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Liquid scores huge upset in '18 NA Spring QFs, sweeps crowd-favorites Cloud9 out of title contention

SMILES AND CELEBRATION FOR THE STARS: The star-studded 2018 NA LCS roster of Team Liquid are celebrating to their recent upset over Cloud9 in their Quarterfinal matchup in the 2018 NA LCS Spring Playoffs. YouTube

By Ozzy Alaba

MANILA -- And the blue horses got the last laugh once again.

Team Liquid (TL) triumphantly locked the first slot going to the 2018 NA LCS Spring Semifinals as they pulled off a huge upset over heavy-favorites Cloud9 (C9) via clean sweep, 3-0 in their best-of-5 Quarterfinal date at the NA LCS Battle Arena in Los Angeles, California on Sunday morning (Philippine time).

Despite being criticized by some analysts for their inconsistency in the whole split, TL still managed to defy the odds and expectations and ended their two-split playoff drought on a high note as the five-man LCS star-filled roster flashed their most consistent performance, dismantling C9’s lanes for the entire series, which gave them the much-important win and top 4 berth.

TL’s star AD Carry Yiliang Peng (Doublelift), as usual, spearheaded the five-man squad’s charge, clinching the first Player of the Series in the playoffs through his stellar showing on Caitlyn and Jhin, ending the three-game series in a flawless combined game-high 23 Kill-Death-Assist (KDA) Ratio (15/0/8 KDA).

Former World champion Jung Eon-young (impact) also didn’t fail in supporting Peng in his back and impressing the crowd with his antics as his pocket-pick Singed stole the spotlight in Game 2, finishing the said game with a 3/1/10 KDA, which is helpful in his garnered individual 6.25 KDA Ratio (4/4/21 KDA) in the end.

Jung’s fellow Korean import and Peng’s bot lane partner Kim Joo-sung (Olleh) also stepped up big, displaying his superior roaming skills on play-making supports like Tahm Kench and co-lead the team in the assists department with 20 (Jung with 21 assists).

TL’s veteran jungle-mid lane duo of Jake Puchero (Xmithie) and Eugene Park (Pobelter) also provided quality plays in the series as they perfectly exhibited their synergy down the stretch, impacting TL’s core rotations and ending it with a combined 9/11/29 KDA in the three-game run.

It could have been a close game for both squads in the curtain-raiser as C9 secured Baron Nashor and some towers in the dying minutes, but TL still found a way to close it out through Peng’s excellent kiting on Caitlyn, which tilted their adversaries in the next two games and forced C9 to call GG in more than 3 hours of continuous action

Meanwhile, C9’s long-tenured AD Carry Zachary Scuderi (Sneaky) submitted a decent record, concluding the series with a team-high 9.5 KDA Ratio (11/2/8 KDA), alongside with mid laner Nicolaj Jensen (Jensen), who also closed the run with a 5/2/11 KDA (8 KDA Ratio).

With the historic win, TL will be assured of acquiring at least 30 to 90 Championship Points, which are vital for the squad’s qualification to the 2018 World Championship and will face these scenarios going into the semifinals:·
  • According to the NA LCS rulebook, the teams will be reseeded after the Quarterfinals, thus making the first-place team in the Regular Season face the lowest-seeded team in the Regular Season who made it to the semifinals. Since TL is already assured of a semifinal seat and ended the Regular Season in 4th place (11-7), if TSM (3rd place, 11-7) beats Clutch Gaming (6th Place, 11-7), TL will face the first-place team 100 Thieves (12-6), thus making TSM face Echo Fox (2nd Place, 12-6) in compliance with the said rule.
  • If Clutch Gaming pulls off the major upset and beats TSM in the Quarterfinals, they will face 100 Thieves in the semis, thus, making TL face Echo Fox in compliance with the same rule previously mentioned. 

The updated bracket of the 2018 NA LCS Spring Playoffs.

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