Golden Guardians sweep TSM 3–0 in LCS Playoffs first round

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In a historical upset, Golden Guardians swept Team SoloMid 3–0 in the first round of Summer 2020 LCS Playoffs.

With this loss against Golden Guardians, TSM will be relegated to the lower playoffs bracket and will have one more chance to keep their championship hopes alive. On Sunday, they’ll play against Dignitas to see if they progress to the next round. Golden Guardians will move forward, facing the winners of the series between Evil Geniuses and FlyQuest.

Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng joined TSM at the beginning of the 2020 Summer Split. Fans were initially excited about the reunion of Doublelift and Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg. But just like the past few years, TSM seems to be staggering. Doublelift himself has been on the receiving end of much criticism.

Well-known personalities like Nick “LS” De Cesare noticed Doublelift made basic critical errors like failing to spend his gold. This series led to Doublelift’s first domestic best of five loss since Spring Split 2016. Should TSM lose against Dignitas on Sunday, they’ll miss their third consecutive Worlds in a row.

On the other hand, Golden Guardians now have reason to celebrate. This win cemented their first playoffs victory in the franchise’s history. Specifically, against TSM, the organization had a 1–11 record since their start in 2018. But in this series alone, Golden Guardians more than tripled their record against one of the LCS’s oldest teams.

Many attribute Golden Guardians’ success to Ian Victor “FBI” Huang. He started in Oceania but came to the LCS in 2019 after spending just one Split in Academy. He then started to gain a reputation as a highly capable ADC in only his first full year of competing in North America. His results are a stark difference to the previous Golden Guardians ADC, Matthew “Deftly” Chen. In their match against TSM, FBI even went on to win Player Of The Series.

But what many fans are surprised about is the success of Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun in the support position. Huhi is a historical player but has only ever won a single LCS championship, back in 2016. For most of his career, he competed in mid-lane. His performance was often overshadowed by players like Bjergsen whose reputation and skill dominated the spotlight. During his career as a mid-laner, he was always known more as a playmaker than a pillar of his team. In Summer 2019, he role swapped to support. It was not immediately successful, but that transition came gradually and Huhi has solidified his position as a competent player in his role.

At the start, Golden Guardians were an unsuccessful team. In both Spring and Summer of 2018 they finished in last place, but now, the team is slowly climbing to the top. Last Split, FlyQuest finished higher than Golden Guardians but were eliminated in the first round of Playoffs. Just like with TSM, TCS team Golden Guardians will once again have a chance to upset and shoot for the trophy.

Written by Devon Huge

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