The last four teams play this weekend for a spot in the Finals, with Cloud9 (“C9”) and Team SoloMid (“TSM”) kicking it off! Both teams struggled in the beginning of the split, but made leaps and bounds to recover to make it to the NA LCS Semifinals. Now, in a game that is reminiscent of past splits, the two giants of North America clash! TSM is on a war path to find redemption and take the NA title. C9, who have constantly been denied the title by TSM for years, want to bring them down and participate for the title themselves. With everything on the line, these two great organizations take to the Rift for glory!
TSM came out swinging in the first game of the day, getting the early series lead. There were plays that went in the favor of both teams in the early game. Blaber secured First Blood in the top lane, but ended up dying a couple minutes in the bottom lane. Mithy saved Bjergsen from Jensen solo-killing him, but ended up losing his tower and giving C9 the First Tower bonus. Grig had excellent neutral objective control, grabbing the Rift Herald and multiple Elemental Dragons for his team.
At 20 minutes, C9 had a two kill lead and a one tower lead, but the gold was still very close. C9 tried to play the map, by using Sneaky to split push, but TSM outperformed in the team fights. They continued to secure more Dragons and took a great team fight win three-for-one at 23 minutes. At another fight around the second Infernal Dragon, C9 did win a fight two-for-one, but it wasn’t enough to stop TSM’s late game composition.
The first match really broke open at 33 minutes. A long team fights resulted in one kill for TSM, which prompted them to go to Baron Nashor. C9 tried to contest with another fight, but TSM destroyed them, killing three more members. This gave them the Baron, which allowed them to quickly take all the outer towers and the middle Inhibitor. TSM, with ultimate map pressure, killed the Elder Dragon, which gave them a huge damage buff with them having four Elemental Dragons. When they sieged C9’s base, C9 was powerless. TSM took the top Inhibitor, then dove C9’s Nexus Towers. Three C9 members fell, and shortly after their Nexus just before 40 minutes.
C9 made crucial adaptations in the second game to grab a convincing win. C9 went for a better team fighting composition, while still keeping Blaber on an aggressive Jungler. This worked perfectly. Blaber had more map pressure, which allowed him to take a number of Dragons early on. Though TSM did get First Blood on Licorice, C9 answered back by getting First Tower bonus in the bottom lane. C9 also killed the Rift Herald, and this time they were the ones dominating the neutral objectives.
C9 continued pressuring TSM. At 15 minutes, they won a team fight in the top lane and took the Tier One Tower. Even when TSM would collapse and kill Licorice, C9 usually managed to secure other objectives. At 20 minutes, Grig was caught out and killed, which allowed C9 to take an Infernal Dragon. This gave them a 2k gold lead, while also having three Dragons.
C9 had a lead, but not a dominating one. This wouldn’t last for long. At 22 minutes, a team fight erupted in the top lane. C9 cut down three TSM members, while losing none, and went for Baron. Though they did lose Blaber, C9 took the objective and a kill onto Bjergsen. A couple minutes later, they were sieging two lanes. Licorice sounded the Ornn horn, which set off another team fight. C9 fearlessly went under TSM’s Inhibitor Tower, and killed all five members. They swiftly ended the game with no resistance left at 26 minutes.
TSM retook the lead in the series and brought C9 to match point with a devastating win. C9 choose to go with a similar composition as game one, which relied on split pushing. TSM kept with their team fighting compositions and added global ultimates, and it worked very well. They secured First Blood onto Blaber with Hauntzer’s Cannon Barrage. They also won a team fight at 15 minutes, with Zven’s Swain getting a Quadrakill. Here, TSM killed five members while only losing three.
C9 did execute a team fight well at 19 minutes, winning it three-for-one, as well as one at 21 minutes where they went three-for-two. Both teams dove the opposing top laners on opposite sides of the map, and traded tower kills as a result. The game totally broke open at 26 minutes with a pick onto Blaber. This kill prompted TSM to start the Baron. They turned when C9 came to contest and secured three kills for one and the Baron buff.
With the buff, TSM demolished multiple towers easily. Within the next few minutes, they took all the outer towers and a Dragon, giving them a 5.8k Baron Power Play. TSM would make their final, deadly strike at 34 minutes. Here, they fought another five-versus-five. They easily won it four-for-one. They pushed through C9’s base, obliterated Licorice’s desperate defense and finished the Nexus at 35 minutes.
C9 made a bold move, and utilized their seven-man roster in this series deciding game by subbing Svenskeren and Goldenglue in for Blaber and Jensen. This move proved to be effective, as C9 won and brought it to a game five. TSM was proactive early, getting a kill onto Goldenglue and Sneaky in the first few minutes. But C9 turned around some of these plays with good collapses. TSM got a Mountain Dragon and a three-for-two team skirmish in the bottom side of the map. Licorice decided to stay top to get the First Tower bonus, so many plays became even or at least close to even.
At this point, TSM had a number of kills, but four were on Mithy’s Tahm Kench, which took away vital resources from his carries. In the mid game, there were some tower trades, but C9 found a shut down onto Mithy which lead to a Mountain Dragon of their own and a mid lane Tier Two. Hauntzer’s split push did yield some gold, but wasn’t significant. During this point, the game slowed down as both teams fought for vision around Baron Nashor.
Finally, at 27 minutes, C9 made their move. They initiated a team fight and found two quick kills. This allowed them to take an uncontested Baron buff. With it, C9 destroyed the middle and top Inhibitors. On the final siege in the bottom lane, C9 pushed forward for the win. They fought TSM in their own base and killed four of the defenders. C9, with no real obstacle in their path, brought down TSM’s Nexus at 33 minutes.
After a play-through of Silver Scrapes, the teams met one last time on Summoner’s Rift. In this final match, both teams came out swinging. Svenskeren was aggressive in the opening minutes in the top and middle lane, but TSM countered this aggression and found First Blood and two more kills. But, C9’s bottom lane found a kill onto Mithy, getting an advantage there. At nine minutes, TSM started the Ocean Dragon. Svenskeren managed to out-Smite Grig to steal the Dragon, though they did lose Goldenglue’s life for it.
Another fight happened in the bottom lane, but this time C9 came out on top, getting one kill for none. More action ensued in the middle lane now, with a skirmish going one-for-one. The difference came from C9’s faster rotations, as they were able to capitalize on their pressure and get the First Tower bonus. At 20 minutes, C9 had a 4k gold lead and four towers on TSM.
The game blew wide open and ended quickly after a couple of plays in the top lane. At 22 minutes, C9 found a huge pick onto Zven while TSM took the Ocean Dragon. This gave C9 the momentum to take the top lane Inhibitor tower. C9 retreated after this play, but TSM chased them. This was their fatal mistake. C9 re-engaged onto the chasing TSM to start a team fight. They absolutely annihilated them, killing three members very quickly and losing none of their own. C9 rode this advantage all the way to TSM’s Nexus, and took their spot in the NA LCS Finals with TSM’s Nexus blowing up at 23 minutes.
To watch the NA LCS, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the split, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.
Featured image via LoL Esports.
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