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LCS Spring playoffs: Domination and elimination as TSM topple 100 Thieves

As the first week of the LCS Spring playoffs concludes, we round-up all the action as two teams are eliminated.

The first week of round 1 of LCS playoffs have ended and we’ve said goodbye to two teams, while the rest move on.

Most of the games we saw were pretty definitive, but the biggest game to come was the final one of the round.

To find out who made the cut, check out our recap below.

FlyQuest vs Evil Geniuses

One of the biggest questions we had for this series was why FlyQuest had put Omran "V1per" Shoura in the lineup instead of Colin "Solo" Earnest, who plays significantly better and has a better overall track record.

Games 1 and 2 were pretty dominant for Evil Geniuses, and while V1per certainly was not the cause, a dominant top laner would have likely helped FlyQuest be a contender for this series.

In Game 3, we see Solo in for V1per, which proves to work out well initially as Solo gets first blood onto Svenskeren and then takes Rift Herald. We also see Flyquest taking more objectives and being better about it, which was a problem in their first two games.

At 23 minutes, during a fight at drake pit, Evil Geniuses grab Jason “WildTurtle” Tran in an attempt to engage, but they end up losing three of their own players as a result. Fly continued to dominate, taking drakes, with Tristan “PowerofEvil” Schrage getting a triple kill in the river at 33 minutes. At 39 minutes, Fly got an ace and took the game.

However, in Game 4, FlyQuest would only see one win in the game previous. Despite keeping Solo, Evil Geniuses seem determined to get a solid final win, with an aggressive botlane, a first turret kill at 8 minutes, and 2 towers down by 11 minutes.

However, FlyQuest begin to fight back, catching up in kills, however, this is shut down by a major pause at 22 minutes caused by a bug on Evil Geniuses’ side, which actually causes a Chronobreak, where they are able to essentially “rewind” the game to before the bug occurred. With this pause being so long however, it seems to help EG more than it does Fly.

They pick up three kills in the river two minutes after Chronobreak has happened, and while Fly do seem to match them, taking three kills at Baron and four kills after EG get dragon soul, Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro backdoors to FlyQuest’s base, taking the game and the win of the series.

Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves

This series goes exactly how you would expect when a team faces Cloud9. In Game 1, 100 Thieves are not just able to even hold a candle to the dominance of Cloud9, who had 7 kills at 17 minutes.

In true Cloud9 fashion with their average win time of 30 minutes, they take the game in 28. In Game 2, the mental of 100T Thieves seemed to wane as Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho chased Robert “Blaber” Huang throughout the top jungle, but Eric “Licorice” Ritchie and Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer are able to follow and they get first blood 6 minutes in.

While 100 Thieves do attempt to make plays, including copying a four-man botlane run that Cloud9 has successfully pulled off earlier in the game, it does not work out as expected and they get nothing for it. Cloud 9 took Game 2 at 23 minutes.

Cloud9 LCS
Can anyone stop Cloud9? (Picture: lolesports)

And in Game 3, the flashes of a 100 Thieves come back began, as Licorice is killed on Hecarim about 2 minutes in, and the botlane of 100T becomes super aggressive against Cloud 9’s botlane. With a kill onto Blaber and the first Rift Herald secure, 100 Thieves try to show that they could be the next team to possibly take a game off of Cloud9.

However, this is short lived as the game progressed and Cloud9 continued to keep everyone on their toes. Licorice prevented a teleport in from Ssumday on the botlane when a gank from Cloud9 hit a sticky spot, and Blaber got a double kill. 100 Thieves make their last stand towards the 30 minute mark by preventing Cloud9 from getting dragon soul, but Cloud9 take two kills and in their longest game of the series, win at 31 minutes, forcing 100 Thieves down to the lower bracket.

FlyQuest vs Golden Guardians

FlyQuest made the decision to keep Solo in this series, which would prove to be incredibly useful. Despite the game being even in gold and CS in the early part of Game 1, Golden Guardians made a mistake with their Rift Herald; they waited too long to use it and released it deep in the jungle of botlane, where it had to run a long distance to make it to the tower, where it was attacked and killed.

FlyQuest did not have this issue when they took the second Herald, using it to get first turret blood, which - along with two drakes by 12 minutes - helped them hold onto a lead. GG did their best to keep up in team fights, keeping the kill count pretty even for most of the game, but with a lack of objectives, Fly were able to take Game 1 at 41 minutes.

The same could be said for Game 2, with objectives getting more into the hands of FlyQuest as well as a 3k gold lead at about 16 minutes. A drake at 21 minutes and 26 minutes helped Golden Guardians in an attempt to keep it competitive, but with a 27 minute Baron by Fly and getting four kills onto Golden Guardians, FlyQuest took the win a minute later.

Game 3 seemed to be “kill WildTurtle time”, as the poor ADC was killed twice in the first three minutes. Golden Guardians, not going down without a fight, take the first drake at 6 minutes, the first Rift Herald at 9 minutes, and another drake at 12 minutes.

They continue to fight and pick up objectives which was a major need for them. However, a fight at drake about 32 minutes gets Golden Guardians in a bad spot where they lose four of their players thanks to PowerofEvil, who found the flank.

By this point, FlyQuest is just too strong, having 16 total kills by 38 minutes, and at 39 minutes, they took the game. Golden Guardians are now eliminated and we will see them in Summer.

TSM vs 100 Thieves

The craziest match of the playoffs so far goes to this series. In Game 1, TSM straight up slapped 100 Thieves as they steamrolled through the game. Notable mentions go to Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik, who took not only first blood at 6 minutes, but then another kill 30 seconds later.

