The League Championship Series for North American League of Legends concludes this weekend with a blockbuster matchup featuring one of the biggest trade sagas in LCS history. Team Liquid have gone through several changes this Summer since the departure of Doublelift, but last weekend’s spirited effort against FlyQuest, even in a loss, showed that their team identity is more prominent now than ever before. Heading into playoffs for TSM, their chances at success were in limbo and after a begrudging 3-0 loss to Golden Guardians, it seemed like the TSM dynasty was on the verge of extinction.
Instead, the rallying cry of Bjergsen and the rest of TSM has been one of the most followed storylines of the playoffs as they rallied back 3-2 in their losers’ bracket rematch to GG, and decimated the reigning LCS champions Cloud9 in a 3-1 series that also eliminated them from Worlds contention. The winner of TL vs. TSM will faceoff against FlyQuest who also possess a multi-pronged threat with several of their players performing at an astonishing rate.
Setting the stage: Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid
Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid wasn’t a historic matchup four years ago, but the legacy of DoubleLift on both teams has given a new rise of prominence to both organizations. TSM’s historic run during the ‘16 and ‘17 seasons turned Doublelift from LCS all-star to a bonafide legend of the region. His emergence on Team Liquid that saw them go from ‘forever fourth’ to four-time back-to-back LCS champions in ‘18 and ‘19 and a MSI Finals appearance solidified his legacy as a Mount Rushmore player for North America.
Just one split later, and his demotivation to compete for the highly lauded Team Liquid saw his star-power, and overall rate of play diminish to an all-time low. His subsequent trade back to TSM was one of the biggest esports news moments of the year. With each successive week in the regular season, the results weren’t getting better and the diverging opinions between BrokenBlade, Doublelift and Bjergsen were seemingly too much to overcome. However, the playoffs are all about momentum, and the decreasing momentum of Cloud9 from almost undefeated in Spring to dropping down to 13-5 in Summer made them extremely beatable at the wrong time.
Now, both TL and TSM are seeking redemption for different reasons as Team Liquid hope to settle the score with FlyQuest after their 3-2 loss last weekend. When looking at the matchups this series, there is no doubt TL have the upper hand with Broxah continuing to settle into his place at Team Liquid, but the real impact player for TL on their run has been CoreJJ. The former World Champion support has really highlighted his worth this year with a variety of high level plays on Blitzcrank, Thresh, and Bard. While TSM possess veterans who have the ability to carry games, Team Liquid are all around the more experienced roster and over a best of five series that will more than likely be the difference maker.
Newly crowned champions?
With Cloud9 ousted from playoffs and World Championship qualifying, either FlyQuest, Team Liquid or TSM will be crowned champs at the end of the weekend. While LCS isn’t always the safest region to get the most out of LoL betting, there is some guaranteed synergy and teamwork being put together on the side of FlyQuest that gives bettors some much-needed guarantees. On other big-name teams, there are moments of ego and indifference that causes teams to lose momentum. On FlyQuest, those moments have already been hashed out with WildTurtle being benched earlier in the Summer regular season as his slump was holding FlyQuest back from top tier form.
Now that the slump is out of the way, FlyQuest have been nearly unshakeable in the draft as WildTurtle, PowerOfEvil, Solo and even Santorin and IgNar have become threats in the pick & ban that forces teams to give attention to more than one role. While no player on this team is a 10/10 talent, the team possesses a bunch of like-minded individuals who play selflessly and that is what has gotten them to their peak moments of greatness. PowerOfEvil and Solo have a similar style of playing mistake-free during the early game in order to give their other lanes an advantage in the early game. Their scaling picks of Syndra, Jhin, and Mordekaiser have also come in handy as they rely on each other to keep safe in team fights behind a supportive Santorin and IgNar.
For that reason, FlyQuest may be slightly lower on the margins for League of Legends odds, but that’s only because they don’t possess a single player with the same name value as a Bjergsen, Jensen, Doublelift, or CoreJJ. FLY have every possibility of being crowned champions at the end of LCS playoffs given their strength in numbers, and they will show that advantage in team mentality once again against the winner of Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid this Saturday.
Featured Image Credits:LoL Esports