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A true David versus Goliath matchup awaited fans in the lower bracket of the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series summer playoffs. Team Liquid Honda came into the summer season as the favorites to win the LCS after establishing a super team the likes of NA have never seen with arguably the best in region players in every lane. But their opponent in this playoff series was Counter Logic Gaming, a team filled with players that were considered far from the league’s best before the season started. While Team Liquid were the ones to win in the end, it was this upstart CLG team that pushed them to the brink of elimination but the wheels came falling off as TL pulled off the reverse sweep to win the series 3-2.

Although the result wasn’t outlandish, the way Game 1 played out for both teams was not something many expected. With both teams just one game different from each other in the standings, CLG were the ones that made TL look like they weren’t even in the same league. In the draft, CLG managed to counter TL’s melee-heavy comps by picking a ton of AoE CC which challenged TL to even try to execute their comp.

Just before TL even had a chance to play the game they wanted to, CLG managed to jump out to an incredible early lead off of a failed gank top lane; allowing Niship “Dhokla” Doshi to turn around a for-sure death into a double-kill for first blood. From that point onwards, nothing worked for TL as any sort of pick or fight would just be answered by CLG and in one of the quickest games of the 2022 LCS Summer playoffs, CLG took Game 1 convincingly.

TL looked a lot better in Game 2, especially in the top side. Instead of Dhokla getting first blood, it was TL picking it up as they jumped out to a small lead. But with CLG keeping gold close and starting to stack the Dragon Soul win condition, TL were pressured into stopping CLG from taking dragons consecutively. But after a cheeky Baron take that ended up with TL taking it with casualties, CLG were able to turn around to their third dragon which set up a vital Dragon Soul Point fight. Five minutes later, CLG were the ones who found the crucial pick, take the Dragon Soul, take the Baron and take Game 2 setting them up for a potentially shocking 3-0 sweep.

CLG played shaky in Game 3. With the sweep looming, CLG appeared to take too many risky fights that did not work out. Despite their backs to the wall, it was TL that played cool and collected as they played a methodical game that allowed them to let CLG to try and start fights themselves that were easily answered. 25 minutes into the game TL had a 5k gold lead. And with CLG down that much gold, their team fights turned desperate but were not nearly enough. TL prevented the sweep to force a Game 4.

Game 4 was disastrous for CLG, as TL — through an unorthodox Jinx and Janna bot lane — were able to steamroll the game especially due to Lucas “Santorin” Larsen’s efforts on Trundle which was a headscratcher on CLG’s part because they left the most powerful jungle champion on the patch left up for TL to take. TL were able to push massive early game leads to open up the game with a near 4k gold lead at just the 14-minute mark. TL easily took Game 4 to push CLG to Silver Scrapes.

Despite CLG on comfort picks, the team could not put anything together. Through mistakes on their own and TL finally playing like the team many thought they would be, TL ran through CLG in the early game as they were able to pull off the reverse sweep to move on in the lower bracket.

CLG’s season is now over while Team Liquid awaits the winner of Evil Geniuses and TSM.

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