Team Liquid has defeated TSM in the first match of the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Mid-Season Showdown by a score of 3-1. TSM managed to avoid being swept out of the series with a win in game 3, but TL came back strong in game 4 to shut down any opportunity of a reverse sweep for the defending LCS champion.
TSM and Team Liquid was expected to be a contentious match because of the difference in each team's identity when compared to one another.
Team Liquid has one of the best early games in the LCS, and while that is TSM's weakest point, its mid-game decision making is second to none in North America. TL's roster has slightly more individual talent on paper, but TSM's late game macro has been superior to TL's throughout the LCS Spring Split.
The first game featured standard teamfight drafts from both sides, and it was TSM who jumped out ahead early before fumbling its execution late game. The reversal of identities led to a Team Liquid win just past the 43 minute mark. The second game was a more traditional TL win — TSM was put behind early and never was able to get back as Team Liquid took the series to match point.
With its back against the wall, TSM came out swinging, but throughout the early and mid game, Team Liquid managed to match each punch with a counter-blow, but thanks to consistently immaculate play from mid laner Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage on Seraphine, TSM put the pedal to the metal in the late game and ran over Team Liquid to stay alive in the series.
The final game of the series was similar to the last in that PowerOfEvil played great on Seraphine and TSM and TL bloodied each other early on, but with each traded kill, TL got further ahead in objectives and put TSM top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon's full-damage Gragas further and further behind the rock-steady Gnar of Barney "Alphari" Morris. TSM managed to hold onto its base for a while in the late game, but ultimately, it wasn't enough to stop TL from taking the win and series.
TL will move forward in the upper bracket to play against the winner of tomorrow's match between Cloud9 and 100 Thieves in two weeks. TSM has dropped down to the lower bracket to face off against Evil Geniuses in an elimination match.