Cloud9 had the chance but not enough execution to slay down TL.
The undisputed LCS champions, Team Liquid and the 2018 Worlds semifinalists, Cloud9 fought for a spot in 1st place during the 2019 LCS Spring Week 7, Day 1. The fans were hyped up for this game, and - as expected - this fight for 1st place was indeed full of notable spectacles.
The game had a lot of ups and downs. Although Team Liquid was ahead in gold for the majority of the game, C9 still had the tools to possibly secure a win as well as that 1st place spot.
C9 managed to gain the majority of turret plating gold in the early game, Licorice actually won his lane with some help from Svenskeren, and they displayed some solid performance in teamfights also. Let's not count out the miraculous Baron steal from Nisqy as well. Yes, at times C9 did seem a bit unlucky, however, their plays were not enough to defeat the current 1st place of the LCS; TL was simply more precise in every way.
Related: Post-match interview with TL Cain
▲ Riot Games
First blood to TLC9 Licorice's Poppy scales up
Licorice managed to get ahead in laning on Poppy against Jayce, which is quite a tough matchup to go against. Although the ‘over-commitment’ from Svenskeron in his level 2 mid gank, Nisqy still laned fairly well against Jensen in the laning phase. C9 seemed to have picked the better bot lane duo in terms of early game laning pressure; the Xayah-Rakan comp is the better matchup against Kai’Sa-Galio.
Despite the fact that C9 gave away first blood after a failed mid turret dive from Svenskeren-Nisqy, they bounced right back with a successful gank on top lane. This led to quite a huge gap in the top lane matchup; Licorice’s Poppy was clearly ahead in the laning phase.
However, things started to change near the 15-minute mark when C9 went for the Rift Herald. It seemed like C9 was securing the Herald, but Xmithie’s Sejuani landed her ultimate on Aatrox. Svenskeren seemed to have mistimed his ultimate, resulting in
TL slowly snowballsC9 lacking precision
The game turned in favor of TL starting near the 19-minute mark. Around C9’s Blue buff, as soon as Aatrox was ‘CC’ed from Sejuani’s ultimate, Licorice used his Teleport to join the fight. This was a rather hasty decision since TL managed to safely fall back. C9 decided to defend their bottom tier 1 turret; however, Licorice wanted to get some more points from his TP. He found Orianna alone and engaged in a 1 vs 1. While it was an understandable move, knowing Jensen had Flash, Stopwatch, and some possible backup from Galio, Licorice should have recalled home when the map started to get filled with his teammates’ warning pings.
As a result, Jensen’s Orianna acted as a perfect bait; CoreJJ quickly joined to backup Jensen and Doublelift used Kai’Sa’s ultimate to join. Svenskeren’s Aatrox was killed by CoreJJ’s excellent follow-up on his W taunt, and with Impact Teleporting, the fight soon became a 5 vs 3. Sneaky did survive, but Doublelift’s Kai’Sa picked up 3 kills in the process.
Nisqy's Baron stealTL secures Elder
With Jensen’s Orianna and Doublelift’s Kai’Sa scaling up quickly, and Impact’s Jayce recovering from his early game disadvantage, Team Liquid had the lead in the mid to late game. Near the 34-minute mark, they attempted to take down the Baron. However, while Svenskeren’s Aatrox dived into the pit, Nisqy’s Syndra managed to steal the Baron.
A minute later, Team Liquid went for the Elder Drake. In the process, they successfully killed Aatrox and safely secured the buff.
With TL securing Elder, they advanced to C9’s base and consecutively destroyed their mid and top inhibitor. Although some of their players still had the Baron buff, C9 decided to engage for a fight near the mid lane. However, they had to get themselves into a 4 vs 5 since their Syndra was still near their mid inhibitor. Again, their move was understandable but lacked execution; it resulted in a 1 vs 3 trade for TL. Soon they destroyed C9’s Nexus and secured this 40-minute long match.
MVP of the game: TL CoreJJ
Jensen was named the official MVP with a remarkable 4/0/12 on Orianna. Doublelift dealt the most damage on champions using Kai’Sa and again proved that he is one of the deadliest bottom laners during teamfights. However, Jensen and Doublelift both owe a fair deal to CoreJJ since he was the one who set up their early-mid game kills.
When Jensen’s Orianna was chased down by Licorice’s Poppy,
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