LCS: C9 vs TSM Semifinal Recap

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LCS: C9 vs TSM Semifinal Recap

Game One

C9 v TSM semifinal game 1
TSM and C9 team compositions with C9 Sneaky center. Photo via LoL Esports.


Cloud9 (“C9”) styled on Team SoloMid (“TSM”) to take the first game of the series. They debuted the solo queue terror of Sona-Taric bot lane and smashed TSM with it. It wasn't very good in lane though, as Zven killed Sneaky for First Blood in the two-versus-two. A couple of minutes later Broken Blade killed Licorice too. Svenskeren deserves a lot of credit this game, as he constantly ganked mid and killed Akaadian whenever he found him. His early plays kept C9 in the game and put them in the drivers seat.

C9's composition started to come online at at 13 minutes. C9 came out on top of a middle lane skirmish, which set up Nisqy to take the First Tower bonus two minutes later. Broken Blade's Akali carried a middle lane team fight at 16 minutes and TSM showed a glimmer of hope. It was crushed two minutes later, when Sneaky's Sona stole the Rift Herald from TSM and C9 killed Akaadian again. C9 immediately unleashed the Herald mid, where they destroyed the second mid tower.

More disaster struck TSM at 22 minutes. Here, a team fight erupted in the bottom lane and C9 won it one-for-zero. They pushed down the lane, taking two towers, while Svenskeren slayed their second Infernal Dragon. It was a huge power play and swung even more gold in their favor. Soon after, C9 grouped in the middle lane and pushed down the middle Inhibitor. Next C9 shifted to Baron, burning it down quickly and securing the buff. A team fight ensued where three TSM members dropped. This was everything C9 needed to smash through TSM's base and finish their Nexus at 26 minutes.

Game Two

C9 v TSM semifinal game 2


C9, on the back of Svenskeren again, won the second game of the series. Akaadian appeared shaken from the first game, losing an Ocean Dragon to Nisqy's Morgana at seven minutes. Svenskeren, on the other hand, popped off. He secured First Blood on Zven in the bottom lane. Later on, at 13 minutes, he led his team to a huge team fight victory, killing four members for none of their own. They secured another Dragon and the First Tower bonus mid too.

The two teams traded side lane towers in the following three minutes. After this, the two teams met around the Dragon pit once more. A team fight broke out where TSM surprisingly won three-for-two, but Svenskeren did manage to steal the objective away from Akaadian. At 22 minutes yet another fight occurred, this time in TSM's top jungle. This time C9 won two-for-zero, and easily secured a Baron buff for their troubles.

C9 promptly began their push in the middle and bottom lanes. After taking their second bottom tower, they caught out Akaadian and killed him. C9 had a man advantage and abused it, taking the middle Inhibitor and exposing the bottom one. They were pushed away as Broken Blade Teleported behind them to set up an engage. The team fight ended up going one-for-one, but C9 wasn't done yet. Two members Teleported in after healing in base and went for the end. The rampaging C9 obliterated one more TSM member before smashing their Nexus at 27 minutes, another quick win.

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Game Three

C9 v TSM semifinal game 3
TSM and C9 team compositions with C9 Zeyzal center. Photo via LoL Esports.


TSM kept their Finals hopes alive with a crucial match win in game three. Bjergsen had a phenomenal game on Akali, hard carrying his team in fight after fight. First Blood came out for Broken Blade in a top lane two-versus-two. Afterwards, the Herald was dropped and TSM secured the First Tower bonus. Zven solo killed Sneaky in lane, TSM took another tower and two Infernal Dragons to set themselves up with a significant gold and stat lead.

C9 wouldn't go down easily though. They found picks onto Broken Blade and Akaadian in the mid game, relieving some pressure. and buying time. At 27 minutes they struck for the throat, taking a two-for-zero team fight victory and the Baron. From here they took multiple towers and appeared to have swung the game around.

