Team Liquid Win Third-Straight LCS League of Legends Title

Wyatt Fossett,

April 13, 2019 5:40 PM

After all the hype and all the headlines. Everything boiled down to a comeback within a comeback, as Team Liquid claim their third-straight LCS title, defeating TSM in Silver Scapes.

We’ve been lucky to see a lot of really great League of Legends in North America, especially when it comes to playoffs and championship matches. None, however, can hold a candle to the hype and the size of today’s 2019 LCS Spring Split Grand Finals between a Bjergsen-led TSM and Doublelift’s Team Liquid. 

(courtesy lolesports)
(courtesy lolesports)

History would be made, one way or the other. Could TSM’s Zven become the first player in League of Legends to win a championship in Europe and one in North America? Would the elite rookies in TSM black and white sweaters strike a chord against Team Liquid? Or is it Impact and League MVP CoreJJ that could continue the modern dominance of Team Liquid? Who wins the battle of the LCS GOATs?

Wake-up Call

In a gutsy counter to Bjergsen’s Zoe, Jensen drafted Heimerdinger in the mid-lane, and right out of the gate both sides of the rift made some pretty exciting moves. It seemed that neither squad needed any time to warm up today. 

Through 30-minutes, it was almost impossible to tell who would be able to pull ahead in this series by taking the first game. TSM’s Broken Blade on Vladimir was a terrifying menace while Impact’s Kennan wreaked havoc throughout the team fights. 

TSM would take the slight edge outside of the 35-minute mark after turning around a few fights, taking the game’s first Baron, and surviving some stellar dives from CoreJJ on the Galio. In the end, it would be the build-up of complete map control, their fourth dragon, and a second Baron that would tip the scales and send TL grasping for straws in the late stages of Game 1. 

Immediately after winning Game 1, Bjergsen stood up and stepped right up to rookie Broken Blade to both congratulate him on a great game, but also keep his young teammates in check emotionally. A true show of strong leadership by one of the GOATs. 

Old Hats, New Games

Pulling out the ancient Bjergsen Lux to compliment the weird new surprise meta of Sona/Taric in the bot-lane, TSM looked to take a 2-game lead in the series. To counter, LCS 2019 Spring MVP CoreJJ picked up his favorite champion in the Zyra support. 

Regardless of the old comforts coming into play, neither would make a huge impact. Rather, it would be rookie Broken Blade absolutely tearing things apart on Irelia in the top-lane. The biggest strength, team leadership, leading to TSM gaining and keeping momentum in the late-game was the deciding factor. 

(courtesy Riot Games)
(courtesy Riot Games)

After some faltering by Team Liquid, and TSM winning almost every single team fight, Game 2 was over before it really got to be fun. With two wins in their pocket, Bjergsen’s quest for a 6th LCS Championship was only one game away. 

Liquid is Hard to Hold

In the green room footage before Game 3, TSM looked composed and concentrated. This is the direct result of team leaders like Bjergsen and owner Reginald having the experience on the mainstage that they do. 

The teams took to the stage for potentially the last time in the LCS Spring Playoffs, and we finally saw closer to a normal draft. It was once again the mid-lane matchup between Jensen and Bjergsen that drew the attention as champions teleported onto the rift. On another gold Bjerg standard with LeBlanc, Jensen and his faithful Syndra had their work cut out for them. 

It took three games, but Team Liquid’s Impact finally showed up, and his fully beefed-up Gangplank took charge of this game in the late stages. Coupled with some steady play from Xsmithie on the Skarner jungle, TL took the momentum of a few solid objective battles and ran it all the way into the TSM nexus over time. For now, they had staved off elimination. 

Couldn't Ask for More

Nothing could have prepared anyone on the stage or anyone watching for the absolute avalanche that was the first 15-minutes of Game 4 for Team Liquid. Before the clock struck sixteen, Team Liquid had 7 kills to 1, and 2 turrets to nothing. Even more terrifying, contending GOAT Doublelift was getting fed on Varus, hitting 3/0/1. 

It was the brilliant communication and support by all members of Team Liquid that made this Game 4 one of the most entertaining and fast-paced matches in recent League of Legends history. In one of those instances where you can’t put a whole lot of blame on TSM, they were just getting outplayed on almost every part of the map. 

A 25-minute win in Game 4 was the fastest in the series to this point, making a very loud and rather clear statement from the squad of veterans on Team Liquid. 

Silver Scrapes for Gold

Game 5 is what everyone wants. It’s Doublelift’s Liquid versus Bjergsen’s young TSM. Making it completely fitting that it would go the complete distance.

“It now comes down to the ten players on stage. Their instincts, their preparation, their training, and how well they can do with the pressure on,” - Phreak, LCS Shoutcaster

TSM came out swinging after looking pretty soft in Game 4, absolutely stealing all pressure and momentum in the early stages of Game 5. Rookie Broken Blade secured the First Blood for TSM on his soaring Akali play.

Through the 30-minute everything looked like it was heading towards a TSM victory, but the ability to find footing while behind was a common theme for Team Liquid in this series and they rode some huge performances by Doublelift, Jensen and Impact to victory. 

Pride on Both Sides

With Bjergsen at the helm, many forget that the other four starting members of Team SoloMid are in a position where LCS careers are yet to be established. While their leader sought his 6th trophy, the rest of the team needed to prove that they deserve roster spots on one of the most storied franchises in LCS history.

(courtesy Riot Games)
(courtesy Riot Games)

We spoke about the composure and lack of excitement in the green room, and this speaks so highly into how this team is training and raising their young-guns, upstarts, and European imports. Broken Blade, in his coming out party, may have truly won the series MVP had his team come out victorious. 

That very lack of experience in big matches on the LCS stage didn’t really hinder TSM during the finals, but the opposite amount of experience on Team Liquid did take over in their series. The never-give-up attitude that comes with time provided Liquid with the composure they needed to hold out long enough to out-scale TSM in Game 5. 

With the win, Doublelift becomes the winningest player in LCS history, Jensen finally wins a Championship after many attempts, and Xsmithie ties Bjergsen for second-most trophies with his 5th Championship. 

(courtesy lolesports)
(courtesy lolesports)

The modern dynasty of Team Liquid lives on as the team captures their third-straight LCS Championship. Though their focus on the international stage will come into focus now, as Liquid has now qualified for the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational where they will play the best teams in the world, as representatives of North America. 

League of Legends returns tomorrow morning as the 2019 LEC Spring Split Grand Finals takes place between G2 Esports and an Origen coming off of an impressive win over Fnatic, live from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 



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