Earlier today, Team Liquid completed the four-peat and secured their fourth LCS championship in a row. The near All-Star team took Cloud9 to five matches, but eventually broke them down. There was no single root of this win; instead a team effort from the best team in North America helped them come out on top.
Matchups and Match Breakdown
Entering the series, there was a clear divide in play style between these two teams. Cloud9’s early game control in the Mid Lane has been their most useful quality, but Team Liquid has the players to stop it.
Top Lane: Eon-yeong ‘Impact‘ Jung vs Eric ‘Licorice‘ Ritchie
Jungle: Jake ‘Xmithie‘ Puchero vs Dennis ‘Svenskeren‘ Johnsen
Mid Lane: Nicolaj ‘Jensen‘ Jensen vs Yasin ‘Nisqy‘ Dinçer
Bot Lane: Peter ‘Doublelift‘ Peng vs Zachary ‘Sneaky‘ Scuderi
Support: Yong-in ‘CoreJJ‘ Jo vs Tristan ‘Zeyzal‘ Stidham
The matchup in the Jungle was especially interesting, considering how adaptive Xmithie was over the course of the series. Many believed Svenskeren and Nisqy’s synergy would be the deciding factor, but Team Liquid stayed slippery just like their name.
Game 1: The Meta Bites
During Game 1, the match was ultimately decided during the draft phase. Team Liquid pulled out five strong champions that they’ve all played a number of times on stage. On the other hand, Cloud9 tried to provoke old memories by using the Veigar in the Mid Lane. Paired with the Xin Zhao, this combination fell short of Team Liquid’s composition, as they rolled to a dominant first win.
— BRAYZY THE COMMANDER (@staybrayzy) August 25, 2019
Game 1 MVP: Impact 6/2/1 on Aatrox
Along with Doublelift in the Bottom Lane, Impact left his mark on the series by dominating in Game 1. Aatrox has been a very strong pick for him all season long and was no different this time around. His ability to control team fights was huge for Team Liquid, as he was nearly unkillable.
Game 2: Stormy Weather Rolls In
Game 2 was a completely different match, both in-game and in the draft phase. Cloud9 refused to be defeated by the same blade as before, as they banned both Sona and Rakan. These two picks are favorites of Team Liquid and this ultimately forced them onto lesser champions. In the mean time, Nisqy and Licorice built up huge leads in both the Top and Middle Lanes. Their performances catapulted C9 into a great win to tie up the series.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) August 25, 2019
Game 2 MVP: Sneaky 12/5/10 on Kai’Sa
Though Nisqy and Licorice controlled the early and mid game, Sneaky dominated in the final minutes to secure the win for his team. His aggressiveness in fighting situations allowed for his teammates to pick up where he left off if taken down, but more often than not he was getting the takedown himself.
Game 3: The MVP Makes His Case
Through the first two games of the series, Svenskeren wasn’t particularly useful compared to his performance during the Summer Split. However, he found a rhythm on Sejuani and completely ran over Xmithie. With the enemy Jungler behind, Svenskeren capitalized on every advantage possible to help get his teammates in position to win the game. Ultimately, Licorice and Nisqy helped their Jungler close out Game 3 and put Cloud9 up 2-1.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) August 25, 2019
Game 3 MVP: Svenskeren 2/1/17 on Sejuani
Even though Team Liquid had a properly coordinated draft phase, Cloud9 was quick to lock in the Sejuani for Svenskeren. This turned into a surplus of plays across the map, where he was able to catch a member of TL off-guard and secure an easy kill. In addition, his map awareness led to multiple objectives that made it look easy for Cloud9 in the end.
Game 4: Jensen Locks In
The series had been difficult for Jensen in the Mid Lane up to this point, but he knew that his back was against the wall. On Leblanc, he focused on winning his lane by farming early on. This eventually allowed for proper itemization from Jensen, which he took advantage of. His presence in both the Mid Lane and Jungle as an assassin was enough to give Team Liquid control of the map, eventually leading to a massive lead in the dragon department. Though Cloud9 were making the right plays, Jensen and Team Liquid were almost always one step ahead.
Jensen is giving us a game five 🙃 pic.twitter.com/XHiJRQ5IMX
— Team Liquid LoL Honda (@TeamLiquidLoL) August 25, 2019
Game 4 MVP: Jensen 5/2/3 on Leblanc
When the match became tough for Team Liquid in the mid game, Jensen seemed to elevate his play and keep his team in it. By way of assassination, he cut down Cloud9 at potential turning point in the series. His damage helped nullify multiple engage opportunities from C9, ultimately giving TL the boost to finish out the game. This type of performance is what Team Liquid sought when they signed Jensen.
Game 5: The Chains Break Free
With the series on the line, Team Liquid played their hearts out and trumped Cloud9 from the start of Game 5. Rather than changing things up like their opponents, TL stuck to the script and played what worked best. Jensen played a flawless game on Akali, in addition to Doublelift’s amazing performance on Kai’Sa. Each and every member of Team Liquid played with wit, passion and integrity, helping them secure another LCS championship.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) August 26, 2019
Game 5 MVP: Doublelift 10/2/7 on Kai’Sa
Over the course of the series, Doublelift maintained his focus and made sure to keep his team alive. Not once did he post a negative K/D/A ratio, which emphasizes how great he was playing. His ability to dissect Cloud9’s engages allowed for a lower death count, as well as a higher kill participation percentage. Overall, he was the ‘X’ factor for Team Liquid in taking home the chip.
Featured Image Courtesy of Riot Games.
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