Team Liquid and TSM met in the first Monday League Night of the season. The clash between these two powerhouses was the main event of the day and attracted thousands of viewers. Team Liquid, despite playing with a substitute in the jungle, bested a TSM squad that is still trying to find its footing.
TSM, fresh off a loss to Immortals, showed a proactive and aggressive early game. Jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett secured first blood with an early gank in the bottom lane. Dardoch stuck around and, minutes later, secured another kill on the same side of the map. During that time, Shern “Shernfire” Cherng tried to make something happen in the top lane but failed twice.
The bottom lane priority allowed Dardoch to secure the first dragon of the game. TSM continued to control the dragons and killed two more, but Team Liquid turned things around by stealing the fourth dragon of the game.
Team Liquid stopped the bleeding and managed to close the gold difference solely through farming. TSM grouped to secure objectives around the map and Team Liquid did the same while investing fewer players. The goal was to funnel as much gold as possible into Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng to guarantee a strong late game.
Through the mid game, Team Liquid was in a good position, but the team was overly cautious. It was obvious that Shernfire couldn’t find the plays to enable his laners, so Team Liquid decided to take it slow. Liquid preferred to play smart than to brute force a victory.
Slowly but surely, Team Liquid claimed inches of the map and pushed TSM further into their own base. By securing map control, Team Liquid also secured four infernal dragons and the dragon soul.
With little room to work with on the map, TSM found itself in trouble. Every time TSM attempted to do something, Team Liquid was their to stifle any momentum.
TSM, once again, was outlasted by an opponent that played a slow, disciplined game. As the game progressed, TSM lost its fire and let Team Liquid roll over them and take the victory.
TSM is closing the week with two defeats while Team Liquid heads into week two with a 1-1 record.