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Team Liquid have taken down the previously undefeated Evil Geniuses 3-0 to win the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series Lock In, becoming back-to-back champions with the win.
The series was much more even than a 3-0 record would suggest, with each team finding their own advantages in every game. Team Liquid’s veterans proved to be invaluable on the day, however, which netted them the victory every single game.
That poise proved especially useful in Game 3, where Evil Geniuses quickly stacked up three drakes and a three thousand gold lead. But in one big teamfight in the mid-game, Team Liquid flipped everything around, getting the fourth drake, a huge multi-kill for Steven “Hans sama” Liv, and then the Baron buff.
“In Game 3, we had a comp that was clear, I just needed to keep farming,” Hans sama said of their comeback win in a post-game interview with Gabriella “LeTigress” Devia-Allen. “We were scaling with Zilean and Lulu. Once I reached two items or three items and we were about even, it was my time to shine.”
Hans sama continued, talking about how much this first North American trophy meant for the recent import.
“It means a lot for me and Team Liquid,” he said. “For me, my goal is to win a lot of games here in NA. I think I just lost one game so far, and I’m pretty excited to keep it going with a strong performance.”
The Lock In tournament also marked the return of legendary NA mid laner, Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, who had a fantastic performance in both the finals and throughout most of the event. He had a 17 Kills/Deaths/Assists ratio through the whole event, playing a few different styles of mid lane between his unique utility-oriented picks along with the meta Corki and Viktor games.
Team Liquid fielded three different rosters throughout the event due to having three imports in their main roster. Their main support, Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in is still awaiting his green card approval, and until he receives it, the team won’t be able to use him and everyone else in their main roster.
Throughout the Lock In, Liquid took turns swapping CoreJJ, Hans sama and even Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau out for their Team Liquid Academy counterparts. In their semifinal and final series, though, Bill “Eyla” Nguyen played every game, adding some stability for the team’s synergy.
In an interview leading up to the finals, Evil Geniuses top laner Jeong “Impact” Eon-young called out Bwipo’s skill, saying Bwipo was strong enough that he “can 1v9” his team, but Impact handled the series well. Afterward, Bwipo tweeted out his appreciation for his teammates who stepped up on the day to claim the series.
“Not a bad start to my LCS career at all, team carried me today. Big props to Hans sama and Eyla for making a very strong bot lane in a short period of time!” Bwipo said.
Not a bad start to my LCS career at all, team carried me today.
— Bwipo (@Bwipo) January 30, 2022
Despite their loss in the Lock In finals, Evil Geniuses had an impressive run through the tournament, winning every single game they played until these final three, ending the tournament with a 9-3 record overall.
The LCS spring split kicks off next weekend, marking the beginning of the real 2022 season.
League of Legends esports reporter and photographer for half a decade. Sometimes I try to touch grass.