With Worlds 2019 on the horizon, there are just a few more crucial battles left to fight. On Sunday, Team Liquid and Cloud 9 clashed to decide who was the best team in NA.
In a battle fated since the start of the Spring 2019 LCS split, Team Liquid and Cloud 9 faced off in the finals of the LCS 2019 Summer Playoffs. As the two top ranked teams from the regular season, they are no strangers to clashes in finals. C9 has found itself in seven NA finals, while TL has ended up in four, with the latter winning on every occasion.
The matchup kicked off as if TL were capable of quickly claiming victory in this best-of-five, as they methodically took apart C9 in just 30 minutes. However, in the next two games C9 fired back, during which their most defining characteristic was the inconsistency of Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen in the midlane. Whether because of high jungle pressure or just being outplayed by Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, the TL midlaner looked off tempo, unable to effectively perform versus C9.
But in game four TL initiated a comeback. In a tight game, both teams tried their best to seize the upper hand, but a trio of fed carries made TL unbeatable. Then in game five it all fell apart for C9. After a series of early game kills, TL surged ahead and dictated the pace of the game in dominating fashion. Nothing their opponents could do seemed enough to stop the relentless march of Liquid, as they ended the game with a scoreline of 24-4. Team Liquid triumphantly raised their fourth NA championship title in as many splits.
Cloud 9, on the other hand, are left to ponder just what it is they have to do to take gold in the LCS. A Seasonal championship has escaped C9’s grasp since the halcyon days of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. League of Legends has changed enormously since then, with just two constants for C9: That they’re always in the championship race, and Zackary “Sneaky” Scuderi is still the ADC for the team. Team Liquid has a slightly different constant. Since the change of format in 2018, Team Liquid hasn’t lost an NA final.
Both C9 and Team Liquid have also bypassed the Region Finals, their championships points and first place finishes respectively securing their position at Worlds 2019. That makes Team Liquid’s victory all the sweeter: The win wasn’t for qualification, or points, or event titles. It was for bragging rights. And Team Liquid have justification for telling the world that they’re the very best NA has to offer.
Featured photo by: Riot Games