In what seems like no time at all, the NA LCS 2018 Summer Split has come and gone. Team Liquid has cemented itself as the best team in North America for the entirety of the year by taking down Cloud9 in the grand finals, winning the entire Summer Split after winning the Spring Split earlier this year.
Let’s take a look at the entirety of the NA LCS Summer Split playoffs and where North America’s top teams placed.
Team SoloMid 3 – 2 Echo Fox
Team SoloMid narrowly made it through to the semifinals, making it past Echo Fox in the very last match of the best-of-five series. They won the first game in their typical impressive fashion, but then lost the following two matches — this meant they couldn’t lose again or they’d crash out of the playoffs. They made quick work of the fourth match, convincingly closing out the decider to advance.
100 Thieves 3 – 0 FlyQuest
In the Spring Split, 100 Thieves made it to the grand finals in what can only be described as an almost perfect inaugural showing. Based on their utter decimation of FlyQuest this time around, it seemed like they had a good chance of making it to the final stage once again.
The rivalry is real between these two teams, with them swapping Meteos and AnDa partway through the Split in what many think was a shady manner. Nonetheless, AnDa has fit in rather well with Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag’s squad and that was proven in this match. All three matches were confident displays from 100 Thieves, as they won in 32 minutes twice and 42 minutes in the third and final match.
Cloud9 3 – 2 Team SoloMid
The semifinals were a tense and close affair, especially when it came to the match-up between Cloud9 and Team SoloMid. A top two placement was a stake, and neither team held back. It was a back-and-forth series, with TSM drawing first blood with a 40 minute victory.
From there, the two dominant forces took it in turns to dominate each other until it came to the final game in the series. Again, it was a best-of-five and it wasn’t clear which team would be the victor.
In the end, however, Cloud9 managed to edge out TSM. It was surprisingly easy for them in the decider. Perhaps TSM ran out of steam, or perhaps Cloud9 simply outclassed them when it mattered most; either way, it was a beautiful and exciting precursor to the grand finals.
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Team Liquid 3 – 1 100 Thieves
In a rematch of last season’s grand finals, Team Liquid headed against 100 Thieves in this season’s semifinals in a battle for a spot in the finals. It was Team Liquid that booked its spot in this season’s final series by taking down one of their biggest rivals — and this was after they lost the first match.
Stringing together three victories in a row, they closed out Match two, three and four in 40 minutes, 30 minutes and 28 minutes respectively. This meant they moved on to the grand finals against Cloud9, where they’d be battling to prove they’re one of the strongest NA line-ups to ever exist in the game.
Team Liquid 3 – 0 Cloud9
Team Liquid was the undeniable favorite going into the grand finals, and it was easy to see why. After taking down 100 Thieves — who placed second in the Spring Split earlier this year — in the semifinals, it seemed like no team could stop them from taking this championship.
Their impressive form continued when facing off against Cloud9, who were utilizing a seven-man squad to try and operate the best within the current meta. This fluidity within their roster didn’t make any difference ultimately, as it was a clean-sweep for Team Liquid who demonstrated dominance with every champion they picked.
The first game went to Team Liquid in less than 36 minutes, with the eventual champions getting more than double the number of kills as their opponents claimed. The second match was even easier for them, gathering 27 kills and closing it out in under 33 minutes. The third — and what ended up being the final — match in the best-of-five series was the longest, but Cloud9 didn’t have it in them to take down Team Liquid to get back into the running.
Team Liquid showed that they’re the best North American team in League of Legends, putting them in a strong position leading into the World Championship later this year.