Team Liquid Lineup:
Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong: Top Yorick (1)
Jake “Xmithie” Puchero: Jungle Lee Sin (3)
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen: Mid Syndra (3)
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng: Bot Sivir (2)
Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in: Support Alistar (2)
Sergen “BrokenBlade” Celik: Top Jax (2)
Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham: Jungle Sejuani (1)
Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg: Mid Zoe (4)
Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen: Bot Kai’Sa (3)
Andy “Smoothie” Ta: Support Thresh (1)
BrokenBlade Dominant on Jax
Fresh off of a close win over Optic Gaming, TSM now faced a much tougher challenge in the undefeated Team Liquid. There had even been talk around the league that Team Liquid could pull off an 18-0 season, a feat that has never been accomplished by a North American organization. However, all that talk came to an end thanks to a brilliant performance by TSM.
The success of TSM started in the draft where Team Liquid made the curious choice to blind pick Yorick, despite the fact that several strong counters to him were left unbanned. Seizing the opportunity, TSM put their talented rookie top laner on Jax, a decision that heavily factored into their victory.
With such a strong matchup for them in the top lane, the win condition for TSM was clear: play through BrokenBlade. And play through him they did.
Akaadian was constantly camping the top side of the map in the early game while simultaneously out-jungling Xmithie elsewhere. The result of this strategy was BrokenBlade bullying Impact, denying farm and opportunities to roam. Before the turret plates even fell, BrokenBlade had destroyed the top outer turret, putting himself far ahead of Impact in gold.
TSM quickly turned the mid game into a 1-3-1 split push war, in which they had a heavy advantage thanks to the strength of BrokenBlade’s Jax. Nobody on Team Liquid could contest the TSM top laner, allowing him to constantly pressure turrets and dictate the pace of the game.
New Week, New TSM
The TSM of week four looked like a completely different team compared to the TSM of week three. No longer did they look uncoordinated in team fights or at a loss for what plays to make after the early game.
During this game against Team Liquid, after a massively successful early game, I still found myself waiting for the moment that TSM would throw the lead (and likely the game) away. They had done this on far too many occasions earlier in the season, but they did not today. TSM continued to find ways to increase their lead during the mid game, slowly suffocating Team Liquid off the map. After taking an uncontested Baron at 27 minutes, TSM pinned Team Liquid in their base for the rest of the game until the Nexus finally fell with the clock reading 36:15.
Next week TSM will be taking on old rival, Counter Logic Gaming, in addition to FlyQuest, who backdoored a victory away from TSM in week two. With the standings still very much in limbo, another 2-0 week for TSM should place them in the top three, placing even more importance on their week six rematch against second placed Cloud9.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.