The LCS upper bracket semifinal saw the star-studded Team Liquid roster take on summer champions 100 Thieves. On the way here, Team Liquid defeated Evil Geniuses in a five-game showdown, while 100 Thieves swept Cloud9. Would 100T go on through the upper bracket to defend their title, or would the first seed from the regular split TL be the first team to secure a finals spot?
Team Liquid Тake the Lead
Despite their five-match slugfest with EG, Team Liquid’s first seed status and powerhouse roster made them the favorites for this match and in the first game, they showed why this status is well-deserved. They secured several kills in the first 10 minutes of the game and just 15 minutes in had an over 6K gold lead. 100T found no way to push back and an early Baron - on top of a 3-0 fight - led to the game snowballing out of control as TL took the win.
Things looked a bit closer early on in the second game, as despite TL’s early kill lead the gold stayed close. However, Liquid were once more stronger in the mid-game. An overxtension by Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg led to 100T getting a 4-1 fight and the first Baron, but TL soon reasserted control, eventually securing the Ocean soul. A teamfight 30 minutes turned into a slaughter where Steven "Hans sama" Liv’s Zeri took four kills and soon, TL were at match point.
100 Thieves Strike Back
The Thieves had no more room for error, but several great plays and risky TL drafts helped them turn the series around. Liquid looked ok early on in the third game, but their lack of reliable engage turned out to be a serious problem, especially as Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho’s Ornn took off. Hans Sama’s Zeri was not able to escape the Jarvan and Orianna combo and after an early Baron and several kills, 100T were unstoppable on the map.
Despite first blood in the top lane, Team Liquid’s draft problems continued to plague them in the fourth game. This time, however, they also had to worry about a fed Leblanc and three early drakes for 100T. TL found a key fight 21 minutes in that led them to secure a Baron and a drake, but it was not enough. Eventually, the Thieves secured a cloud soul and a Baron of their own before winning the game to tie the series.
Silver Scrapes Showdown
This series had us clamoring for an exciting game 5 and we got it. Team Liquid had the gold lead in the early game, but 100T took the first two dragons - and secured the third one 22 minutes in after Bjergsen overextended. The game nearly ended seven minutes later when TL pushed their opponents off the Baron only to facecheck and get separated. However, the Thieves were unable to take the Nexus, getting routed after taking the Nexus towers. It looked like 5v5s were going Liquid's way, but Abbedagge’s Twisted Fate could always threaten their base - and 33 minutes in, he did just that, ulting in the TL base while the rest of his team played interference to end the game.
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The LCS continues on Sunday night with the lower-bracket clash between Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses. Will Cloud9 continue on to face their big rivals once more, or would EG get a rematch against the team that sent them to the losers bracket? Follow the LCS playoffs to find out - and in the meantime, check our coverage for more LoL news and analysis!