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No one expected Evil Geniuses and TSM to match up against each other in the lower bracket — and no one expected the series to last over eight hours. And no one expected the reasons why.

TSM and Evil Geniuses played in an elimination match in the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series summer playoffs that were plagued with delays and audio issues. And although both teams agreed to play through the delays, it was TSM wishing they had another chance after they were eliminated from Worlds 2022 contention in a 3-2 defeat at the hand of EG.

Game 1 was a barnburner even from the draft. TSM were the team that took the early lead which was largely thanks to the off-meta bot lane duo of Xayah and Janna. But, as expected by EG, the team was able to erase a 3k gold deficit. But the squad could not really carry a lead, instead just keeping TSM in check.

But when a team is constantly playing catchup, the team that is ahead only have to make a single move to break the game open again. TSM did that with a clutch Baron steal by Mingyi “Spica” Lu which would of allowed EG to establish their first lead. Instead, it was TSM who turned around, took Hextech Dragon Soul and eventually the game to put themselves up 1-0 in the best of five.

Game 2 went on longer than expected, both because of gameplay and technical issues. In-game pauses plagued the flow of the game which were due to audio issues. Both teams had to sit silent through many delays in which both teams’ mental fortitude were tested. However, through many long pauses as well as the game dragging along, EG were finally able to put TSM away after a massive gold lead and Dragon Soul to tie up the series at one a piece.

Massive delay plagues EG vs. TSM match

The biggest story of the day up to this point were those audio issues. After an almost three-hour delay, both teams elected to play through the unresolved audio issues as both teams continued with the series in Game 3 with the series tied one a piece. When it came to the question of whether any team would be phased by the long pause, EG proved they were not. In a decisive game that saw them grab an early lead and not let go, EG marched to a Game 3 win to move onto match point.

But of course, just like nearly every single playoff series this season, it wouldn’t be right to have this series end at just four games. TSM’s captain and shot caller Spica did not want to go home, instead through early game dominance that saw him grab five kills in the first 15 minutes, Spica and TSM speed ran Game 4 to push EG to the brink of elimination as the day turned to night with both teams entering a fifth and final game.

With both teams’ season on the line and after being at the LCS Studio for more than eight hours, no player wanted to be the reason why they lost the series for their team and that was reflected in the careful gameplay.

First Blood didn’t happen until 15 minutes and there were only two kills at the 24 minute mark. Gold was dead even at that point as well. But when EG needed him the most, Joseph Joon “jojopyun” Pyun stepped up. After a critical flash forward to open up the game a little, Jojopyun flashed forward once again to smite away the Dragon Soul point and with Baron and Soul in hand, EG fended off TSM to prevent the upset and move onto face Team Liquid Honda for the last LCS Worlds 2022 spot.

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