCS history. Most pegged Cloud9 and Team Liquid to reach the Finals, following their regular season performances. However, EG took them both down in dominant 3-0 series leading up to the Finals. C9 finished fourth, while Team Liquid finishes third.
A Third Place Superteam
The third place finish is a failure and a wake-up call for the LCS superteam. Coming into 2022, they brought on Bwipo, Bjergsen and Hans sama–huge names in the west–to join Santorin and CoreJJ. The year started rocky, with CoreJJ in green card limbo through Lock In. The team had to rotate between Yeon and Eyla to figure out which domestic Academy player would be best to sub in.
When TL was able to win the Lock In tournament, most believed they would remain heavy favorites to surpass defending champions 100 Thieves. Once CoreJJ secured his green card many assumed the team would shift into a new gear to push ahead of the field. TL remained a strong contender week over week, but as the split went on fans noticed cracks. Bwipo’s odd picks and the team’s overall drafting sometimes cornered them into narrow win conditions. Once they fell behind they had no chance.
Liquid still finished first in the regular season. C9 rivaled them until the end, when they faced similar limitations in the final weeks. Playoffs looked like a three horse race–C9, TL or 100T would win, depending on who showed up. It turns out EG was the dark horse all along, tearing through the Loser’s Bracket in similar fashion to G2 in the LEC.
This photo sums up the TL series pic.twitter.com/s891IUaQIL
— Michael Termini @ LCS Finals (@Michael_Termini) April 23, 2022
Once in playoffs, Team Liquid sputtered out. They narrowly won 3-2 over EG in Round 1 of the Winner’s Bracket. When they moved on to Round 2, they went up two wins over 100 Thieves, but feel to a reverse sweep. Round 3 is where EG got the revenge 3-0 to move onto Finals and win the whole thing. Overall, Team Liquid had some dominant wins, but also got dominated in losses.
No one will lose faith in this team, because it is so stacked with known talent. Every player has found success in their career, and has shown phenomenal gameplay at different times. LCS fans know what the team is capable of, and they have shown glimpses of it across Spring Season. But this playoffs was not acceptable. If Team Liquid finishes third in Summer Split, then they will qualify for Worlds, but in the most disappointing way possible.
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