Team Liquid claimed the 2019 LCS Spring Split title this past weekend over Team SoloMid after outlasting their opponents in a five-game brawl that many have already begun referring to as the best LCS finals ever played.
Team Liquid entered the 2019 LCS Spring Split finals as the heavy favourites, and for good reason – they were the defending champions and they were the best team in the LCS during the regular season. However, Team SoloMid, who we profiled as the most dangerous LCS team, was looking to reclaim their former glory at the expense of the incumbeng champions.
Team SoloMid took the hard route to get here. They had to beat the likes of Echo Fox and Cloud9 just to secure this match against Team Liquid, the latter of which took them all five games to dispatch and beat. On the other hand, Team Liquid had an easier against FlyQuest and didn’t even concede a single game to them.
A former champion looking to get their pole position back, and the current kings, looking to defend their crown, the 2019 LCS Spring Split finals had just the right amount of spice and drama to make it worth watching, and it certainly did not disappoint.
2019 LCS Spring Split Finals Recap
The game started with Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong getting the first blood on Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham and it seemed that this would be a great start for Team Liquid, but the gameplay of BrokenBlade and Bjergsen made it impossible for TL to win this game. TL was trying to get the middle Inhibitor Turret, and that’s where Broken Blade made the play of the game. By using his ultimate and doing massive damage to everyone. That team fight proved to be vital for their comeback, and they managed to end the game at 40 minutes.
TSM started playing mind games since the draft of game 2. They turned their Bot lane into a Solo-Queue match, where the traditional ADC usually occupy the spot. This game was Sona and Taric Bot lane against TL’s Ashe and Zyra. Sona and Taric provide shields and heals for days. If you add Lux to that composition, you know that TL would have to invest a hefty amount of spells and sums to get a kill. Despite these disadvantages, TL had a lead as big as 4k gold, but in the last team fight of the game, they were caught one by one and lost the game at 34 minutes.
Team Liquid’s draft was atrocious the first two games, and they decided to switch their tactics, for this reason, they gave Tahm Kench to CoreJJ, and this decision proved to be the best from Team Liquid. CoreJJ saved his teammates more than five times in the most critical team fights. Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng was the main beneficiary of these saves. Whatever TSM did, they couldn’t get to TL’s backline quick enough to kill them. It’s also worth noting that Jake Kevin “Xmithie” Puchero picked Skarner he didn’t put a foot wrong the entire game. With this win, TL started seeing a small light at the end of the tunnel, and it seems that they could maybe still win this series.
Team Liquid wholly dominated the fourth game of this series. CoreJJ picked Tahm Kench yet again, and to make things even harder for TSM, Jensen decided to pick Zilean, providing even more protection for the other carries. TL routed TSM by scoring 15 kills and dying just three times. The game ended in 25 minutes. By this time it was clear that Team Liquid was finally starting to get back on their feet and that was mostly due to the drafting choices that they made. Providing extra protection for Doublelift especially proved to be vital, and because of this, they managed to win almost every team fight in the last two games. TSM’s Bot Lane just wasn’t up to the task, and they knew that only a stellar performance would give them the title.
TSM had finally learned the lesson that you can’t let CoreJJ have Tahm Kench, and they banned him, so this time it was Braum for him and Kai’Sa for Doublelift. Bjergsen was back on Zoe, while Jensen had LeBlanc, so we expected fireworks, and surely these two teams didn’t disappoint. By the 32 minute mark of the game, TSM had complete control of the game. They had a 6k gold lead, four drakes to Team Liquid’s zero, and it seems that they would get objectives, and end the game by forcing TL into bad team fights. However, Zven had other plans, making a terrible blunder by trying to poke Team Liquid with Ezreal’s Q, costing him his life in just a mere two seconds.
This mistake cost TSM the game since TL started the Baron immediately and when TSM tried to fight them, it was a four against five team fight that they couldn’t win. The 6k gold lead was gone, and things had evened out in a matter of minutes.
The next team fight at the Elder Dragon, it was evident that they were already tilted and that led to Andy “Smoothie” Ta dying first. When the fight was almost over, it was four against three for Team Liquid, and both sides wanted to reset. This would’ve been fine had Zven not made another terrible mistake, opting to fight against Vladimir and LeBlanc, costing Team SoloMid the Elder Dragon.
In the end, Team Liquid won Game 5 and clinched the title in 45 minutes with CoreJJ receiving the award for the MVP for the 2019 LCS Spring Split.
Team Liquid winning the 2019 LCS Spring Split was never any doubt. That it took them five games to dispatch Team SoloMid is concerning, to say the least. This isn’t to say that Team SoloMid did not put up a good fight. Rather, for a team as good as Team Liquid, they needed to have a better showing if they wanted fans to have faith in their playstyle and prowess heading into the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational.
The LCS plays at a different pace compared to the rest of the world. Games among North American teams are longer and less scrappy. Team Liquid, in particular, relied on their mechanical skill more often than not.
Up against international competition in Vietnam and Taiwan, Team Liquid will have to adjust their playstyle drastically if they want to make a deep run.
How well do you think Team Liquid will perform against the likes of SK Telecom T1 and G2 Esports at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational? Do you think they have what it takes to make a deep run? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.