Coming into the semi-final match of the 2017 NA LCS Summer Split Playoffs, it looked grim for Team Solomid in the face of a dangerous Team Dignitas. Even though TSM was first place in the summer split with a 14-4 record, TSM had poor performances against Dignitas during the split. When Team Dignitas beatdown Cloud9 with a 3-1 finish in the quarter-finals, Team Solomid fans started to sweat the thought of the two teams meeting last Sunday.
But in the face of this challenge Team Solomid managed to not only beat Team Dignitas 3-1, managed to crush Dignitas flat in the first two games by utilizing a strong late-game composition and an early-game snowball to win. Although Dignitas fought back the third game and won, the forth game was a tense battle in the mid to late game.
The team composition
Courtesy of EpicSkillShot for the image.
Going into the forth game of the series, TSM picked a well-rounded composition that showed their mid-game power spike with TSM Bjergsen playing Lucian and TSM Svenskeren playing Gragas, but also had TSM Doublelift playing Kog’Maw and TSM Hauntzer playing Cho’gath. With TSM having both Gragas and Cho’gath, securing the Baron, Herald, and Dragon objectives would be easier for them because of both Smite and Cho’Gath’s ultimate: Feast. The battle for those objectives would no longer be a 50/50 smite fight between DIG Shrimp and TSM Svenskeren.
The Cho’gath pick would also deal a great deal of valued true damage to the Maokai pick of DIG Ssumday.
Team Dignitas opted to first pick Jarvan IV away from TSM, and grab the Thresh to put emphasis on picking off the enemy team. If DIG Adrian managed to hook a TSM member, the amount of crowd control that Team Dignitas had would allow them to easily destroy that particular member. The Xayah pick is not as common in the NA LCS stage, but DIG Altec had won with her in style the previous game. DIG Keane frequently plays utility champions like Taliyah, and did not have poor performances with her in the first and third game, so he picked it up. With a tanky front line, a clear initiator, a champion to pick off stragglers, and two good DPS champions, Dignitas was looking to take objectives and snowball off of TSM’s missteps.
The Baron fights
At 29 minutes and 37 seconds of the game, TSM forces an initiation onto DIG Ssumday’s Maokai, only for them to lose Svenskeren and not kill the Maokai at all. With TSM’s jungler down, Team Dignitas make the smart decision to start Baron. By securing the baron, Dignitas could swing the game in their favor and even the gold difference, but TSM had a different plan for Dignitas.
Dignitas decides to turn on TSM when they approach, and a fight breaks out. The fight is in Dignitas’ favor with TSM’s Gragas still dead. With TSM’s Lucian and Kog’maw delivering brutal damage onto the Maokai and Jarvan IV, Dignitas makes the swift decision to pull back and heal up. If Dignitas lose Jarvan IV, then TSM would still be able to secure the Baron with Cho’gath’s Feast and the remaining carries’ damage. The game would have be over for Dignitas.
TSM’s Cho’gath took a majority of the damage in the teamfight, but also had Warmog’s Armor, allowing him to restore to full health without recalling to base. TSM decided to start up the Baron again at 30 minutes and 36 seconds with Gragas back alive for the TSM squad. Dignitas then succeeds in driving TSM away from the Baron pit despite having low mana on both Thresh and Taliyah.
The teams have a skirmish again at 32:14 with Thresh starting things by hooking Cho’gath in order to kick off the crowd control chain Dignitas have. While Cho’gath takes major damage, it only does half of his gigantic health bar, and he even manages to use Feast on Maokai to help bring down the tree.
With the top laner down on Dignitas’s side, TSM then go to the Baron pit once more at 33 minutes exactly to try to bait the Dignitas squad even closer. With Ssumday coming back up and initiating his teleport at 33:12, TSM’s Cho’gath gets hooked once again and nearly gets killed. TSM run behind baron pit to regroup and allow Hauntzer to recall.
Dignitas starts the baron to try and rush it down. Unfortunately, Dignitas does not have the damage to take down the baron since Taliyah has Worked Ground all over the baron pit from the previous fight. When Hauntzer’s Cho’gath teleports back in at 33:42, Dignitas makes the decision to not fight, and give baron up to TSM in exchange for an Ocean Drake.
Team Solomid reclaims the baron after a long and hard battle.
The way that Team Solomid managed to claim the Baron was incredible in terms of macro-play level. By making Team Dignitas waste mana and ultimates to try to kill the Cho’gath the second time, Hauntzer was allowed to make the most of his Teleport advantage. Team Solomid managed to outplay Team Dignitas at the baron pit by using mid-wave priority to their advantage in order to claim the pit, then switching positions with Team Dignitas at the correct times. Team Dignitas could have fought the final fight at baron, but Maokai was low on health and Thresh had low mana and health. It would’ve been a bloodbath.
After Team Solomid claim the Baron buff on all five of their members, they take out three turrets. Their baron power play amounted to 4760 gold. With four complete items on Kog’maw and Cho’gath, the two reach their late-game power spikes and proceed to win the game for Team Solomid, securing Immortals a spot at Worlds.
TSM enter their match against Immortals Sunday coming off of one of their best series in recent memory, and certainly one of their best and most effective Baron dances. After dispatching Dignitas, they now face their bitter Summer Split equals Immortals.
What’s your thoughts on the fourth game between Team Dignitas and Team Solomid? Who do you think takes the Summer Split Playoffs Finals? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
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