The League of Legends North American LCS finals peaked at nearly 600,000 viewers, making it the second most viewed LCS finals match of all time. The thrilling five-game series between Team SoloMid and Team Liquid lived up to the hype and rightfully sits among the best finals in the region.
The TSM effect
The fact that fan favorite TSM was in the finals in itself brought attention to the match. According to Esports Charts, the three most viewed matches of the 2019 LCS Spring Split all include TSM, being their quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals series. TSM’s quarterfinal match, in which they beat Echo Fox 3-1, had a peak viewership of over thirty thousand more than Team Liquid’s semifinals match against FlyQuest.
But this match had more than just the TSM name to bring viewers in. Not only did TSM’s owner, Andy “Reginald” Dinh, place a $100,000 bet with TL’s owner, Steve Arhancet, upon the match, but there was more than enough trash talk to go around from both teams. Reginald took shots at everyone in sight, including even George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis, who is the owner of Counter Logic Gaming and isn’t affiliated with their finals opponent.
I can’t wait to crush Team Liquid. They’ve never been able to win anything without buying talent.
Bjergsen is gonna crush Jensen and he’s going to choke again. #playtowin
And if hotshot shows up, we’ll f him too
— TSM FTX Andy (@TSMReginald) April 12, 2019
For fans of the LCS, however, the finals matchup between TSM and TL had more to offer.
Familiar faces in TL’s roster
Several players on the Team Liquid roster are familiar with playing against TSM on the biggest stages. TL’s jungler, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, had a 2-1 record against TSM going into this season’s finals, facing TSM in the NA LCS 2015 Summer finals, 2016 Spring finals, and 2017 Summer finals.
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and Liliang “Doublelift” Peng, however, have an even deeper rivalry with TSM. Jensen secured his first finals victory over TSM this weekend, after previous finals matchups in the NA LCS 2017 Spring and 2016 Summer Splits while he played for Cloud9.
The 2017 Spring finals still holds the record for highest viewer count with nearly 730,000 at its peak. But it also holds a moment in North American League of Legends infamy, of which Reginald hinted at in the tweet above. In a clutch team fight during the fifth game of the finals, Jensen was critically bursted from full health with his abilities and items still available. This misplay allowed TSM to capitalize and take the 2017 Spring Split trophy.
Doublelift also has a history with TSM, including finals appearances on TSM’s roster as well as playing against them. After beating TSM in the 2015 NA LCS Summer finals 3-0, Doublelift joined TSM in the 2016 Spring season. Despite a brief departure to Team Liquid in 2017, Doublelift won the finals in the 2016 Summer and 2017 Summer Splits on TSM’s roster.
Heading into this finals match, Doublelift had won three consecutive finals. This was Doublelift’s first finals appearance against his former team, and the match did not disappoint.
If you missed the match, check out our full recap of the matchup between TSM and TL. If you have the time, make sure to watch the full match, as it was a wild ride!