The curse has been broken! Team Liquid breeze through 100 Thieves 3-0 to become the first North American LCS champions in 2018.
After what seemed to be a daunting start of the season for Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and his team, they managed to pull themselves through at the end. Team Liquid’s hopes of making the playoffs remained up in the air until the very last matches of the regular split. In the end, with the record of 11 wins and 7 losses, they managed to secure a spot in the gauntlet.
In the first elimination match, they had to face Cloud9, the very team they managed to successfully beat in the tiebreaker matches just one week before. Overall, the game proved to be an easy one for TL, and they breezed through their opponents with a 3-0 record.
In the semi-finals, Liquid faced a massive hurdle in a form of Echo Fox, who had a solid 2-0 history against them and proved themselves to be one of the strongest teams in North America over the regular season. With some luck, TL managed to win two games in a row to secure a series 3-1 and move on to the grand finals.
Waiting for them there were Nadeshot’s 100 Thieves, however, the biggest hit to them was dealt from the outside. Liquid’s hopes for the title came into question as tragic news touched Doublelift’s family just days before the finals. Even after a loss of his mother, Peng decided to stick with his team and play till the end.
In the end, Doublelift proved to be imperative for his team’s success. He gained impressive 13 kills, 15 assists, and just a single death in three games to lead Team Liquid to victory. The MVP of the series, nevertheless, went to his teammate Eugene “Pobelter” Park over in the middle lane.
Pobelter was allowed to pick Azir in every single one of his games and he played him to his strengths successfully to shut down 100 Thieves’ Yoo “Ryu” Sang-wook every time. In the third game of the series, Pobelter carried his team to the victory and secured them a title of North American LCS champions — a first ever in the history of the organization.
This marks the end of the very unsuccessful streak for Team Liquid. As well as glory, the champions were able to bring back home a $100,000 cheque, 90 Championship Points, and an invitation to represent North America in the 2018 Mid Season Invitational, which will be held in Paris, France in a months time.
100 Thieves secured an impressive second-place finish in their debut split, collecting $50,000 and 70 Points. Echo Fox, after a very strong performance in the regular split, had to make do with a third-place finish, $30,000 and 50 Points.
These three teams will be representing North America in the Rift Rivals later this year.