North America’s inaugural LCS Lock In tournament wrapped up with Team Liquid’s 3-2 victory over Cloud9. The series went the distance, as Liquid started the series 2-0 before C9 took games three and four. TL swung back with a tough top side victory in Game 5. Alphari won Player of the Series, and his fifth game performance with the Gangplank into Fudge’s Irelia was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Santorin played around the Liquid top laner to force several bad recalls and kills onto Fudge. C9 tried to stem the bleeding, but every proactive play they made resulted in a faster snowball for TL. Team Liquid came away with a $150,000 prize and a $50,000 donation to The Games and Online Harassment Hotline as winner of the tournament.
The Rest of the Lock In Tournament
TL made it to the finals by beating Evil Geniuses in the semifinals on Saturday, January 30. The boys in blue dominated in the series, winning 3-0 and rarely giving EG a gold lead. CoreJJ came away as Player of the Series, showing strong performances on Thresh and Rell. Jensen put up a 21.5 KDA across the series, while Alphari led the team in damage with 741 DPM.
Quarterfinals had TL exhibiting similar levels of strength, as FlyQuest never stood a chance. Liquid won the series 2-0, averaging a 3,500 gold lead at 15 minutes. FLY only secured three turrets and one dragon across both games. CoreJJ took Player of the Series, as his Leona and Rell were forces to reckon with. Jensen’s massive 23.0 KDA topped the team, and Alphari won the damage game with 733 DPM.
Liquid tied for top of their group during Group Stage of the Lock In, dropping one game to 100 Thieves (Armao subbed in). Their wins over TSM, Golden Guardians and CLG were pretty one-sided (Armao subbed for two games). TL only ceded one turret in each game and ended all three around 25 minutes. Heading into the Knockout Stage Team Liquid definitely looked like a contender for first place.
This Lock In tournament victory means Team Liquid comes into Spring Split as the team to beat. The roster’s synergy is impressive, considering Alphari and Santorin are new to the team. With everyone else playing catchup, Team Liquid cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Cloud9 and TSM did not pay such large sums for Perkz and SwordArt to come in second place. 100 Thieves has a killer early game, and once they shore up their mid game they will aim to kill. Evil Geniuses have some major strengths to build upon as well.
Keep in mind, these Lock In results do not carry over into the actual Spring Split. It does not impact Team Liquid’s chances of qualifying to the Mid Season Invitational or the World Championship. The true test begins Friday, February 5, when the Spring Split kicks off.