But Bjergsen wasn't having any of that. A great Teleport flank gave him prime positioning in C9's backline and he wreacked havor. He and his team killed four C9 members and wrestled back control of the game. At 32 minutes, Bjergsen hard carried another team fight in the middle lane, getting his team another four-for-one team fight victory. This allowed them to procure their Baron buff of their own.

At 37 minutes the two teams met at the Elder Dragon. Svenskeren stole it, but C9 lost a kill and only took one tower with the buff. It came at 41 minutes and this time C9 won one-for-zero, which allowed them to defeat the Baron. As they tried to push a team fight erupted in the river. TSM played it excellently and clean Ace'd C9. With no one to stop them, they pushed right down the bottom lane and ended the game at 43 minutes.

Game Four

C9 v TSM semifinal game 4
C9 and TSM team compositions with TSM Bjergsen center. Photo via LoL Esports.

TSM dominated C9 in game four and brought the series to Silver Scrapes. Whereas Svenskeren commanded the first two games, Akaadian absolutely destroyed C9 this game. Broken Blade killed Svenskeren for First Blood in a skirmish mid. Licorice responded by killing Akaadian in C9's jungle. Soon after, Akaadian solo killed Nisqy's ambitious Zed pick and became a monster. With this lead he slayed the Rift Herald and used it top for the First Tower bonus. C9 answered with a kill and tower destruction in the bottom lane, but it wasn't enough.

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TSM furthered their lead at 16 minutes. They won a very close team fight around the Dragon pit three-for-two, which led to a Mountain Dragon too. Akaadian then focused his attention on Licorice, ganking him a couple of times and killing him once. After TSM destroyed a bottom tower a pause occurred. As soon as the teams jumped back into the game they let loose.

C9 reloaded into the game and immediately started up the Baron in the cover of darkness. TSM didn't fall for the Baron sneak and quickly showed up to contest it. Nisqy was instantly killed when he tried to assassinate a TSM member which gave TSM the advantage. They pushed C9 off the Baron, said thanks for the leash, and secured it for themselves. In addition, TSM killed two more C9 members before going back to base.

C9 couldn't contest TSM as they blasted their structures. TSM easily destroyed the top lane Inhibitor and forced a team fight. C9 was slaughtered and TSM tied the series score with a second Nexus kill at 25 minutes, an extremely fast and dominant win.

Game Five

C9 v TSM semifinal game 5
C9 and TSM team compositions with C9 Licorice center. Photo via LoL Esports.


TSM stamped their ticket for Finals in St. Louis with their victory in game five. The game started off slowly, with little action occurring until C9 slayed the Herald at 10 minutes. They promptly dropped it top to take the First Tower bonus to get Licorice ahead. This allowed Licorice to leave lane and influence the map, which was crucial for winning C9 multiple skirmishes in the early-mid game. They took objectives off of these victorious fights and created a small lead for themselves.

But TSM was still entirely in it. They found multiple picks after the 20 minute mark, helping swing the gold back in their favor. C9 swung it right back by winning a team fight two-for-zero and slaying an Infernal Dragon. The pendulum swung back once more as TSM destroyed multiple towers, won a team fight two-for-zero and killed a Mountain Dragon.

After 30 minutes TSM found picks and displayed incredible team fighting. They started by killing Zeyzal at 32 minutes, knocking down four towers and an Inhibitor. C9 mounted a heroic defense and won a team fight two-for-zero in front of their top Inhibitor. They also managed to secure an Elder Dragon. But TSM was able to kill the Baron at 38 minutes and proved to be unstoppable. They pushed top and engaged one last fight. TSM clean Ace'd C9 in their base and took their third Nexus of the day, completing the reverse sweep.

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Featured image via LoL Esports Flickr.

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Brandon Sturak
Brandon is a writer and editor for ESTNN with a passion for esports. He writes about League of Legends and esports generally, providing analysis and commentary on both. He is a founding member of Niagara University Esports, while being the previous mid laner and Head Coach for the NU Esports LoL team as well. Twitter @GhandiLoL