Melany M. September 2, 2018
Team Liquid have taken down 100 Thieves to qualify for the NA LCS summer finals.
The match had big implications for both organizations, as the winner would qualify for both the summer split final and the World Championship.
The match began with a surprise, as Cody “Cody Sun” Sun was replaced by academy player Richard “Rikara” Samuel Oh as 100 Thieves’ starting AD carry.
Game one was defined by jungler Andy “AnDa” Hoang and his aggressive moves around the map. Alongside Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, AnDa managed to neutralize Jake “Xmithie” Puchero and the bottom lane duo of Team Liquid.
Two baron buffs and one stolen elder drake later, and 100 Thieves had taken game one.
Team Liquid got off to a much better start in game two, applying pressure across all three lanes. The game was slower than the first, and Liquid’s composition was better suited for the slower pace.
Team Liquid punished every mistake by 100 Thieves’ Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black, the team used the support player’s poor performance to its advantage. The final play started with Eugene “Pobelter” Park killing Aphromoo, and it was followed by an ace and a victory for Team Liquid.
In game four, Team Liquid had the better rotations and Xmithie was more assertive in the jungle. 100 Thieves tried to contest neutral objectives but Team Liquid seemed to always be one step ahead.
After securing a baron buff, Liquid pushed for the win. 100 Thieves decided to be proactive and to force a fight against their sieging opponents, but it was to no avail.
Ssumday’s outstanding performance in game four wasn’t enough to turn the tide of the series. Xmithie showed why many analysts consider him to be the best jungler in North America, forcing AnDa to play from behind. Once again, Team Liquid had a better draft with a superior scaling composition that was able to build on early advantages won across the map.
At 28 minutes, Team Liquid scored an ace to secure a place in the NA LCS summer split final.
The NA LCS returns on September 8 with a match for third place between TSM and 100 Thieves. The grand final will take place on September 9 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, where Team Liquid will look to defend their title against Cloud9.