Team Liquid Finish At The Top Of The Table After LCS Week 9
Only two matches remained in the League Championship Series (LCS) 9th and final week as teams were fighting for playoff byes, seedings, and spots.
The final week of the LCS had Team Liquid secure their winningest split in the organisation’s history, Cloud9 secure a playoff bye after a freefall in the backend of the split, Team SoloMid get knocked down to fourth in the standings after a FlyQuest win over Immortals, and it had Dignitas sneak into the final playoff spot.
Day 1 — Friday Night League
To start the weekend, both of the teams that were tied in second place, Cloud9 and Team Solomid, were looking to keep control of their destiny.
Dignitas vs Cloud9
Going into this match, Cloud9 were looking to get back into their form of old while Dignitas were still looking to try their hand at a last-ditched attempt at playoffs. This match would be the first to bring Lilia into the LCS as Dignitas’ Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett would bring it to pro play.
Even though Dignitas would gain first blood off of a clever Dardoch gank onto Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, Cloud9 would stay true to their old form. Cloud9 used their experience to claw themselves into a win after a back-and-forth game. The reigning Spring Split champions had an answer for whatever Dignitas threw at them.
Golden Guardians vs Team Solomid
Both Golden Guardians and Team Solomid are looking very hot in the past couple of weeks, with both of them taking Cloud9 down in Week 8. Golden Guardians are on pace for the best record in the organisation’s career while Team Solomid are on an impressive run of their own.
Team Solomid began the game with a quick dive onto Golden Guardians’ Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell. They kept that same energy throughout the remainder of the match with another dive onto Golden Guardians’ bot lane. Golden Guardians didn’t go down without putting up a good fight, but ultimately Team Solomid closed out the game having had control from start to finish.
100 Thieves vs Dignitas
100 Thieves secured playoffs after Dignitas lost to Cloud9 in Friday Night League. While Dignitas were still fighting for their playoff lives — a win here and losses for Counter Logic Gaming force a tiebreaker for the last playoff spot.
Dignitas were able to steal this game after a slugfest in one of the lower quality matches of the week. The match began with a first blood for Dignitas as Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen, and Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black were able to take down 100 Thieves’ Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere in a 2v2. Dignitas would come out with a clear lead after this, but 100 Thieves would bring it right back. Omran “V1per” Shoura’s superb split pushing would eventually lead to a win as in the ending minutes of the game Dignitas were able to stall 100 Thieves’ recalls after they took Baron.
Golden Guardians vs Evil Geniuses
Greyson “Goldenglue” Glimmer got revenge on his old squad that cut him, helping Evil Geniuses win a close back-and-forth match in which both teams were trading objectives. Golden Guardians were doing very well macro wise. Still, they got too overeager allowing for Evil Geniuses to close the gap, eventually leading into a win for Evil Geniuses and a safer spot in the upper bracket going into playoffs. Golden Guardians were just short of their winningest split in their organisation’s history with this loss.
Immortals vs Team Liquid
A win for Team Liquid guarantees them not only a first-round bye but also first seed. A win for Immortals kept their playoff chances alive.
This would be one of Team Liquid’s least impressive wins of the season in quite some time as it was the #1 seed versus the #10 seed. Team Liquid showed that they could bring more than just control mid laners to the table with a Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen Akali pick in which he posted a 9/0/8 scoreline.
Counter Logic Gaming vs FlyQuest
Going into this week, Counter Logic Gaming were looking to make a last push towards playoffs with the benching of their mid laner Eugene “Pobelter” Park and jungler Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin. Moving Jean-Sébastien “Tuesday” Thery and Kristopher “Fragas” Myhal up from Academy.
Business as usual for FlyQuest as Flyquest kept their winning streak intact making quick work of an underperforming Counter Logic Gaming. A dominant performance by the Spring Split runners-up maintaining control from start to finish. FlyQuest has better laning and team fighting.
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Evil Geniuses vs 100 Thieves
100 Thieves played an impressive game that put all other teams in notice with an aggressive and decisive early game. Double teleporting in the bot lane in response to a Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen gank. This play would be a preview of what would come for the rest of the game.
Good dominant win for 100 Thieves to end their regular split. Aggressive, coordinated early game plays, finished off with some good old' fashioned split pushing my 100 Thieves' carry himself, Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Cloud9
Cloud9 showed glimpses of Cloud9 of old, with a swift win. Counter Logic Gaming continued to underperform, failing to get a successful gank twice onto Cloud9's top laner — Cloud9 punished CLG at every turn.
Team Liquid vs Team Solomid
Going into this match, Team Solomid is the hottest team in the LCS with the biggest win streak. This was their chance to prove how high they could punch up. A win here guarantees them a tiebreaker versus Cloud9 for the last playoff bye.
Both teams showed a slow, methodical game as they were neck and neck with their early game choices. Team Solomid's Dragon Soul would be delayed as Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen would steal both their first and second dragons. The game would culminate in one final dragon dance in which Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik and Jeong "Impact" Eon-yeong had a final scrum up in Team Solomid's in which ended with Team Liquid winning a 5v4 team fight. Team Liquid slashed Team Solomid's chances at a playoff bye.
Tiebreaker — Counter Logic Gaming vs Dignitas
Even with Counter Logic Gaming subbing in Pobelter, they would continue to underperform in the only tiebreaker of the week. Dignitas started off the game strong, getting a first blood onto Fragas before a minute even passed.
The combination of Dignitas’ Shen ultimates and aggressive, scrappy plays would prove too much for Counter Logic Gaming. They would put up a decent fight in the later stages of the match, but it would prove too little too late as Dignitas were too far ahead. Dignitas closed out the game with Elder and Baron buffs, punching their ticket to playoffs as the eigth seed.
What to expect from playoffs
As the final playoff spots filled up, teams like Team Solomid and FlyQuest are looking to prove that their second half of the split was no fluke. While teams like Dignitas and 100 Thieves in the lower bracket are awaiting to show what they can do after having impressive wins to end their regular split.
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