Pride. Legacy. Records. All were on the line as TSM took on the reigning champions Team Liquid in the LCS finals. TSM came into their first finals since 2017, while TL were looking for their third title in a row. The prevailing story was that the winner would break the tie for LCS titles between TL’s Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and TSM’s Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. Both had 5 championships entering the contest.
Even the owners got in on the banter, as Reginald and Steve put down a high profile $100k bet on the match. Would TL three-peat, or TSM add another banner?
The first round of the best-of-five started with Nicolaj “Jensen” raising his Dongers, locking in the mid-lane Heimerdinger. The game was extremely close for a long period of time. Despite towers by TL being traded for a Baron by TSM, the game remained fairly even. Then, at thirty-five minutes, Doublelift had S6 Worlds flashbacks, getting caught out and annihilated. This allowed TSM to take both major neutral buffs, securing the Baron and the Elder Dragon. The Vladimir of Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik did massive amounts of damage to Team Liquid, closing out a Game 1 win for TSM.
The second game was equally as oddball, with a Zyra for Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in and Lux for Bjergsen making an appearance. The game was a real slobber knocker. It was knock down, drag out, and bloody as all hell. So many fights ended completely even, but time was against TL. The composition of TSM scaled hard into the late game, and Broken Blade absolutely tore fights apart. Catches led to objectives, which led to a quick snowball for TSM. They closed out the game and brought the series to match point.
Team Liquid decided to flip the script for Game 3. They funneled gold and kills into the top and bottom lanes as much as possible. As the game went on, the previously dominant Vladimir of Broken Blade was beaten by Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong’s Gangplank. Once the mid-game was underway, TL made TSM move exactly how they wanted, playing them like a fiddle. Key picks, a Baron, an Elder Dragon, and a massive fight later, and Team Liquid had staved off a sweep.
The fourth bout was the most one-sided of the series. Team Liquid’s coordination netted several kills for Doublelift and Impact early, letting them thoroughly dominate the game. There was little to no opposition from TSM as they were completely bulldozed in the process. Team Liquid finished the game with a 15-3 scoreline and a 10k gold lead, sending it to Silver Scrapes and a pivotal Game 5. This would be the first five-game final since Spring 2017.
The final game had a very well defined set up. The game would hinge on if TSM’s mid-game would end before TL’s late game power spike. There weren’t very many big fights, but TSM picked up everything, save for one Dragon. The double-Infernal buff would help TSM to equalize the difference as the game went later, but the ever-looming threat of that Team Liquid late game persisted. TSM’s lead stuck around until TL got a clutch pickoff onto Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen that led to a Baron capture.
A standstill erupted around the Elder Drake that lasted for a few minutes until TL won a massive team fight and secured the buff. A Baron fight win to follow would be all Team Liquid needed to complete the reverse sweep. Doublelift claimed the record for most titles, and Team Liquid completed the second three-peat in LCS history.
With that win, Team Liquid look ahead to the Mid-Season Invitational. They will face the representatives of the other major regions at the event. For now though, Team Liquid are the LCS Champions, and Team Liquid owner Steve walks away $100k richer.
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