LCS: Team Liquid v Team SoloMid Finals Recap

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LCS: Team Liquid v Team SoloMid Finals Recap

Game One

TL v TSM finals game 1
Team compositions for game one with TSM Bjergsen center. Photo via LoL Esports.


Team SoloMid (“TSM”) won the first game of the Spring Split Finals against Team Liquid (“TL”). It was incredibly close for much of the game, but Broken Blade on Vladimir was the difference maker in the late game. This was even with Impact's Kennen getting First Blood in a top side skirmish. TL amassed some early advantages by securing a Cloud Dragon and Impact trading a kill in a tower dive. But these didn't matter as TSM outperformed in team fights. They first won a fight around the Rift Herald four-for-three, on the back of Bjergsen, then won another one three-for-two at 23 minutes.

TSM appeared to be in firm control, but TL struck back. At 27 minutes they caught out Smoothie and Zven, prompting them to turn to Baron. TSM managed to push them off the buff and reset the map. Soon after, TSM picked off Impact in the bottom lane but TL hard engaged on Bjergsen in the middle lane and killed him. They pushed straight to the Inhibitor, but as they tried to retreat, TSM engaged. Akaadian and Broken Blade obliterated TL, killing three members and the Baron right after.

TSM knocked down a couple of towers with the Baron buff but TL minimized their losses well. After the buff expired both teams reset and met around the middle lane. At 36 minutes Doublelift and CoreJJ were killed, which led TSM to take their second Baron and the Elder Dragon. The TSM siege was brutal and merciless. TL desperately attempted to engage one last team fight as TSM knocked on all three of their Inhibitors but it was to no success. TSM slaughtered TL in their base and finished the Nexus at 40 minutes.

Game Two

TL v TSM finals game 2
Team compositions for game two with TL CoreJJ center. Photo via LoL Esports.


TSM brought TL to an early match point with another win in game two. They drafted the Sona-Taric bottom lane and drafted Lux as a counter pick against Zoe. The match was slow in the beginning, with First Blood coming out at 12 minutes. Here, Akaadian killed Doublelift but lost his life to CoreJJ. A few minutes later, TL took a temporarily lead by winning a team fight three-for-zero. Soon after, Broken Blade solo killed Impact under his tower, but then Jensen solo killed him. TL furthered their lead by taking the First Tower bonus in the bottom lane too.

But at 19 minutes TSM's composition came online. They met TL at the Rift Herald and engaged a team fight. They obliterated TL, killing four members and taking a mid lane tower too. TL made moves to stay in the game and they looked like they could regain control. They caught out Broken Blade in the side lane and Bjergsen near the middle lane, but neither led to any major objectives. Overall the game was still quite even but TL was unable to push their leads when they had man advantages.

This was evident when a team fight in the middle lane went one-for-one. Everything looked even until 33 minutes. At this point another team fight erupted in the middle lane. TSM rolled over TL, with Broken Blade diving and Bjergsen hitting every skill shot. They killed three members with no losses of their own and ran it down bottom. They destroyed tower after tower, taking the Inhibitor and pushing further. TSM pushed TL into their Fountain and destroyed their second Nexus at 34 minutes.

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Game Three

TL v TSM finals game 3
Team compositions for game three with TSM Smoothie center. Photo via LoL Esports.


TL proved they wouldn't go down without a fight with a win in game three. Their team fighting was excellent and TSM had no way to fight them as five. TSM had a lead early though, starting with Akaadian killing CoreJJ for First Blood. TSM killed CoreJJ again a minute later when TL took an Ocean Dragon. TL started pulling the game back though by winning a long skirmish three-for-two in the bottom lane. TSM dove and killed Impact at 12 minutes, then killed CoreJJ bot. Crucially, TL used the Herald top and secured the First Tower bonus for Impact.

