Team Liquid has won its first match of the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split Promotion Tournament, rattling off three wins in a row after a disappointing game one loss against eUnited. After mistakes early in the series by TL’s bottom lane, the team cut back on the errors and used strong performances by its three carries to advance to Saturday’s winner’s match.
After a big performance in Game 1 from Gilius’ Lee Sin, the eUnited jungler struggled for the rest of the series. Reignover had his number from that moment on, with strong performances on Kha’Zix and Graves. Piglet played great games in the mid lane on Orianna and Ahri, while Doublelift showed up on his favored Lucian pick.
TL moves on to play the winner of the Team Envy vs. Gold Coin United series Saturday. The winner will be the first team in the tournament to qualify for the Summer Split. eUnited moves on to play the loser of the NV vs. GCU match. The loser of that match will be sent down to the Challenger Series.
9:36 p.m. ET: TL closes out this game, 16-3, in 27 minutes, winning the series. After picking up Baron at 21 minutes after kills No. 4 and No. 5 for Reignover, TL soon extended the gold lead beyond 10k. After that sloppy Game 1, TL was in total control, playing through Reignover (5/0/0 in Game 4) and Piglet (7/1/3).
9:28 p.m. ET: TL’s three carries all have multiple kills, and the team has taken a 7-2, 6k gold lead to the 20-minute mark. Reignover is 3/0/0 on another strong Kha’Zix early game, but the biggest lead is for Doublelift’s Lucian (a 1.9k advantage against Deftly’s Ashe).
9:18 p.m. ET: TL has a 500 gold lead at 10 minutes, thanks to a failed Gilius gank attempt early in the bottom lane. TL turned it around for First Blood for Doublelift, and TL has a big advantage down there now. EU has advantages of its own, however, especially in the Vladimir vs. Ahri mid lane matchup.
9:06 p.m. ET: eUnited picks red side again, so we have TL blue vs. EU red for the fourth straight game.
TL: Nautilus, Kha’Zix, Ahri, Lucian, Lulu
EU: Gragas, Lee Sin, Vladimir, Ashe, Zyra
The junglers both return to comfort, while we get matchups we’ve already seen in all lanes already. Both teams have a tank and multiple damage threats, with reliable sources of engage for team fights.
8:48 p.m. ET: Another swift victory for Team Liquid, this one 16-3 in 25 minutes. Piglet finished 6/0/4, while Lourlo is 1/0/10 on Nautilus. We’re headed to Game 3, with TL holding a 2-1 advantage.
8:45 p.m. ET: Piglet’s 6/0/0 at 23 minutes, as Team Liquid takes Baron and a 6k gold lead into the mid game. This one looks about over.
8:42 p.m. ET: Piglet’s taking this lead and running with it. He solokills Fox at 12 minutes, and TL takes mid outer soon after. TL retains complete control, with a 4k gold lead at 20 minutes even after EU picks up its first kill of the game.
8:32 p.m. ET: Team Liquid has built up a 1.5k gold lead 10 minutes in, with two kills for Piglet’s Ahri and a 4-0 kill lead overall. TL leads in every single lane, which spells bad news for an eUnited team without a tank to scale with Lourlo’s Nautilus. TL is also now three-for-three this series in taking first tower.
8:21 p.m. ET: It’s tied 1-1, and we’re headed to Game 3. Team Liquid has picked blue side again, so we’ve got identical sides for the third straight game.
TL: Nautilus, Graves, Ahri, Lucian, Lulu
EU: Kennen, Elise, Vladimir, Ashe, Zyra
eUnited’s bringing out the split-push Kennen as well as a pick-oriented Elise, Ashe and Zyra combination. Team Liquid’s bringing a similar three-carry comp out as they did in the first two games, with the Lulu and Nautilus providing support.
8:04 p.m. ET: Team Liquid presses its advantage with a 24-minute fight, netting a clean 5-0 ace, three kills for Piglet and a Baron. This is a much cleaner performance than Game One for TL, despite the shaky start for the bottom lane.
With the Baron buff, TL sieges the EU base and takes two inhibitors. At 28 minutes, TL picked up another ace and another three kills for Piglet, who finishes the game 11/3/11 Orianna.
TL wins Game 2 to tie up the series, 28-16 in 29 minutes. In addition to Piglet, Reignover stands out with his 9/2/14 Kha’Zix performance.
7:54 p.m. ET: This game has turned around. TL has won two fights to take a commanding 6k gold lead at 20 minutes, led by Reignover’s 7/1/6 score on Kha’Zix. TL also holds a 4-0 tower lead but eUnited is by no means out of it — the bot lane still has an advantage.
7:45 p.m. ET: We’re 10 minutes into Game 2, and eUnited has opened up a massive lead in the bottom lane, with four kills (two of them in 2 vs. 2 situations). Reignover’s keeping TL afloat, with two kills, one assist and an Infernal Drake in a close game.
It’s 5-3 EU, with a 700 gold lead.
