Team Liquid puts the nails in Evil Geniuses’ coffins as they advance to face 100T in the Winner’s Semifinals after a great five game series!
Game 1: smol kitty vs. African Tiger
Have you ever seen a cat video when the baby kitty with small legs tries to square up to the bigger one? The bigger cat doesn’t really even react, it just puts one leg on top of the kitten’s head like “Stop this foolishness, little one.” That pretty much summed up the first game of this series as Evil Geniuses’ Yuumi pick did not pay dividends as they were lacking Vulcan’s engage within these midgames, allowing for Team Liquid to draft yet another standard, scaling comp and coast to an easy game one.
Game 2: Balls of Steel
Evil Geniuses bounce back with one of the most chad baron calls I have ever seen; despite getting outplayed in an earlier start, they go right back to it and win the war of attrition in order to claim the Baron and accelerate beautifully for a clean finish. With Leona locked in, Vulcan and EG were in familiar territory, and were able to force the issue directly to Team Liquid. Team Liquid’s frontline were sometimes disconnected from the backline this game, as Bwipo’s aggressive positioning in teamfights as well as CoreJJ getting picked off multiple times. This resulted in the TL backline being relatively unguarded; the carries of Team Liquid would have to step up more and play with more aggressive positioning in order to better capitalize off of their team’s engages.
Game 3: G.O.A.T Mode
Bjergsen rebounds off of a hilarious level 1 death at the hands of EG to finish the game 10/2, carrying the game on his Ahri with Santorin’s Jarvan IV by his side. The GOAT was masterful in these teamfights, and his mastery of Ahri poses the question whether teams should let it through the draft phase without any sort of counter strategy. He is able to take the game into his own hands with a champion that has mobility and crowd control, as opposed to Game 2 where he would just sit on the Viktor and hope his teammates don’t fly too far ahead of him. Jojopyun got caught a lot in the side lanes coming off of their strong early game and Bjergsen and TL were able to snowball that to a win and take the lead in the series.
Game 4: Yes Azael, Mid Laners Can Play Lucian Top Too
Evil Geniuses clap back with an amazing full court press, featuring Jojo laneswapping his Lucian top lane to deal with Bwipo’s Gangplank as Impact plays Ryze mid. Inspired’s focus topside snowballed Jojo’s lane and EG’s excellent skirmishing propelled them even further before they simply started outplaying TL members left, right and center. Bwipo has been largely a nonfactor this game as he finds himself getting caught out again, eliminating any advantages TL were able to accrue with a few pickoffs in the mid game. Both Danny and Jojopyun shone bright on their respective marksmen picks, and with their outstanding performances, EG force silver scrapes in this epic quarterfinal.
Game 5: Impact tried…
Team Liquid finally manage to win the Mountain Soul fight and clinch the series against Evil Genius. EG were able to find their way back from an early game deficit off of some terrific flanks from Impact but the infinite scaling from both Sion and Veigar, combined with Jinx, was too much for EG to handle and they simply get mowed down at the dragon fight. LCS playoffs, once thought to be simply a two horse race between TL and C9, is now looking very, very interesting with both EG pushing TL to five game and 100T simply embarrassing C9 in their series. I look forward to the 100T vs TL matchup as it can be a potential finals preview.
Quarterfinals MVP: Santorin
When the TL super team was made, Santorin was touted as the supportive jungler that was going to facilitate his mega laners and achieve victory through their starpower. While he has been intelligently covering out pushing and ganking, he has also been a secret carry threat, and easily TL’s best player coming into this series. Alongside Bjergsen, Santorin was instrumental in TL winning teamfights with good play on his Viego, as well as finding picks and covering out pushes in order to facilitate his laners. He has added carry potency to his supportive style, which makes him quite the invincible player when he is in form.