With these trades the match stayed quite even. A team fight went two-for-two at 19 minutes, but TSM picked off Impact to come out ahead. About seven minutes later TL killed Broken Blade and Smoothie. They sweetened the deal by killing a Mountain Dragon too. Shortly after, Akaadian tried to assassinate Impact but only gave TL a free kill. TL pushed their lead by taking some objectives.

But at 33 minutes TSM surged, diving the mid lane tower and getting two kills. A minute later TSM used their map advantage to try and rush the Baron. They got it low but TL contested, killed Akaadian and secured the Baron buff for themselves, which they used to knock down three towers. At 37 minutes TL started up the Elder while their duo lane pushed mid. They took the middle Inhibitor, found a kill onto Smoothie and slayed the Elder Dragon. They pushed bottom, and Broken Blade Teleported behind to try to engage a comeback fight. He was killed immediately and TL Ace'd TSM. TSM could only watch with grey screens as TL destroyed their Nexus at 39 minutes.

Game Four

TL v TSM finals game 4
Team compositions for game four with TL Jensen center. Photo via LoL Esports.


TL won their second game in a row, bringing the series to a game five. They did so by dominating the early game and snowballing their lead straight to the victory screen. It all started in the middle lane, where Jensen survived a gank and killed Akaadian and Bjergsen with the help of Xmithie. After this the team went bottom to kill one TSM member, getting Doublelift ahead. They accelerated the game even more when Xmithie ganked top, getting a kill for Impact and Doublelift killing Zven again in the two-versus-two.

TL went bottom once again at 14 minutes, killing Zven, getting the First Tower bonus and killing Smoothie afterwards. This led to them slaying a Cloud Dragon too. TSM tried to take some towers to close the gold lead a bit, but TL kept up the pressure by destroying towers of their own. At 19 minutes TSM looked like they might have a chance, as they went two-for-two in a team fight, but that hope faded quickly. Two minutes later TL picked off Akaadian and then secured the Baron buff.

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Broken Blade was killed in the top lane by himself before TL started their siege. When they started their siege they easily destroyed a couple of towers. At 24 minutes Bjergsen flanked behind TL and tried to engage one last team fight. It was utterly unsuccessful and TL was unstoppable. They killed him and three others without losing any of their own, and at this point they nothing to stop them. TL blasted through the rest of TSM's base and smashed their Nexus just before 25 minutes.

Game Five

TL v TSM finals game 5
Team compositions for game five with TSM Zven center. Photo via LoL Esports.


TL weathered the storm of TSM and won their third consecutive LCS title with a game five victory. TSM had a dominant early game that mostly came from top lane pressure. Broken Blade solo killed Impact for First Blood, snowballing himself and nullifying Impact for a long time. He secured the First Tower bonus at 13 minutes too. They found picks all around the map and used their advantages to secure objectives, including towers and an Infernal Dragon.

In the mid game they continued to snowball their lead. They killed Jensen at 27 minutes and destroyed a couple more towers. Moving into the late game they still were ahead and it showed, as TSM Ace'd TL at the Dragon pit and slayed their second Infernal. TSM was poised to win, but Zven made out fatal mistake. He was caught out near the Baron pit at 34 minutes, leading to the death of Smoothie and a TL Baron take. This gave TL the advantage at the Elder Dragon fight, and though the fight was long and close, TL eventually emerged victorious with three kills.

These two buffs didn't accomplish much in terms of objectives, but it got TL back into the game and into the driver's seat. At 41 minutes they started up their second Baron, and when TSM tried to contest them, they were routed. TL killed three TSM champions and secured the Baron buff. With this, TL set up pressure on all three lanes and destroyed all three Inhibitors. TSM attempted to engaged one last team fight at 44 minutes to save their base and their title hopes. But TL was too far into the late game and outscaled TSM, so they slaughtered four from TSM while losing none of their own. Among a roaring crowd, TL blasted their third Nexus at 45 minutes to complete the reverse sweep and take the series victory.

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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