In a rematch of the 2017 Spring Split finals, Team SoloMid showed that it is still the top dogs in the North American League of Legends Championship Series on Saturday. The team took a hard-fought 2-0 sweep over Cloud9 to close out the second day of Week 1 in Los Angeles.
From the draft phase, TSM's gameplan was clear: get returning AD carry Peter "Doublelift" Peng ahead as Caitlyn. Doublelift showed off his incredible laning phase skills early on, absorbing pressure from C9 jungler Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia's Lee Sin, who struggled throughout Game 1. Team SoloMid (1-0, 2-0 match record) appeared to be back to its dominant 2016 Summer Split form as it racked up advantages across the map, leading to a 5,000-gold lead at 18 minutes. Cloud9 wouldn't give up without a fight, though, suddenly taking control after a gutsy 23-minute Baron call. While TSM's early leads gave it several towers and neutral objectives, Cloud9 clawed back into the game, neutralizing TSM's gold lead, but TSM pulled itself together by securing a Baron kill at 31 minutes. From there, TSM showed clever uses of mid laner Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg's Taliyah ultimate, setting up the Weaver's Wall to take free objectives. After securing an Elder Dragon at 36 minutes, there was little Cloud9 could do to stop Doublelift and TSM as the reigning North American champions took Game 1 in 42 minutes.
TSM's game plan changed in Game 2 with its team
fighting/pick composition, but Cloud9 (0-2, 1-4 match record) jumped ahead early after top laner Jeon "Ray" Ji-won picked up a solo kill in the top lane as Gragas. Both teams were dead even in gold heading into the mid game, with TSM defusing C9's attempted plays through clutch saves from support Vincent "Biofrost" Wang's Tahm Kench, but Cloud9 broke the deadlock with a 2-for-0 teamfight that led to a Baron secure at 22 minutes. Cloud9 used the Baron buff to great effect with its 1-3-1 splitpushing team composition, taking several towers, but got over-confident once the buff expired. TSM took control when Cloud9 tried to force a Baron kill at 30 minutes, with Bjergsen's Syndra picking up a triple kill, en route to his 8/1/6 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), and the Baron secure. From there, Cloud9 couldn't use its engage tools to start fights or deal with the splitpushing from TSM top laner Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell's Kennen, crumbling in the late game. TSM showed that it was still the dominant force in North America by cracking open C9's base before a 5-for-0 ace gave TSM the 37-minute Game 2 win to lock up the series sweep.