Following the dull and boring 3-0 and 3-1 score lines last week, the top four teams put on quite a show this weekend.
With Cloud9 fighting to redeem their likely MVP Summit, EG breaking team barriers, and both 100T and TL competing for a guaranteed spot in the final, these four giants clashed in one of the most exciting series in LCS history. EG made organizational history by making their second ever Round 3 appearance since their inception in 2013.
However, TL; C9; and 100T are no stranger to this territory, with at least one of them having appeared in Round 3 for the past eight splits. The power rankings for the Spring Finals going into this weekend were as follows:
1. Team Liquid
2. 100 Thieves
4. Evil Geniuses
With TL and 100T at the top, their matchup in the Winners’ Bracket Finals was nothing short of incredible. Recognizing that the series would most likely go all five games, fans and analysts were in for quite the showing.
Team Liquid Control the Series
For the second split in a row, 100T and TL faced off against one another in the winners’ bracket finals. Last time, 100T narrowly lost to TL in an electric 3-2 series.
Relegated to the Loser’s Finals, 100T beat C9 3-1 to rematch TL in the Grand Finals. This time, the Thieves beat TL 3-0 and secured their first ever LCS title.
This weekend, the defending champions were hungry for another title shot, and they went all the way. The first two rounds of the Winners’ Finals were incredibly disappointing for 100T fans. The opener was won within the first three minutes of the game after huhi and FBI played aggressively in hopes of securing level two advantage.
This plan went awry when CoreJJ and Hans sama hit level two and dove onto huhi, securing first blood for Hans sama. With control of the lane and a gold lead in the most crucial part of the laning phase, the TL bot lane controlled the lower half of the map and the remainder of the game. TL won handily with a 14.3k gold lead and a 16-2 scoreline.
In the second game, 100T secured the first blood, this time the reverse of the situation in bot lane. However, TL found multiple trades in the early game to prevent 100T domination.
This was swiftly followed by an insane play by CoreJJ over the third drake where TL found three for nothing and accrued a nearly 5k gold lead.
Although 100T almost found their way back into the game, TL retained a notable gold lead that allowed them to run over 100T in the final teamfight of the match and secure a 2-0 lead.
The 100 Thieves Reverse Sweep
It was at this point that most viewers turned off the stream and went to sleep, believing that TL would 3-0 sweep and find themselves in the Grand Finals; however, the defending champions had a different idea in mind. While the early game was heavily contested, 100T found an incredible dive onto the TL bot lane in mid, securing a 2.5k gold lead at 20 minutes.
Their lead expanded more after slaying both CoreJJ and Bwipo for free at the Baron pit followed quickly by a three-for-none fight for baron. With a 7k gold deficit at 24 minutes, TL were unable to find a way back into the game and 100T won 18-3 with a nearly 12k gold lead at 30 minutes.
Game four started very similarly. The early game was heavily contested; however, the scoreline was much closer, with less than ten deaths at the 30 minute mark. The momentum of the game swung heavily in 100T’s favor after they secured soul point and baron without losing any members.
While they also found no kills in this endeavor, the buffs they acquired set them up for tremendous success in the bot lane. After ARAMing through bot lane with Baron buff and dragon soul, 100T found a four-for-none trade in TL’s base at 30 minutes, allowing them to win 9-5 just seconds after.
Game five was far and away the most exciting matchup of the day. With the series tied 2-2, everything was on the line for both teams.
Although a loss wouldn’t take them out of the tournament, it would force them into the Losers’ Finals where they would have to win another series in order to make it to the Grand Finals. TL found first blood onto FBI after huhi left him alone to roam top.
This was left unanswered until 15 minutes where 100T dove Bwipo and found their first kill. Multiple skirmishes across the map left the game state at 2-5 in favor of TL who held a 2.8k gold lead.
This completely turned around after Abbedagge and Ssumday were able to chain CC onto Bjergsen, winning a crucial fight over control of soul point. This resurgence was followed by a five-for-none teamfight over Baron where 100T slaughtered TL’s gold lead.
Eager to end the series, the Thieves opt to try to end instead of taking the Baron. This was most likely due to the unfavorable scaling of their draft as opposed to Team Liquids.
Unfortunately for 100T fans, they are unable to destroy the nexus before TL’s death timers end and they rally. Importantly, the nexus is left completely open, with no turrets or inhibitors left standing through mid. With a negligible gold lead, both teams are forced to fight over dragon soul.
However, TL commits all members whereas 100T are left without Abbedagge. Realizing the opportunity, Abbedagge teleports into TL’s nexus with Twisted Fate ultimate and destroys it before anyone from TL can arrive to stop him.