Vincent “Biofrost” Wang gets another mention, whose quick reflexes on Tahm Kench helped him devour teammates at just the right moments, saving them from certain death.

TSM’s lead was strong, with a 4k gold lead at 15 minutes and Baron at 30 minutes, along with 7 towers and 3 drakes. After a fight in the river that gave TSM three more kills, they used this advantage to take Game 1 at 34 minutes.

In Game 2, we had what they call a Salty Runback. This means essentially that you believe your draft from the previous game was perfectly fine, but that you just did not execute it properly. 100 Thieves incorporated the Salty Runback and TSM followed suit in that every single pick and ban was the exact same, and in the exact same order. And what a runback this was.

100 Thieves worked on being able to control the pace of the game, which worked in their favor. CS was even on botlane and toplane, and Tommy “Ryoma” Le actually had a slight CS lead 11 minutes in. Ryoma gets a notable mention in this game; he absolutely killed it, no pun intended.

In a huge fight by drake, Ryoma snags himself a triple kill and prevents Sun "Cody" "Cody Sun" Li-Yu from certain death, while William “Meteos” Hartman flashes away with single digit HP. Ryoma gets two more kills at 15 minutes.

TSM LCS
TSM advance in the playoffs (Picture: lolesports) 

Another big fight occurs at drake at 30 minutes, and Ryoma gets another double kill, which helps them get the drake, and Baron minutes later. By 33 minutes, Ryoma has 10 kills on his Orianna. 100 Thieves won the game at that point, and we have a series, thanks to the Salty Runback.

Game 3 became more of the TSM show, with first blood around 2 minutes, first drake at 7 minutes, and Rift Herald at 9 minutes. However, at 18 minutes a big fight at the player’s favorite place, drake pit, breaks out and 100 Thieves not only get three kills but the drake as well.

At midlane 20 minutes in, a huge fight breaks out and while 100 Thieves get two kills, Meteos and Ssumday overcommit in a chase to Broken Blade, and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg saves him. At Baron 22 minutes in, Cody Sun’s Bullet Time on Miss Fortune takes a lot of health out of TSM, but they still take Baron.

Cody Sun, however, is not done, and gets three kills in the aftermath. He gets a mention in this game, as by 31 minutes he is 6/0/7, a feat of being deathless that he has accomplished many times before. A major kill onto Bjergsen by Cody Sun helps them take the next Baron, and more kills on the side of 100 Thieves get them the win at 39 minutes.

Game 4 was do or die for TSM and they came to play. We see the dominant lead they have in most of the games in this series, where they get first blood around 4 minutes, Rift Herald at 10 minutes, drake at 12 minutes, and have a 5.5 gold lead at 15 minutes.

A standoff at the second Rift Herald has 100 Thieves get the kill, but unfortunately not the eye as TSM stood around it and let it disappear.

With the game like this, people began to wonder, will this be the first matchup to get us five games? At the drake pit, another fight breaks out at 24 minutes, TSM take out three and run off to Baron. TSM get three more kills in the 100 Thieves base at 30 minutes and they take the game at 33 minutes, and we are on to Silver Scrapes and Game 5!

If you’re not familiar with Silver Scrapes, it is a song that has been around since Season 2, when the World Championship was broadcasted live. Since Riot Games was still relatively new, they found plenty of technical difficulties in their broadcasts, and they would display a static stream with Silver Scrapes playing in the background.

Since it was played so much the community really began to enjoy it, and now, whenever a series reaches five games, the song is played in the break between Games 4 and 5. At most live events when we get to five games, everyone in the arena gets into it, from the casters to the analyst desk, to the crowd.

Now to the explosive game that was Game 5. The kills began quite close, along with the gold by 12 minutes, with the kills at 3-2; 100 Thieves have the edge. At 15 minutes a standoff at Rift Herald caused TSM to lose four of their players thanks to Ryoma with a decent flank.

The only one who stayed alive was Broken Blade, who was down botlane, pushing the Tier 2 turret. At 27 minutes, a fight at midlane and a flank by Meteos caused three kills for TSM and two kills for 100 Thieves, where they can also grab their 3rd drake.

And then, after a fight in the midlane that found two TSM members dead and 100 Thieves about to get dragon soul, Broken Blade teleports in, and Bjergsen uses Paddlestar and then Portal Jump to decimate Cody Sun, while Broken Blade runs towards the drake.

100 Thieves have to back away. A massive play by Bjergsen prevents soul and gets them their own 3rd drake. At 36 minutes, 100 Thieves get Baron plus a kill.

Another drake fight and the contest for soul occured at 39 minutes, TSM take soul and a kill, but 100 Thieves also get a kill. And finally, the game ending play. The teams find each other near the botside jungle on midlane side.

100 Thieves look like they might be able to take this, but Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup and Bjergsen get two kills a piece, and while Cody Sun tries to take out the members with the help of William “Stunt” Chen, Bjergsen is still able to hit the nexus and take it down. With that final play, 100 Thieves find themselves out of playoffs and TSM move on.

Yes, what a series it was, and with these games finished, it’s time to move onto Round 2 of playoffs, where Cloud9 will take on Evil Geniuses and TSM will move on to a match up against FlyQuest. Who do you think will reign supreme after this weekend?

Be sure to catch more weekly recaps here on GINX TV and check out Round 2 of playoffs on 11th April, at 21:00 GMT (12:00 CET / 01:00 PST). You can catch it on YouTube, Twitch, and lolesports.com.

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