Melany M. March 25, 2019
Team SoloMid closed the regular season with a crushing victory over Team Liquid.
TSM made a clear statement during its final match of the season that the squad is back and ready to conquer North America.
This game had no playoff implications since both teams had already secured their overall standings in week eight. But this action-packed match was still the highlight of the weekend in the LCS.
TSM exposed Team Liquid’s weaknesses heading into playoffs and the defending champions are not looking nearly as invulnerable as they once were.
Both squads went for comfort picks like Zilean for Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Orianna for Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen.
In the top lane, Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik on Akali was able to neutralize Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong on Vladimir. TSM Jungler Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham and Broken Blade punished Impact early. That early pressure in the top lane allowed Akaadian to move to the bottom lane and help the duo there.
Team Liquid’s strategy often revolves around Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and his ability to carry the team later on. TSM’s pressure in the top lane forced jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero to spend more time helping Impact. This lack of attention from Xmitie combined with Akkadian’s constant ganks to put Doublelift behind, and Team Liquid lost its primary win condition.
Soon, the rest of the squad had to make up for Impact’s failure to keep up with his opponent with an early lane swap. Through the remainder of the match,Liquid showed small signs of life in the team fights, but it wasn’t enough to get fully back in the running. TSM secured two consecutive baron buffs uncontested and pushed for the win at 32 minutes.
TSM is playing in the quarterfinals against Echo Fox and is considered the favorite to reach the semifinals.
Team Liquid is moving directly to the semifinals and has earned the right to pick its next opponent, which will likely be the winner between FlyQuest and Golden Guardians.