As we dive into a highly entertaining weekend for League of Legends fans, which will feature matches between some of the best teams in the world, there is one match that stands out. And it’s the TSM vs Team Liquid, who will meet in the LCS Spring finals on April 13th.
After what can only be described as one of the best matches in LCS history, when Team SoloMid defeated Cloud9 in the semifinals of NA LCS, we will hope the finals will be just as entertaining, if not more. But while there are a lot of expectations from fans to see the finals worthy of being called THE FINALS, this also puts a lot of pressure on TSM to dethrone the NA LCS kings; Team Liquid.
Talking about pressure, the upcoming finals could easily be called the Bjergsen vs Doublelift finals, as whoever wins the finals will become the player with the most titles in the LCS history.
Team SoloMid have not been too dominant in recent years. After a disappointing season which resulted in TSM failing to reach the NA LCS finals, for the first time in 10 consecutive splits, TSM are back after what can only be described as one of the best semifinals matches in recent years. We are of course talking about the TSM v Colud9 semifinals, which took place on April 6th. In the first NA LCS semifinals, TSM failed to impress and were on the verge of being eliminated after only two games. Well to be fair, this should not come off as a shock, as Could9 were the better side in the first two games. It all seemed like it was the end of the road for TSM, but they rose like a phoenix from ashes in the 3rd game. And who was it to “blame” for their impressive comeback? No other than their captain Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, who brought out his ace in the hole; Akali. Bjergsen and his Akali stomped Could9, who could not find out a way to stop the Danish superstar. I guess this is the prime example of how to differentiate a good player from one of the best. A good player can bring you to the end stages of the tournament, but only the best can win the game singlehandedly. While Bjergsen did most of the job, some credit goes to Akkadian and Smoothie, who “allowed him to carry the team”.
What do we need to say about this team that has not yet been said? Team Liquid have established themselves as a powerhouse in the LCS with their dominance ever since 2018 when they rose to power. With the star-filled roster, they are the favourites to win every tournament they enter, and rightfully so. In the semifinals, Team Liquid trashed FlyQuest with a 3:0 win, which was expected. As favourites to win the NA LCS for the 3rd time in a row, they proved to the world, they are a class or two above FlyQuest. We did, however, see V1per securing a quadra kill in the first match against Team Liquid, but even that was not enough for FlyQuest to fight off their opponents. When it comes to deciding who will end up victorious in the finals, we need to check what the teams’ advantage and disadvantages are in each lane.
Starting off with the top lane, where I feel comfortable saying TSM is not in as bad of a spot as it might seem. Impact is the more experienced player and seems like he gets into the “playoff mode” towards the end of any tournament, but I do believe Brokenblade should not be underestimated here. We have seen Brokenblade defeating Impact before, and I would not exclude that possibility here. Brokenblade has shown he is capable of adapting and playing top lane carries, which would even put him into a slight advantage over Impact, however the impressive performance from Impact against FlyQuest puts the question of who will have an edge over the other under one big question. As far as jungle goes, we expect Akaadian spending most of his time in the top lane, where he will hope to get Brokenblade in front, which if successful could be a huge factor in who will end up winning the finals. Comparing the two junglers, Xmithie is without a doubt the better jungler. He is arguably one of the best if not the best NA jungler, as far as domestic players go. While I do believe Akaadian will be the underdog in this matchup, he has impressed with his approach to the game in the “fiesta” against Cloud9. Confidence is there, but the question remains if that will be enough to face off against one of the best.
Moving down to midlane, we are in for the “clash of the titans”; Jensen vs Bjergsen. Two of the best midlaners for several years now and the only midlane worthy of finals. When two of the best go against each other it’s always hard to find flaws in them and point out the favourite. Same goes here. There is however one thing that differentiates them. Jensen is 0:3 against Bjergsen in LCS finals. From fairly equally matched midlane we move down to the duolane, which to be fair is no different. Doublelift vs Zven, two of the best at what they do. They both had incredible seasons, and while they did not show any standout performances, their consistency brought them where they are now. When we compare the two carries, there is no clear winner. Both are expected to perform equally in the laning phase, however, differences will come obvious when we will get into the teamfights. As far as supports go, Corejj has been the better support throughout the season, and while he has an advantage over smoothie, we can not underestimate TSM support, who has been a key part in numerous of their wins.
Verdict & Prediction
When two star-filled teams go against each other, we know we are in for a spectacular match. From the 4th chance for Jensen to finally defeat Bjergsen at midlane to a bit more personal matchup between Zven and Doublelift in the bottom lane, the upcoming finals really are all we can expect from finals. As it stands now, Team Liquid are heavily favourited to win, but I would have to disagree with the odds offered on them. Liquid are a strong team, but we cannot just look past TSM who are traditionally a strong team, with the experience needed to win on the big stage. The biggest difference between the two teams is their mindset. What TSM managed to do against Could9 is something we rarely see, and something only the best teams are capable of. While Liquid has a slight advantage over TMS (on the paper), I do not believe that will be enough for them to defeat TSM with ease.
Prediction: TSM +1.50 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.82 Dafabet