2022 LCS Championship Lower Bracket Round 1: TSM AND CLG Advance
This past weekend, the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Championship's lower bracket began. Having been handed losses in Round 1 of the upper bracket, FlyQuest and Counter Logic Gaming were in for a challenging task ahead as they had to face off against two of the bottom eight teams that qualified into the post-season, Team SoloMid and Golden Guardians.
This first round of the lower bracket had no shortage of stunning best-of-series as both went the full distance. Team SoloMid toughed it out against FlyQuest, while Counter Logic Gaming survived a flat-out surprise at the hands of the Golden Guardians.
With that in mind, here's how the first round of the lower bracket in the 2022 LCS Championship unfolded.
Team SoloMid tough it out against FlyQuest, move on
One could say that out of all of the eight teams that qualified for the 2022 LCS Championship, seeing their season up to this point, Team SoloMid has no businesses participating. From a less than ideal start to the year to an LCS 2022 Summer Split that certainly did them no favours finishing with a lacklustre 6-12 record, there haven't been many positives that this once LCS giant could look at.
Include the fact that the team had numerous roster moves that had involved top laners Cheng "S0ul" Luo stepping in only to be replaced and Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon retiring, and the jumbling of AD Carries in Edward "Tactical" Ra, Choi "Mia" Sang-in, there was a lot of work to be done.
Apart from the upper echelon teams such as 100 Thieves, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses, this Team SoloMid team could have not possibly faced a worst opponent in FlyQuest to start out its lower bracket run. However, they made it work.
Right from the get-go in the series, both teams were scrappy as can be. It was the perfect punch-for-punch situation, one that ended up giving the win to whoever punched the hardest. However, Team SoloMid, thanks to overall key moments and performances from its members, was able to tough it out in 3-2 fashion.
This win allowed them to move on to the 2022 LCS Championship's lower bracket round two where they will face the reigning LCS champions Evil Geniuses right off a surprise 3-1 loss against Cloud9.
Counter Logic Gaming Survive A Golden Guardians Surprise
Counter Logic Gaming was looking to avenge their narrow five-game series loss to Cloud9 in the upper bracket, and what better way to do that than against an underperforming Golden Guardians?
By every stretch of the imagination, Golden Guardians defeating Counter Logic Gaming was certainly a tough task. For starters, having narrowly squeaked by into the 2022 LCS Championship, Golden Guardians were immediate underdogs for whoever they faced off against in the lower bracket and apart from the higher-tiered teams, they could have not faced a harder opponent in Counter Logic Gaming.
Right from the get-go, the Guardians were put as the losing team in the series by many of the league's analysts, with the predictions not giving them a single game win. However, against all odds, they were able to stretch the series to the distance.
To start the series, it was the Counter Logic Gaming we've seen thus far in the summer. With a strong early and mid-game, the team completely dominated from start to finish, controlling nearly every objective on the map. However, come closing time, Counter Logic Gaming made things a little too close for comfort, turning what was a sure-fire quick win into a longer, more drawn out, victory.
From then on, Counter Logic Gaming and Golden Guardians traded blows, with the latter of the two teams showcasing that they were not a team to be underestimated. Come game five, though, Counter Logic Gaming made sure that this series was theirs as they took what was a strong Golden Guardians lead and converted it into a lead of their own thanks to a crucial fight at the 21-minute mark.
This win allowed them to move on in the 2022 LCS Championship's lower bracket round two where they will face North America's super team, Team Liquid who comes right off a close 3-2 loss to 100 Thieves.