Team SoloMid took a 2-0 over Team Liquid on Sunday during the North American League Championship Series on Sunday in Los Angeles. With Team SoloMid surging after a string of recent wins and Team Liquid struggling, it was odd how difficult it was for TSM to take the win.
The man of the series was Team SoloMid's ADC, Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, who had two outstanding games on Tristana. His teamfighting was unmatched throughout the series as his opposition, Liquid AD carry Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin, couldn't hold a candle to his performances. Doublelift expertly took advantage of Tristana's combination of range and mobility to both output an outstanding amount of damage and to clean up the shattered remnants of Team Liquid once each fight was won. His 13/6/11 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) was completely unmatched in the series.
Individual skill wasn't the story of this series, however, as it was the movements and coordination of the teams that was most relevant. Team Liquid's macro was especially relevant, as it was the cause of its defeat. Liquid actually managed to secure leads in both games, and impressive ones at that. Gold leads mean little when you can't bring them to bear effectively, however, and it was there that Team Liquid failed. Liquid utterly failed to make use of the fact that it had the run of the map, a fact that was especially egregious in Game 2. Despite Team Liquid's lead of nearly 10,000 gold at one point, Team SoloMid managed to take all of the game's Elemental Drakes, which helped them eventually turn the series around.
With this defeat, Team Liquid's hopes of surviving into the playoffs are all but dashed. Even if it manages to win every game for the rest of the season, it would still need three separate teams to have incredible strings of bad luck for them to make it in. If Cloud9, Team EnVyUs, and Team Dignitas all manage to find two more match wins, then Team Liquid's fate is sealed, and that assumes that Phoenix1 doesn't manage a late-season rally to take the sixth place spot themselves.