In any iteration of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), the finals weekend has always been the peak of event hype for North American League of Legends esports. However, the final weekend of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs in Houston was extra special. Not only was the final weekend of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs hosted at the largest stadium of any event of its kind at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, but it was also the first fully offline, in-person finals event since the finals of the 2019 LCS Summer Playoffs in Detroit, Michigan.
Throughout the final weekend of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs, Inven Global took many photos on-site, in addition to our standard coverage.
Before the action on Saturday and Sunday, the LCS hosted a fanfest within NRG Stadium that featured a Red Bull DJ truck and a plethora of League of Legends accoutrement. Half of the LCS teams sported booths at the fanfest as well.
Evil Geniuses' booth featured a space where gamers and fans alike were encouraged to 'touch grass', while 100 Thieves boasted a bandit-themed speak-easy aesthetic for their booth.
Team Liquid kept it simple by displaying all four of their LCS trophies in a line for their booth, while Cloud9 embraced the memes with a Blaber's Craber's Crab Shack stand in remembrance of jungler Robert "Blaber" Huang's mishaps around securing Scuttle Crabs as the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational. FlyQuest maintained their green-focused brand with a flower wall for photo opportunities.
Lastly, Saturday's fanfest featured a Grubhub discussion segment, including live Q&A with Travis Gafford and many other members of the LoL esports scene. Sunday was even more crowded with a celebrity showmatch between two teams led by streamers Tyler "tyler1" Steinkamp and Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng.
Team Liquid vs Evil Geniuses
The weekend kicked off with the lower bracket final match of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs between Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid. Even before the teams took the stage and the fans filed into NRG Stadium, the magnitude of the competition was palpable in the sheer scale of the hosting venue.
That hype only grew when Clayton "CaptainFlowers" Raines led the opening ceremony with full introductions of the TL and EG rosters. While the series itself featured some incredible plays and competitive skirmishes from both sides, it was EG who took the series 3-0 to face 100 Thieves in the final match of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs.
MSI 2022 Group Draw
Evil Geniuses 3-0'd Team Liquid in the penultimate match of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs, but that didn't mean the day's action had come to a conclusion. The live audience was treated to a group draw for the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, which featured the respective champions from the competitive League of Legends regions.
A few things altered the group draw: due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the LCL provided no representative, and the VCS sent their second place team since the champion of Vietnam, GAM Esports, will be competing in the 2022 Asian Games and prioritizing all COVID-19 protocols to compete in that event. The group draw featured streamers William "Meteos" Hartman, Lily "Lilypichu" Ki, and Michael Reeves participating in the random draw to decide the groups of MSI 2022.
The final: 100 Thieves vs Evil Geniuses
The final of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs featured Evil Geniuses up against the undefeated defending North American champions in 100 Thieves. The opening ceremony was MC'd by tyler1 in arguably the greatest North American domestic pre-show of all time, but the series itself was relatively anti-climactic in comparison to the ceremony, ending in a clean sweep for EG to secure the organization's first LCS championship and subsequent MSI qualification.
Evil Geniuses, LCS champions
Evil Geniuses is the sixth organization to win a LCS title after TSM, Cloud9, Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming and 100 Thieves, and will represent North America at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational for the first time later this month in Busan, South Korea.