Origen vs H2K (3-2)
Photo Source: Youtube
The first game of the semifinals on Saturday, April 9, brought the first upset of the weekend. Origen managed to take down the favorites, H2K in a close series of games. The first game was the longest of the entire best-of-five as the clock hit 55:35 before the game finally ended. Origen held onto a gold lead for the majority of the game, but two big team fight victories at the end allowed H2K to steal the win from Origen despite Origen still having a 1.6k gold lead by the end of the game. Origen quickly answered back in the second game with a strong showing from their ADC, Zven. His 10/1/4 scoreline allowed his team to power through to a victory at 36:05. However, H2K would storm to an almost flawless victory in the next game, drooping only one tower in the match. The fourth game was once again another closely contested match, and for the first 37 minutes of the game, no one team had a huge advantage over the other with the gold lead swinging back and forth between the two teams. A good call to take Baron Nashor gave Origen the advantage they needed and they snowballed their gold lead quickly, grabbing 3 turrets, an inhibitor, and a dragon. Ryu from H2K wasn’t going to go down easy, and grabbed a quadrakill, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit and an Origen ace allowed them to close out the game. The final game would begin with a quick trade of three turrets before H2K grabbed the first kill of the game when Ryu caught out Mithy. A good team fight from Origen resulted in a 1 for 4 trade and allowed them to grab a series of objectives and eventually close out the game.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Liquid (3-2)
Photo Source: Youtube
The second match of the day was another close series with Counter Logic Gaming taking on Team Liquid. The first game started off quietly for the first 30 minutes until Liquid exploded out of the gates with two quick aces and ended the game then and there. In the second game, Liquid were made to dance to CLG’s tune as CLG grabbed the early game lead with 3 kills and a tower to boot. CLG’s objective control was impeccable and they continued to build their lead by grabbing towers, dragons, and barons. Liquid managed to grab a few kills here and there, but the game was firmly in control of CLG and they closed it out with an ace. Game 3 was a similar story with CLG controlling the map and lanes very well. They grabbed the first blood early in the game, but for the most part, the first 10 minutes passed without much incident. CLG would go on to grab a few more picks and towers to extend their gold lead. Liquid had no answer and CLG slowly choked them out of the game by 30 minutes. Liquid would not give up easily though, as they took Game 4 in a dominating fashion. Several early team fights gave Liquid a huge lead in the game, and they quickly punished CLG for mis-positioning. This game was the shortest one of the entire day, ending just under 25 minutes. The final game was the culmination of both teams’ desires to win the series. It was one of the closest games with both teams having a chance to win it. The early game advantage would slightly favor CLG, but a few kills and objectives quickly turned this around as Liquid pulled slightly ahead. CLG would manage to grab 2 turrets to Liquid’s 1 and turn the gold lead in their favor again for a few minutes before succumbing to a team fight that Liquid grabbed 4 kills from. Liquid quickly extended their lead with a few picks, but CLG won team fight after team fight to drag the game back into their favor. A misplay at Baron by Liquid allowed CLG to skyrocket their lead and a team fight helped CLG end the game and move on to the grand finals.
G2 Esports vs Fnatic (3-1)
Photo Source: Fantasy Esports
After the two close series from Saturday, the games on Sunday were a bit more one sided. For the first game of the day, the first seed, G2 took on Fnatic, the winners of the last split. In the first game, G2 showed why they deserved their place as the first seed by closing Fnatic out of the game at 32 minutes. For the most part, G2 focused on objectives rather than kills this game, leading to a very low scoring game with 8 kills for G2 and 3 kills for Fnatic. Most of their 8 kills came from an ace at Fnatic’s base which allowed them to close out the game. Fnatic responded in the next game to even up the series. It looked like G2 would once against begin their dominant objective control in the early game, but Fnatic managed to find good team fights around the map to break away from G2 and take firm control of the game. From 15 minutes to the end of the game at 32 minutes, Fnatic would give up only 2 kills and completely shut down G2 from taking objectives. They continued to pile on their lead tearing apart G2’s base several times before a Baron helped them push their way to the nexus. G2 bounced back in the third game by once again, by demonstrating their superior objective control. Although Fnatic found favorable team fights early in the game, G2 retained a gold lead throughout the game after 5 minutes. They managed to push down 6 towers early in the game to Fnatic’s 3 despite being even in kills. This would later help them win a team fight despite Baron going over to Fnatic. The team fight gave them the advantage needed to take down an inhibitor which spelled the slow doom for Fnatic as G2 slowly tore apart their base. Fnatic began strong in the fourth game by successfully executing two picks. They translated this into an additional tower taken around 10 minutes in the game to give themselves a slight lead. G2 managed to grab a few kills and 2 dragons which helped reduce their deficit to almost 0 by 20 minutes. The turning point was a team fight where G2 grabbed 3 kills in return for none from their side. They used this to grab two turrets and then Baron. With momentum on their side, they quickly took Fnatic’s inhibitors and more turrets. The super minions were too much for Fnatic to deal with and G2 closed out the game and took the series at 3-1.
Immortals vs Team SoloMid (0-3)
Photo Source: Youtube
The most shocking result of the playoffs came from the final game of the semifinals. TSM, who were shaky going into the game managed to take down the juggernaut of Immortals with a clean sweep. This was simply not a result that anyone could have predicted. In the first game, Immortals looked like they would be continuing their dominating performance by taking a huge gold lead at 25 minutes. They had 4 towers, 2 dragons, and a baron to their name as well as a 7k gold lead by this time. TSM’s Svenskeren came in with a huge triple kill and TSM started to reduce the gold difference when they won another team fight afterwards to secure Baron and two towers. Another team fight gave TSM another Baron, a dragon, and another tower and they officially completed the comeback after an ace which gave them the nexus. In the next game, it looked like Immortals were a bit shaken from their previous game. The early game saw kills getting traded back and forth before TSM pulled ahead with 2 kills. From there, Immortals would not be able to grab a single objective for the rest of the game as TSM dominated the matchup and closed the game out before 30 minutes with a huge 18k gold lead. Immortals began to show signs of life in the third game by successfully pulling off a gank on the bottom lane duo of TSM. They effectively traded two turrets for one to take a precarious 2.5k gold lead at 15 minutes. However, TSM grabbed a dragon and several turrets of their own before Bjergsen grabbed a triple kill to edge the lead to TSM. Immortals grabbed it right back with a 1 for 2 trade, but another triple kill from Bjergsen combined with a double from Doublelift allowed TSM to grab Baron and snowball the game by grabbing two more turrets and a dragon. Once again the comeback was completed when TSM grabbed another Baron and closed out the game by destroying Immortals’ nexus. This would mark the second comeback and would catapult TSM to a surprise place in the grand finals and a guaranteed top 2 finish in this split.