April 17 was the day the world of League of Legends wondered, “what year is it?” TSM and CLG were in the NA LCS Finals: a blast from the past rivalry that was arguably more hyped than the Immortals 18-0 dream. How did they do? Here’s our recap!
NA LCS FINALS GAME 1
This was a game that left me on the edge of my seat with anticipation throughout the entire 43 minute match. Team fights flew back and forth with some favoring TSM, others favoring CLG, and no one was the clear winner in this match. The game started slow with Doublelift landing first blood on Huhi at roughly 10 minutes. From there the game remained slow with Bjergsen only picking up one kill during the next 15 minutes. At about 26 minutes things got interesting. Both teams were playing safe, waiting for items and their respective power spikes to hit. CLG scored a massive lead with four kills on TSM without losing a kill in the process. Adding insult to injury it also earned them a baron. Not even five minutes later TSM made a huge comeback with an ACE on CLG, only losing Svenskeren in the process. With the game clock at 32 minutes CLG surprised TSM with another team fight, punishing TSM for taking out Darshan, trading them 3 more kills for one. CLG picked up two more kills and an inhib. Stixxay was still alive at this point and they grabbed a few more objectives.
At roughly 42 minutes a massive team fight lasted way too long at baron (not the first long fight at Baron that match). CLG baited out TSM from backing after baron was taken down and the super minions won the game for CLG despite losing 4 players in that baron fight, bringing about a crazy end to an intense game of tug of war.
NA LCS FINALS GAME 2
CLG’s clutch win in the previous match was something to behold, but at just under five minutes Xsmithie scored first blood in the top lane and TSM responded with a followup of two kills. TSM continued by steadily picking off CLG, bringing the score to 4-1 in their favor. The action didn’t stop there. 15 minutes into the match CLG closed the gap a little, Huhi landing a double kill under TSM’s inner turret on bot., returning fire after TSM took out Stixxay. Barely 3 minutes later, a team fight at mid left the kill total 6-4 as TSM refused to give up the lead. At 27 minutes TSM went for baron, prompting CLG to respond and attempt to steal it while taking down TSM. Things did not go as planned as TSM was able to take down CLG inside the baron pit and use baron buff to secure their first win, ending the match at 28:32.
NA LCS FINALS GAME 3
Bjergsen desperately wanted to win game 3 and his plays throughout the match showed it. He locked in the LeBlanc which drove the crowd wild. Arguably this is his most famous champion to play, and it’s always a sight to see. The game was slow, much like game 1. First blood went to Bjerg at 14 minutes in an incredible tower dive and use of ignite and zhonyas (to deaggro tower). A few minutes later CLG caught up to TSM in terms of kills (two to be exact). CLG took advantage with a team fight mid at 22 minutes, earning them a 1 kill advantage (3-2 trade in favor of CLG) and baron at 24 minutes they killed.
Despite a 3-2 trade in favor of CLG at about the 25 minute mark, TSM tied up the kill count around 28 minutes with some great kills as Huhi was deleted after teleporting in. The rest of CLG was saved with a fantastic Bard ult from Aphromoo. At 31 minutes Bjergsen made a fantastic play with a show of patience as CLG attempted to clean up the last of TSM in an extended team fight mid lane. He jumped to the back line and took down a fed Stixxay with amazing macro play. The fun didn’t stop there, though! As he was making his escape, Huhi attempted to follow and get Bjergsen who had other plans. Bjerg quickly turned the tables and eliminated Huhi with cleverly timed chains and fast damage. Despite the play, CLG came out ahead in kills and took Baron.
From there the teams grew more aggressive. CLG went for dragon at 36 minutes but TSM halted their progress, stealing the dragon and starting a long-winded fight (again) in the red side bottom jungle. It’s hard to call it a team fight as it looked more like four separate fights spread across the jungle all happening at once. In a fantastic display of Caitlin play from Stixxay, he secured a brilliant double kill with crit Runaans giving CLG a massive advantage in lane pushing. Sixxay and Darshan rushed mid lane take down to take out the last TSM member and win the game at the 41 minute mark.
NA LCS FINALS GAME 4
The dream of a 5 game series in the finals was becoming real! TSM scoreed first blood under the CLG top tower just past 4 minutes and rotated bot lane to pick up another kill just before the 11 minute mark. The game stalled out for several minutes with minor plays and farming for items waiting for either team to make a move. At 25 minutes in TSM took control and scored four kills. They took the fight to CLG’s base with an open mid inhib. A big team fight forced TSM to back off and CLG salvaged a terrible situation. The real play of the match came at 32 minutes in at the baron pit. TSM tried to take Baron, prompting a CLG response as they attempt to steal it. The steal works but Xsmithie was waiting to respawn. Huhi was soon taken down as well, leaving only Bard, Trundle and Ezreal alive. There wasn’t much the remaining members of CLG ccould do against all five TSM members. TSM took mid inhib and top tower.
At 33 minutes CLG attempted to take on TSM, only to hand an ace to TSM who then clinched the game 12 kills to 2 and took the finals to game 5.
NA LCS FINALS GAME 5
Tensions were high. The crowd had no clear favorite, though the fans online were confident in CLG, and this match would decide who would represent North America at MSI. For anyone who loves watching League, Game 5 was as intense as any fan could ask for. CLG started off strong getting early kills on the surprise Tristana pick from Stixxay. When she was picked people were expecting the Guinsoo’s build. And that is just what they got, however as the game dragged on the build waned and Stixxay was beginning to fall off.
Team fights traded back and forth and there wasn’t a clear victor in the late game. It didn’t matter which team ended up winning a fight because no one would be healthy enough to continue the push. TSM had three marksmen and after every fight if they weren’t seeing black and white, then they were too low to do anything because some kind of tank was respawning soon.
This game may have only been 30 minutes, but it was a low scoring game. Only in the last team fight did the winner end the game with a 12-9 kill advantage. With a newer roster and a lot on the line, CLG managed to rally behind each other and become the North American LCS Spring Split Champions. All it took was one team fight and CLG came out on top with Stixxay’s incredibly well played Tristana during the final push. It’s also impossible not to mention Hauntzer’s questionable engage. He lost a lot of HP by the time the rest of TSM was able to join the fight, and no one could jump onto Stixxay. The lack of focus is what crushed TSM and CLG’s patience paid off.
Congratulations to CLG for proving everyone wrong. See you at MSI.