The 2019 LCS Summer Split came to an explosive conclusion after Team Liquid scored a 3-2 victory in the finals against Cloud9 and claimed yet another domestic title! This marks the fourth consecutive time TL has finished first in their region—something that no other North American League of Legends team has accomplished.
So how did the finals go, and what does this result mean for North America as a region?
Clash of Kings
It’s clear that Cloud9 and Team Liquid stand at the top of the LCS food chain. Both teams spent the entire 2019 LCS Summer Split cruising in the top-2, and it was only at the end of the regular season that C9 had to defend their semifinals bye in a tiebreaker against CLG. Naturally, they succeeded.
With that, it’s not exactly surprising that the C9 vs. TL finals was the most anticipated series of the season. This was also a clash of playstyles. Cloud9 overwhelmed their foes with wild creativity and relentless aggression. Meanwhile, Team Liquid preferred to outmaneuver their opponents through smart macro and veteran game sense.
At first, it seemed like C9 would come out on top. Despite dropping game one due to several blunders in the mid and bot lane positions, Cloud9 picked Team Liquid apart in the next two games with solid 1-3-1 play and never-ending skirmishing around the side lanes.
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However, Team Liquid didn’t let the losses get to them. Their carries—Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng—struck back by utterly dominating their C9 counterparts in lane and outside of it. Not only that, but Team Liquid also brought out a surprise Shen top pick to throw their opponents off in the final game of the series. And it wasn’t long before the reigning LCS champions added another trophy to their trophy case.
The future conquests of Team Liquid
There’s another side to Team Liquid’s victory. Right now, this squad is so ridiculously dominant that it’s hard to imagine another North American lineup standing up to it anytime soon. The competition grows stale. And in the end, no one wants to watch a tournament when you already know the results several weeks in advance.
Of course, that’s probably the last thing on the minds of Team Liquid members. They’ve already forged an impressive legacy by ruling over their region for two years in a row. Moreover, they’ve managed to translate domestic success into international results by making it all the way to the finals of the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational.
The next obvious step is Worlds. The League of Legends World Championship tournament has always been a proving ground for Western teams. TL have a chance to make a real difference this year. Granted, the competition will be stiff, but if any North American lineup can beat the odds, it’s definitely Team Liquid.
Image courtesy of Riot Games.