7:27 p.m. ET: “There’s nothing worse than this, pretty much.” That’s a quote from Lourlo played before Game 2 picks and bans, which, yeesh.
Envy picked red side, so we have a repeat of sides from Game 1. Here are the team comps:
TL: Gragas, Kha’Zix, Orianna, Lucian, Lulu
EU: Nautilus, Graves, LeBlanc, Ashe, Zyra
This time around, TL banned Licorice’s Rumble. Gilius took Graves away from Reignover, leaving the TL jungler on his most frequent pick this season, Kha’Zix (although he’s had mixed success on it).
Other things to watch: Zeyzal with a repeat Zyra performance and Doublelift bringing out his “pocket pick” Lucian.
7:14 p.m. ET: TL was able to extend the game to 57 minutes with a series of improbable holds, but eUnited held strong for the 31-19 Game 1 victory. That’s a big boost to the Challenger team, who entered the series as pretty heavy underdogs.
Top performers included Licorice, who went 4/5/17 on Rumble and had a few excellent Equalizers, and Zeyzal, who went 5/3/15 in his first professional game on Zyra and set the pace for fights with his area control.
6:47 p.m. ET: We’re 30 minutes in, and eUnited continue to take advantage of TL’s lackluster positioning. The area control of Rumble, Jhin and Zyra has been too much for TL to handle, and it’s now 16-6 EUnited, with another Baron.
6:37 p.m. ET: Team Liquid commits too many resources to try and take the top inner tower and suffers for it. TL takes it, but loses three in the ensuing fight. EU picks up Baron and is able to take back the gold lead.
Licorice and Zeyzal remain the only EU players with gold advantages, but EU’s team comp can deliver massive amounts of damage in short bursts. If TL doesn’t stay disciplined, it doesn’t matter how tanky the Maokai gets.
6:27 p.m. ET: Well, there goes the gold lead. At 10 minutes, eUnited held a 1k gold lead and a 4-0 kill lead. Then Reignover killed Gilius in the mid lane, and TL picked up the mid outer turret for the game’s first tower.
It’s been an okay start for the Challenger squad, but they’ll have to snowball their Rumble advantage pretty quick before Maokai becomes unkillable.
6:22 pm ET: Everything’s going great for eUnited so far. The game started with Gilius earning first blood with a gank top, before Zeyzal got a second kill for his team in the bottom lane on his first-time Zyra.
6:16 pm ET: Team Liquid picks blue side for Game 1, and starts the series with Matt at support. The picks are in:
TL: Maokai, Graves, Ahri, Caitlyn, Lulu
EU: Rumble, Lee Sin, Jayce, Jhin, Zyra
eUnited is bringing a lot of damage to the table and Gilius’s infamous Lee Sin, but TL definitely has a frontline advantage with Maokai and Lulu’s ultimate. A short game would probably be good news for eUnited.
6:02 pm ET: The pre-game show has started, with Doublelift throwing some shots at the opposing jungler.
I saw, like, Gilius talk shit about Gold Coin United and then got trashed. He must have a really big mouth, but can’t back it up.
Team Liquid’s 2017 League of Legends struggles have culminated with one of the oldest LCS teams fighting for its future in the Promotion Tournament. The star-studded TL lineup will have its first test of the tournament Friday night against eUnited, the No. 2 seed from the Challenger Series.
Nobody’s going home tonight, and no one will clinch their LCS spot until Saturday, but a victory leaves a series worth of breathing room for the winning team.
Team Liquid sputtered out to a slow start this season at the bottom of the standings. A myriad of roster changes saw five different starters in the bottom lane, but TL has improved since bringing in Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng at AD Carry, on loan from TSM. He’s been the best laning AD Carry in North America in his return, and his leading margin in CS Difference at 10 minutes isn’t particularly close.
TL ended the Spring Split in ninth place with a 5-13 series record (17-30 in games), one series behind eighth-place Echo Fox in the standings.
eUnited purchased Team Liquid Academy’s former Challenger Series spot in November 2016. With a roster featuring EU LCS veterans and young North American prospects, the team secured the first seed in the playoffs with a 3-2 series record (8-2 in games). eUnited swept Big Gods Jackals in the semifinals but lost 3-1 in the finals to Gold Coin United, securing the No. 2 seed in this tournament.
The best-of-five series will start at 6 p.m. ET.
- Top: Samson “Lourlo” Jackson
- Jungle: Yeu-jin “Reignover” Kim
- Mid: Gwang-jin “Piglet” Chae
- AD Carry: Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
- Support: Matt Elento OR Adrian Ma
- Top: Eric “Licorice” Ritchie
- Jungle: Erberk “Gilius” Demir
- Mid: Hampus “Fox” Myhre
- AD Carry: Matthew “Deftly” Chen
- Support: Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam
Series info and how to watch
You’ll be able to watch all the Promotion Series games this weekend on Lolesports. This series will be on the NALCS2 Twitch channel. With pre-game analysis, you can probably expect the first game to start around 6:10 p.m. ET. Because it’s a best-of-five, this could take until around midnight.