LCS Win Conditions: TL v FLY Semifinal

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LCS Win Conditions: TL v FLY Semifinal

This weekend North America’s top four teams will battle for their chance at the LCS 2019 Spring Split Championship title. After Cloud9 and Team SoloMid duke it out, Team Liquid (“TL”) and FlyQuest (“FLY”) will do so on Sunday. This series is expected to be rather one-sided, as TL finished far-and-above any other team in the regular season. There are doubts though, as TL dropped some games in the end of the season. One of these losses was at the hands of FLY.

TL has to show up this weekend to prove that they deserve to be the number one team in North America. They have a star studded roster and high expectations to live up to. Meanwhile, FLY has the chance to make a huge upset win and show the rest of the region they are a serious competitor for the title. The teams have distinct strengths and weaknesses, as well as specific win conditions that any fan of the LCS should be aware of being champion select starts on Sunday.

Team Liquid's Win Conditions

TL roster spring 2019

 

TL clearly demonstrates that they have a mastery of playing standard team compositions. They know how to play around Doublelift and execute well in late game team fights; its their biggest strength. The main thing they need to focus around is this strategy that has worked wonders for them since last year. They'll be more heavily favored if they don't draft any weird or hard-to-execute compositions.

Recently TL tried putting Impact on carry oriented champions like Jayce, Kennen and the infamous Yorick. Its fine to try these things out in the regular season when first place is already locked, but unless its a stomp, they should refrain from those types of picks in playoffs. Impact is a front-line team fighter and shouldn't be put in awkward positions.

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Their biggest priority during the game will be tracking Santorin. He's had quite the incredible season and many contribute FLY's success to his play. He has the ability to impact the map significantly and gain early leads for his lanes and himself. TL isn't a bad early game team, but if they are in a gold deficit it can make their team fight win condition harder to reach.

After that TL need to enable their two main carries, Doublelift and Jensen. Jensen doesn't need as many resources as Doublelift, but some well timed ganks and roams from CoreJJ could create a significant advantage for the veteran mid laner. He is consistent and should outlcass Pobelter. Meanwhile Doublelift will probably be on a late game carry. If his team can set him up to get his big item spikes earlier they can easily group up and snowball their lead from Baron to the Nexus.

FlyQuest's Win Conditions

FLY roster spring 2019

 

FLY are the underdogs but certainly have a shot at winning. They did so in the end of the regular season, and if they pull it together, they can again. Their win condition is narrower and harder to execute than TL's, but has the potential to ruin their opponents. They'll have to play fast and very clean to take down North America's finest.

In terms of draft they should be choosing red side when they can. This allows for V1per to secure a counter pick at the end of the draft and a distinct advantage. If they can manipulate the bans and use flex picks to pressure Impact into a carry-versus-carry matchup, V1per can seriously punish it. Carry oriented champions are V1per's specialty and with Impact's recent lackluster performances, it could be his time to shine.

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In game Santorin and V1per will be the deciding factors. A lead in the top lane could result in a split push win condition, something that can disrupt a standard composition very efficiently. Santorin's excellent performances this split will likely continue in this series, but he'll have his work cut out for him against Xmithie, who has been a strong jungler in the LCS for a long time.

Their bottom lane also needs attention. They have two options here: play an aggressive duo lane or a safe lane that won't need as many resources. Both have their merits and WildTurtle has shown he can do both with successful games on the likes of Lucian and Ezreal. No matter what they go with, vision around the bottom side of the map will be crucial for FLY to keep Doublelift and CoreJJ down.

Prediction

As much as everyone loves an underdog story, TL are the clear favorites in this match. They're the top team in the region for a reason and though they lost to FLY before, its a long stretch to say they will again. Many of TL's recent losses are attributed to them trying new styles and strategies. In the ever important playoff games, they probably won't try any risky strategies. FLY can take a game off of TL, but in the end TL will be the victors of the series 3-1.


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Featured image 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