Summer Split Playoff Tiebreakers
Well, we had to wait until the absolute last day to know where the teams stood in the rankings. Other than first place and second place, we had almost no idea where the other top teams ranked. Each team had looked well against the other teams and it was down to a series of four tiebreaker games to truly seed the teams.
Team SoloMid would face Echo Fox, followed by 100 Thieves facing off against Flyquest. From there, the teams who lost each game would face off against each other and the teams that won would face off as well.
Tiebreaker One: Team SoloMid vs Echo Fox
Both teams got solid drafts, with Team SoloMid locking in their first Camille of the split as well as having the Nocturne for Jonathan “Grig” Armao, and Echo Fox locking in a solid team fighting composition. There was, for each team, a solid plan that could be seen by the way they drafted. For Team SoloMid, it was the split-push game. They had a Camille and a Ryze, both champions that do well in the side lanes as well as a Nocturne. The Nocturne does well into enemies that are alone dealing with the dual split-push threats on TSM’s side of the map.
Echo Fox, on the other hand, are all about team fights. Their composition is meant to set up good team fights and execute them with impunity. The zone control that the Echo Fox composition commanded was outstanding. As well as the zone control, the team Echo Fox had built was a dual damage threat team. The Varus for Echo Fox and the Cassiopeia were physical damage and magic damage respectfully.
The game began quite even with both teams getting a kill while Echo Fox secured the first blood. From there, the available layering of crowd control in the bottom lane for Echo Fox was enough to secure a number of kills throughout the early-to-mid game. Being about five thousand gold ahead, Echo Fox was able to rush Baron at around the 20-minute mark in the game. A few more fights later, through decisive calls, Echo Fox was able to siege the bottom lane inhibitor and win the game.
Tiebreaker Two: 100 Thieves vs Flyquest
For most of this game, it appeared even. The first blood, however, was a remarkable play by Yoo “Ryu” Sang-wook. He was able to flash onto the enemy 2v1 and secure first blood with Ignite. From there, the game began to turn a bit hectic. Only eight minutes into the game, for example, a four-versus-four team fight broke out resulting in a death on 100 Thieves’ side. It wouldn’t be till the fight around Rift Herald that there would be nearly as many people in the same place.
The middle of this game was littered with poor play by the 100 Thieves AD Carry, Cody “Cody Sun” Sun. A number of his deaths this game were a result of shifting forward recklessly and getting caught by crowd control. This is relatively uncharacteristic of him, he is usually reserved and will play pretty standard. Perhaps the stress of needing to place in finals got to him, or he was acting overconfident, one does not know.
A majority of the game saw Flyquest in the lead. However, one instance of poor engage from Flyquest’s top laner was enough to get the ball rolling in 100 Thieves’ favor. Around 35 minutes into the game, a team fight broke on the top side of the mid lane. Lee “Flame” Ho-jong was too far back and did not get into the fight soon enough to prevent the various kills from 100 Thieves.
The veteran status of many of 100 Thieves’ players came up clutch in the late game. Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black was the voice of reason within 100 Thieves. He encouraged them to continue forward in team fights. He was integral to the ability of 100 Thieves to win the game. Aphromoo was the helm of the team, jumping forward or engaging the fight. A single superior team fight by 100 Thieves was enough to usher in the end of the game.
Tiebreaker Three: Team SoloMid vs Flyquest
Team SoloMid really turned it up this game. They ended Flyquest’s hope in the draft phase. Baiting out a counter pick and then actually getting one for Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg was genius by their coach. This strategy appeared to not really affect the game until it was well underway. Bjergsen was able to make his way into the backline of Flyquest before they could kill him.
Team SoloMid was able to get force team fights on their terms which made the game almost impossible to fight back into for Flyquest. About 33 minutes into the game, for instance, TSM had both the middle inhibitor and the bottom inhibitor cracked open. They quickly began sieging the one in top lane. As the turret falls, they engage and push Flyquest back into their own fountain for the win they made look easy.
Tiebreaker Four: 100 Thieves vs Echo Fox
This game brought out exactly what was needed by each team. 100 Thieves brought out a more aggressive, more pick oriented team. They paired the aggression with the objective securing ability of Cho’Gath. The team 100 Thieves drafted, however, was a composition that does well by splitting the map. In contrast to 100 Thieves’ composition, Echo Fox drafted a composition like many of the ones they had been drafting later in the split.
Echo Fox also was able to get the new pick in the Akali for Tanner “Damonte” Damonte. This pick was largely shut down, however, by Ryu’s ability to keep his laner in check. It wasn’t till much later in the game that Damonte’s Akali was able to get more kills. One could attribute the lack of Damonte’s pressure and presence to his almost insistence on split-pushing. He should have been with the team more often. This would have allowed his top laner to split more consistently and the fights they got into may have looked better.
Fight after fight, 100 Thieves proceeded to get further and further ahead. However, this game’s nail in the coffin was the last fight. Cody Sun was able to secure the pentakill in a superior team fight and render the Elder Dragon useless for Echo Fox. From there, 100 Thieves were allowed to walk into Echo Fox’s base and take the game, securing the third place this split.