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Team Liquid LCS Week 5 Recap: Not Quite on Solid Footing

TL Doublelift

The fifth week of the North American League Championship Series, or LCS, had Team Liquid up against the struggling Evil Geniuses and Dignitas who were looking for another win. This is the Team Liquid week 5 LCS recap.

Reviewing Week 5

Evil Geniuses: 3-5

EG Lineup - TL Week 5 LCS Recap

Courtesy of LoLEsports Flickr

The thing that Team Liquid had to watch for was Bang popping off, or either of the solo lanes from Evil Geniuses stepping up. One or more of those things happened in this game.

The quick stats: 11 kills for EG to three for TL. Nine turrets for EG to two for TL. EG claimed four dragons (cloud, earth, earth, earth), and claim Earth soul, while TL was only able to claim one infernal drake. EG also got one baron buff.

Jumping into the game, it stood fairly evenly – EG and TL trading towers, and objectives around the map. The game slowly started to break open after the fight for the second dragon. EG claimed first blood on Impact and proceeded to use the map pressure to claim Rift Herald. Then using that objective to break the mid lane.

Team Liquid gave up drakes as they tired to farm and scale up on their champions. The only issue was that as they scaled, so did the tanks on Evil Geniuses. EG got Earth soul, which made them more tanky with the extra shield. TL just couldn’t seem to win any team fights as they could not puncture the frontline of EG. TL lost the final fight around Elder Drake after being unable to kill Ornn or Sejuani. Bang teleported to the nexus for the end.

One part of the game that should be focused on is actually something that happened before the game.

The Draft. 

Team Liquid had a questionable draft this game, making poor choices that cornered them as the game played out. The draft also exposed a current weakness of TL that many fans thought was not possible, a focus on Doublelift and his champion pool. Previous articles have discussed the different set of AD champions that Doublelift was trying out so far this spring. Pulling a page from last week’s draft, EG banned some of Doublelift’s more meta ADC choices. EG banned Varus, Xayah, while Team Liquid ban Aphelios. 

To break away from the ADC story, here is a look at the rest of the draft. TL banned the power pick of Yuumi, to give away the first pick Ornn. Arguably, Ornn had more impact than Yuumi, given his insane team fighting, and scaling with late-game items. EG also snag Braum and Ezreal in the second round of the draft. This actively discouraged Doublelift from picking the last power ADC, Miss Fortune. MF’s impact is severely diminished with Braum’s E shield, and Ornn ultimate able to interrupt and disrupt her positioning.

TL got Elise, into the tanky team of EG, who proceeded to pick up another tank in the jungle. This meant that Elise wouldn’t really be able to function as a sort of DPS, and would have to be more reliant on cocoons. In the teamfight, Elise was also less impactful than the tank junglers. This played out just as expected, with Elise being unable to have a major impact in the game.

After this game, it felt like Team Liquid were just trying to build synergy and cohesion between its members in preparation for Summer Split. As if they were giving up on Spring Split.

Player of the Match: EG Kumo

Kumo’s Ornn stood horns and pauldrons above the rest of his team this game. From dominating Impact in the sidelanes after laning phase, to acting as an amazing frontline, Kumo tanked it all to keep his carries safe.

Dignitas: 3-6 

DIG Huni - TL Week 5 Recap
Courtesy of LoLEsports Flickr

After losing to EG, the league expected a more demoralized Team Liquid. Fans were accusing them of giving up early, even though the full team had only been playing together for about three games now. However, this game, Team Liquid came to show up and show out.

The quick stats: 17 kills for TL to four for DIG. All 11 turrets for TL to two for DIG. TL claimed three dragons (ocean, infernal, infernal), while DIG was only able to claim one cloud drake. TL also got two baron buffs.

This game got bloody fast. The first fight for the first dragon gives Team Liquid three kills, though they gave up first blood and that dragon. Both teams continued to skirmish, and Team Liquid started to pull ahead. Taking a step back, DIG is the aggressor in a lot of these early plays. They kept trying to make moves to make up for their deficit. However, they often did not work out, and only helped TL. DIG botched a dive in the top lane onto Impact, who really shows up this game.

Impact stops the show this game by holding off the early game aggression from Dignitas. Far cry from his previous Sett games, Impact does everything Sett: The Boss is meant to do. He was able to single-handedly zone off Dignitas against fighting in the later stages of the game, and was also able to dish out the damages. This game, Broxah had a lot of presence. Compared to the Elise from the day prior, his Lee Sin was able to make a much higher impact. Early game he was able to maneuver his way around, gaining objectives for TL, and getting picks for TL.

Looking at the draft we see a more proactive movement for Team Liquid. Banning no ADCs themselves, with DIG banning Aphelios and Xayah. Zoe is a pick that does a lot of damage and has a high impact with her Sleepy Trouble Bubble. TL are also able to swipe another power pick in Sett, and a comfort pick for Broxah. Surprisingly, DIG does not take the route of banning ADCs, and Doublelift is able to get onto Miss Fortune, and the next pick of Braum is able to provide safety for that pick. 

Player of the Match: TL Impact 

Previewing Week 5

TSM: 6-4

TSM - TL LCS Week5 Recap
Courtesy of LoLEsports Flickr

TSM, coming off of Monday Night League, looked very confident against Evil Geniuses. They ended their week 2-0 for the weekend, against teams that are in a similar position as TL. They beat EG, and by transitive property, that means they beat TL as well. However, TL made a lot of mistakes in the EG game, ranging from in-game to draft. If they’re able to clear up their head space and fix their mistakes, TL can put up a fair fight against TSM.

100 Thieves: 4-6

100T Cody Sun - TL LCS Week 5 Recap
Courtesy of LoLEsports Flickr

100T gave us a good show about how they don’t give up during a game. During the game against Golden Guardians, in terms of kills, 100 Thieves didn’t seem to be having the best early game. If Team Liquid can gain a strong early game advantage they have out be careful not to lose it in the mid-game against this team. The communication between players can seem sometimes off in the games where they are losing, but when the team is all on the same page, they’re a force to be reckoned with. One can never overlook Ssumday.

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