First of all let me just take the moment to say OH MY! Team liquid did the impossible, the improbable. They took down IG in a five game series, and they did it with style!
Let’s be clear here: there is no one that saw this coming. Most analysts had IG clean sweeping TL in a 3-0 fashion. There was more than enough credible evidence to base your predictions on a clean sweep from IG. They absolutely smashed every team in the group stages only dropping one game to an incredible SKT team. So, what went wrong? And more importantly, what went right for team liquid?
My wife has made fun of me this entire tournament for waking up so early to watch the games. The early morning persistence finally paid off. I watched each game this morning live, and here is my overarching conclusion: Invictus Gaming were incapable of preparing themselves for today’s TL because Team Liquid did not show up in group stages like they showed up today. Meanwhile Team Liquid were perfect in their preparation for today’s matches. Besides game three, they had the perfect bans to counteract the bloodthirsty members of IG.
Game one set the tone and pace/meta of the series. IG had a fantastic early game and secured themselves the baron at around 23 minutes. In response, team liquid readied their defenses and were able to prevent a strong baron siege. TL followed up their defense with a strong team fight that eventually won them the game. Now, it is important to note that in my opinion IG were off their normal game. I don’t know if it was nerves, lack of confidence, or they were not playing up to their normal speed and powerful nature. Regardless of the reason, they just seemed off. The opposite can be said of TL. They were decisive, Xmithie was where he needed to be, and coreJJ was an absolute monster. All of them were playing up to their highest level.
Game two was similar to game one. IG took a strong early lead with two kills in the top lane, but Team Liquid continued to make aggressive, decisive plays. While IG was attempting a strong split push, team liquid we’re completely committed to the team fight, and they forced the heavyweights to continually respond to their engages. Team Liquid secured a fairly clean win.
At this point, I honestly thought team liquid was going to sweep IG. However, IG had a great draft where they picked many of their signature, comfort champions. They won the game in picks/bans.
Game four was an absolute stomp by Team Liquid, and their key picks in the draft were Lux and Skarner.
Although many people might say that IG threw the series or played subpar, I believe that more can be said about Team Liquid then IG. TL came into this series ready to play with a brilliant strategy that revolved around team fighting but with an aggressive mindset that proved too much for Invictus to handle.
I have literally never been so proud of NA as a region. I hope that TL puts up a good fight against whomever they face in the finals. #TLWIN