The day has finally arrived. The LCS Spring Split finals are upon us. The crown is up for grabs, and with it comes a ticket to the Mid-Season Invitational in Vietnam. Not only is the crown on the line, but there is also the small matter of the $100,000 bet riding on the match between TSM owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh and Team Liquid owner Steve “LiQuiD112” Arhancet.
Coming into the series, TSM are looking like the clear favorites to win, having won both of their matches against TL during the regular season. Team Liquid’s dominance of the region cannot be brushed aside, however, especially in a bo5 scenario where anything can happen.
Win conditions for TSM
TSM are in a very good position coming into this matchup, coming fresh off of the back of their defeat of Cloud9, who placed joint first at the end of the split. For TSM to win the bo5 though, it is very important for them to win that first match in order to gain the momentum they need for the rest of the series.
In order for them to pull this off, it is pertinent that they take control of the game straight out of the gates. If they don’t gain a lead early on and snowball, they will struggle in the late game versus TL’s superior team fighting and macro play.
They also need to take control of jungle vision very early in order to survive ganks and deny camps from star jungler Jake Kevin “Xmithie” Puchero. If they can track Xmithie throughout the course of the match, they will be much better equipped to take control of the game and find the picks necessary to snowball.
Win conditions for Team Liquid
Whilst Team Liquid has breezed through the entirety of the regular split with relative ease, they have still faltered a few times, especially when it came to facing TSM. If they want to get the three-peat and avoid history repeating itself, they are going to have to pull their act together and work like a well-oiled machine.
The most important thing for Team Liquid is to draft to their strengths; they need to get a strong team fight composition that will help them win in the late game. If they try and draft in any other way, they will be in serious danger of losing as they don’t really thrive in any other play style.
TL also need to be very wary in the early game. They cannot give TSM even an inch; otherwise, it will come back to bite them. This means that they cannot go for any questionable plays as they seem to do sometimes. Instead, they need to focus on gaining advantages through smart laning and effective resource allocation to make sure the right team members — specifically Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng — have the tools they need to be effective in team fights.