LCS Summer 2019: Clutch vs Liquid Semifinal Recap

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LCS Summer 2019: Clutch vs Liquid Semifinal Recap

Game One

League of Legends Championship Series LCS Summer 2019 Semifinal Team Liquid TL Clutch Gaming CG game 1 Damonte

This was expected to be a lopsided series, and Team Liquid (“TL”) showed why with a dominant victory in Game One over Clutch Gaming (“CG”). It all began at three minutes, where CG fought a 3v3 in the top lane. TL turned it around to get Jensen a Double Kill, with First Blood included, while losing none of their own. Jensen used this lead to kill Lira in his jungle, dive Huni and help his team win a fight in the top lane. Wherever he went, CG bodies dropped.

But CG never gave up. They kept trying to fight TL, and to their credit, did manage to keep the skirmishes close. TL didn't give them the opportunity to claw their way back in though, as they dove and killed CG's bottom duo and pushed down their towers. At 27 minutes, TL finally found the fight they wanted in CG's jungle. Here, they killed four from CG and secured the Baron. At this point, CG couldn't withstand the pressure. TL knocked down multiple towers then engaged on CG in their base. Now, TL Ace'd their opponents and swiftly destroyed their first Nexus of the series.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 31:24
  • Kills: 26-10
  • Turrets: 10-0
  • Gold: 66.8k-48.4k
  • Dragons: 4-0
  • Barons: 1-0

Game Two

League of Legends Championship Series LCS Summer 2019 Semifinal Team Liquid TL Clutch Gaming CG game 2 Xmithie

In the second game, CG demonstrated that they made it to Semifinals for a reason and beat down TL. This game was much better than the first for them, as they won a pivotal early skirmish in the mid lane three-for-one and pushed this advantage. Another team fight broke out at 11 minutes around the Herald, where CG killed two more TL champions. During this early game, Jensen's Akali did get a few kills and was quite strong, but the rest of TL was behind and susceptible to CG's aggression.

This iconic CG aggression was their key to victory. The engages never stopped and it netted them increasingly more kills. A drawn-out, 19-minute team fight racked up five more bodies for CG's kill count and gave them the momentum for Baron. At 27 minutes, the teams finally met at Baron and started another fight. At this point, CG picked up two more kills and the Baron buff. Afterward, they demolished a handful of towers. All of a sudden, Damonte solo killed Impact in the mid lane, and CG was emboldened. They dove the bottom lane Inhibitor Tower and slew four TL members. It was their turn to push now and take their first Nexus of the series.

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QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 30:54
  • Kills: 13-25
  • Turrets: 2-10
  • Gold: 52.0k-61.2k
  • Dragons: 0-3
  • Barons: 0-1

Game Three

League of Legends Championship Series LCS Summer 2019 Semifinal Team Liquid TL Clutch Gaming CG game 3 Cody Sun

This third game was slower than the previous two, but TL's pressure-oriented game plan secured them a second win. The Caitlyn-Lux bottom lane dominated the bottom lane, not getting kills but pushing Cody Sun and Vulcan under their tower constantly and taking tower plates. First Blood came out in the top lane, where Xmithie ganked and killed Huni. CG got a pick on Xmithie a while after, which let them take the Herald and the First Tower bonus top with that.

TL grabbed ahold of a significant advantage at 16 minutes. At this point, TL killed two-for-zero, a middle tower and second Cloud Dragon. In the proceeding minutes, TL found a few picks onto CG members and used this to take even more towers. Next, TL went to Baron, and though they secured it, lost three members for it. It didn't matter much though, as TL used the pressure they naturally had to push down further structures. When the bottom Inhibitor Tower in CG's base fell, CG kicked off the final desperation fight. But TL was ready and completely punished them. After killing four members, TL was free to take their Nexus and bring the series to match point.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 28:29
  • Kills: 12-4
  • Turrets: 9-2
  • Gold: 52.6k-42.1k
  • Dragons: 3-0
  • Barons: 1-0

Game Four

League of Legends Championship Series LCS Summer 2019 Semifinal Team Liquid TL Clutch Gaming CG game 4 CoreJJ

CG made heads turn in Game Four by defeating TL for a second time. They continued the trend of a team snowballing to a win with an early lead. Jensen solo killed Damonte for First Blood, but crucially Damonte's tower backed him up to kill Jensen. Lira got Huni's signature Rumble ahead by ganking and killing Impact at six minutes, then went mid and helped his team win a team fight one-for-zero. CG controlled the neutral objectives too, claiming the Rift Herald, Cloud Dragons and the First Tower bonus top.

Lira's Skarner was a menace in the mid-game. It was instrumental in finding picks and more kills for CG. TL looked as though they were about to come back though, as they were victorious in a 25-minute team fight. But the hope they got here was soon crushed as CG forced a team fight in the middle lane and killed three from TL. Afterward, they secured the Baron. TL made a strange Teleport play with two members out of their base, so with the buff, CG easily demolished two Inhibitors. They couldn't quite finish off the third, but it wasn't necessary for them. All they needed was the last, 36-minute team fight to drop three TL members and push the Nexus to bring the series to Silver Scrapes.

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QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 36:57
  • Kills: 15-6
  • Turrets: 10-2
  • Gold: 69.8k-60.9k
  • Dragons: 3-1
  • Barons: 1-0

Game Five

League of Legends Championship Series LCS Summer 2019 Semifinal Team Liquid TL Clutch Gaming CG game 5 Vulcan

TL showed why they're the best in NA with a devastating win with their ol' reliable Sona-Taric. This game was another of the low action one, but tense the entire time. Lira got First Blood for himself with a gank mid at eight minutes, but TL struck back by pressuring CG away from the Rift Herald, taking the objective and a kill. At this point, TL constantly grouped together. They were stronger than CG now, and they never hesitated to push it.

The mid-game featured a handful of lower-impact team fights, but TL always ended them with a kill or two. To their credit, CG found two picks after the 20-minute mark on Impact and Jensen to keep themselves afloat. But this didn't last long. TL won a team fight one-for-zero at 28 minutes, which allowed them to turn to the Baron and secure it. This Baron was devastating for CG, as TL knocked down quite a few towers. After finding a pick onto Vulcan, TL sieged the Nexus Towers. This siege lasted for a long time, but eventually TL hard engaged and killed three. This opening was enough for TL to smash the final Nexus Tower and the Nexus itself. They're now set to face off against Cloud9 in the Finals.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 34:34
  • Kills: 10-4
  • Turrets: 10-3
  • Gold: 68.1k-55.0k
  • Dragons: 3-2
  • Barons: 1-0

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Images via LoL Esports.

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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