CLG vs Team Liquid
As predicted, we came into this one expecting a close, intense and exciting series. Team Liquid vs Counter Logic Gaming certainly delivered on that front, with a nail biting 5 game series.
Game 1 was probably the most 1 sided game of the series with TL demolishing CLG, only giving up a single kill. They showed just how well the current meta suited them, with Lourlo on Poppy, one of his most successful champions, and Dardoch on carry style jungler, Kindred, who is currently one of the most contested jungle picks. But CLG refused to go down without a fight, giving it their all in an impressive last stand. However a pixel perfect Poppy ultimate from Lourlo managed to split up CLG’s team, allowing TL’s damage dealers to clean up and secure the win.
CLG have always been known as a resilient team however, and showed this in their draft phase, picking up the same two solo laners as they did in game 1, with Darshan on Ekko and Huhi on Ryze. Darshan was put ahead through an early fight which went in CLG’s favour, securing himself a kill and 2 assists. He went on to take over the game, going 8/0/12, finishing the game with a 25 stack Soulstealer. CLG closed out the game to bring the series to 1-1.
Despite a strong performance in the previous game, Darshan managed to get his hands on Ekko for the third game in a row and went on to have another deathless game on the Boy who Shattered Time. He managed to show his mastery of the champion once more, after being given another early kill. As Ryze was picked away by Fenix, we saw Huhi opt for Anivia, giving a big performance on the day. MVP of this game however, has got to be CLG’s rookie Ad carry Stixxay, who turned one of Piglet’s best champions Caitlyn, against him securing 11 kills through some excellent teamfight positioning. CLG take game 3, and bring Liquid to match point.
Giving Ekko to Darshan was not a mistake Liquid were going to make again, picking it up themselves for Lourlo. Darshan responded with a toplane Maokai, playing an uncharicteristic tank game, which shows that he is comfortable playing Lourlo at his own game. CLG also brought out an experimental pick with a Rageblade Tristana. Liquid needed to step up in Game 4 if they wanted to force a 5th and final game. The game they pulled out wasn’t a win: it was a statement. They closed out the game quicker than any other in the series, featuring a quadrakill from Fenix’s midlane Karma, and some stellar Bard play from Matt.
Game 5 ended up being the most intense game of the series, and perhaps the season. Huhi got his hands on Ryze for the fourth time this series, and refused to go down, carrying teamfight after teamfight on the high DPS “machine gun” mage. However, he had to contend with Piglet’s Caitlyn, who also showed resolve and determination throughout. In the end, it came down to a genius play from CLG, with Huhi and Darshan both teleporting onto the same minion in front of Piglet at the same time. Piglet naturally assumed it was only one teleport, and as a 6 item Caitlyn, placed a trap on the teleport spot, whilst preparing to melt whoever came out of the teleport. The trap stopped Darshan in his tracks, but that meant there was nothing stopping Huhi’s Ryze from running at Piglet and evaporating his health bar. This catch onto Piglet went on to win CLG the game, and stands as an example of the kind of creative shotcalling and crisp communication which has given CLG an edge over the competition time and time again.