TSM and Team Liquid battled on Summoner’s Rift in the MSS Lower Bracket Final.
The first night of the Mid-Season Showdown Finals Weekend saw Team Liquid and TSM go head-to-head. One will be sent home packing tonight, while the winner will book their ticket to tomorrow’s Grand Final, where they will face Cloud9. TL was without their star jungler in Santorin, who withdrew from today’s series due to ongoing health problems.
The game started out as slow as it could get, with both teams weathering the early stage nerves. With the lack of action, Alphari was able to pull out to a nice creep score lead for himself. By the ninth minute, the difference was almost at 20, which is expected given how poor Renekton is in ranged matchups.
With limited contention from both sides, Team Liquid was able to gain CS advantages in both the top lane and bottom lane. By the 14th minute, they were out to just over a 1k lead. However, TSM was able to smartly send their bottom lane over to the top lane to force Alphari out of the lane. At 17:55 Alphari, smartly dodged a kill attempt from the TSM bottom lane to turn it around for a double kill.
Game One gets crazy
At 22:36 is when the game got spicy. At this point, Team Liquid decided it was time to coin-flip their way to victory with a Baron sneak. But they paid the price with Spica getting a Baron steal, something he’s very well known for. This brought TSM back into the game with the gold lead for TL out the window. It also allowed TSM to completely push into Team Liquid’s bottom lane, exposing the inhibitor. At around the 26-minute mark, Jensen got picked off for poor pathing after a failed dragon siege from TL. CoreJJ also dies for his efforts.
While the gold was even, the game still felt TL favored as far as the team fighting goes, both Tactical and Alphari were strong and kept TSM firmly at bay. A huge fight erupted 31:38, TSM managed to get their second dragon of the game at the cost of giving over a triple kill to Tactical. The game-ending play came around 36 minutes in, TL secured the infernal soul, acing TSM and pushed for the win.
- Kills: 15-6
- Turrets: 5-9
- Gold: 67.4k – 63.5k
- Dragons: 4-2
- Barons: 0-1
TSM started off Game Two like a house on fire. At 4:36, TSM was able to catch out CoreJJ and Tactical to pick up two kills early for Lost’s Tristana. Then, at 7:18, SwordArt proved why TSM paid the massive money to acquire him. The world finalist pulled off a beautiful Flash-Body Slam combo onto Jensen and Armao to pick up another two kills for TSM.
By this time, TSM was almost hitting a 3k gold lead and it was not even ten minutes into the game. Lost became the richest player in the game after taking multiple solo turret plates as well as the tower. By 17 minutes, the game looks all but over as TSM kills off a defending CoreJJ at the bottom lane tier 1 tower, followed by a solid Gnar ultimate from Huni to pick up two more kills for TSM. This was not the case, however, with CoreJJ pulling off a nice Flash combo at 21 minutes that allowed TL to get three massive shutdowns from TSM. With this, the comeback was on.
After this, TSM slowed the tempo down, focusing on farming and taking away jungle camps to avoid getting picked off again. While they tried to slow down the game, TL sped it right back up at 27 minutes. At this point, CoreJJ and Armao coordinated a beautiful Rell-Nocturne combo in the TL jungle to kill Lost and Spica. This allowed TL to get the Baron, and just like that, the game was flipped on a dime in a matter of moments. Not long after, a massive fight erupted at the dragon, and though multiple kills went to either side, Armao was able to steal away the dragon to deny the Soul. At 33 minutes, TSM decided to flip the game as they went for the Baron. But it was their downfall. TL ended up Acing them here and closing out the game to lead the series 2-0.
- Time: 34:34
- Kills: 13-18
- Turrets: 6-8
- Gold: 60.8k – 64.7k
- Dragons: 3-1
- Barons: 0-1
This game felt the most even out of the three games thus far. Five minutes in, Spica did a good job of catching Jensen out, Flashing from the river to pick up First Blood. But Armao got the return kill and started the feeding of PowerOfEvil. At nine minutes, TL opted for a trade, picking up the Ocean Dragon while TSM got the first Rift Herald. At 14 minutes, TSM was able to catch out Huni and it led to their second dragon of the game.
By 15 minutes, PoE had started snowballing for TSM. He was able to pick off Jensen, and by this stage, PoE was able to match Tactical, who was also 3/0/0. At the 19 minute mark, TSM did well to match TL in the dragon game. PowerofEvil almost singlehandedly zoned TL off with the Orianna ball as TSM got their first dragon.
A few minutes later, TL made some adjustments and punished TSM who went for their second dragon. Ditching the dragon altogether, they pushed up the mid-lane to take two towers, exposing TSM’s mid Inhibitor. 28 minutes in, TSM took control of the game as they snuck a Baron from under TL’s noses. Shortly after, Tactical and CoreJJ minutes stopped TSM in their tracks, killing off Lost and SwordArt as they pushed down mid. Through the game, Tactical was exceptionally strong and clearly the main focus of TL. But TSM found their dream team fight, where Armao was thwarted when he went for a dive onto PoE. With the engaged botched, TSM swept up the fight and pushed through to the Nexus.
- Time: 35:46
- Kills: 11-8
- Turrets: 9-5
- Gold: 68k-60.1k
- Dragons: 3-2
Coming into Game Four, the prospect of a TSM reverse sweep was on the minds of fans. But could they do it? The game was even up until the sixth minute, but at this time, TSM went for a dragon but was collapsed on by TL from both sides. With this maneuver, Team Liquid was able to get three kills as well as the dragon.
Ten minutes in, Armao and Alphari coordinated a great pick onto Huni, burning the top laner’s Flash in the process. To make things better for TL, at around 12 minutes, Tactical shot a lovely Senna ultimate at Huni near the mid turret after losing nearly all of his health to Jensen’s Viktor, resulting in a rather free kill for him. At the 13-minute mark, TL forced a fight in the top lane to expand their lead further. Here, they were able to kill Huni and knock down the tier 1 tower. Alphari, in the meantime, Teleported into the bottom lane to kill Lost too.
By the 15-minute mark, the game was all but over. TSM was down a whopping 7k gold and two dragons. At 16 minutes, TL picked off another three kills, pushing TSM’s battle lines back even farther. As a result, by 17 minutes, TL was up almost 10k with the mid lane Inhibitor tower gone. At 23 minutes, a fateful team fight broke out in the bottom lane. It was here that Team Liquid Aced TSM to close out the game, the series and TSM’s hopes.
- Time: 23:11
- Kills: 19-0
- Turrets: 10-1
- Gold: 47.4k-33.6k
- Dragons: 3-0
- Barons: 0-0
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