In a thrilling best-of-five series, Team SoloMid performed the reverse sweep against Golden Guardians and secured the 3–2 win. The victory has set up what may be the most highly anticipated series all year: TSM versus Cloud9 for the final spot at Worlds.
Cloud9 Versus TSM
TSM Claw Their Way Forward
The win against Golden Guardians was hard-fought. GGS held the first two wins, and considering the level of TSM’s play in the first couple of rounds, it looked to be a clean 3–0 sweep once again. But Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg refused to lose. His plays surged and seemed to inspire his teammates, which led to victory and the eventual three wins. His excellent performance granted him Player Of The Series.
However, the victory did not come without struggle. TSM started their playoff run in the middle of the bracket with their first match being against Golden Guardians. Analysts predicted a close series but an overall TSM victory.
To the fans’ surprise, Golden Guardians decimated TSM 3–0 and relegated them to the loser’s bracket. TSM’s confidence was at an all-time low. This team eventually claimed the 3–0 victory against Dignitas, the 8th seed, but the play was once again far from convincing. Although TSM has earned the chance to claim their first Worlds spot in three years, it still has many areas where it can improve.
Cloud9 Seek To Reclaim Their Throne
Cloud9’s win against Evil Geniuses has alluded to some of its former glory, but it is still unclear how they will perform on the day. They have yet to show the same dominance they displayed during the Spring Split. Fortunately for Cloud9, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen has continued to perform at a consistently high level despite his own team’s struggles. His high-level plays earned him Player of The Series.
Cloud9 started the playoffs as the second seed, but their competence was called into question after losing 1–3 to FlyQuest. Fans were shocked at this sudden drop in skill since C9 had the most dominant Split in LCS history last Spring. Robert “Blaber” Huang was heralded as the best jungler in North America. The rest of C9 were given similar informal accolades. But in the latter half of Summer, the team finished 4–5. Cloud9 will be looking to defeat TSM and fill the shoes they left behind in Spring.
Team Liquid’s Shoot For Redemption
Team Liquid easily defeated Golden Guardians to secure its spot at Worlds in a clear 3–0 series. Its Semifinals match against FlyQuest is predicted to be a similar result. But this reliability was unexpected at the start of the Summer Split. TL had just come off its worst performance in years, placing in 9th. Its star ADC, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, was eventually sent to TSM in favor of an Academy player, Edward “Tactical” Ra. It was unsure how this team would perform without the player that seemed to be a pillar in the team’s infrastructure, but now TL is looking to claim its fifth championship in three years.
The Golden Guardians, Honorable Mention
Since entering the league, the Golden Guardians have had a shaky position in the LCS. In Season 8, they finished last place in both Spring and Summer Split. It wasn’t until this year that gears started to turn. The addition of Can “Closer” Çelik has transformed its play, earning him a spot on the 3rd LCS All-Pro roster. But it was during Playoffs that their bottom lane started to take the spotlight.
Victor “FBI” Huang and Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun have been dominating in their roles. This is FBI’s first year in the LCS and Huhi had just role-swapped to support from the middle lane the previous year. After their losing series against TSM, Doublelift, the former best ADC in North America, praised FBI and Huhi during the post-game interview. He called them the best bottom lane in NA.
This is shaping to be one of the most expected matches of the year. Which of TSM or Cloud9 will take the remaining spot to participate in the League of Legends World Championship will depend on one series.
Written by Devon Huge