Team Liquid break curse, defeat Team Impulse 3-2 to secure 3rd place in NA LCS Spring Split

by Jacob Juillet Apr 18 2015
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

Team Liquid broke their fourth place curse, topping Team Impulse 3-2 to take third place in the North American LCS.

Game 1

Both teams played safe early, neither getting kills. Team Impulse secured the first dragon, which marked the only difference between the teams for a long time. The first engagement to result in a kill also went to TiP, as Liquid tried to kill XiaoWeiXiao but instead gave up two kills while retreating from the mid lane. 

TiP's small advantage was quickly closed, as Piglet got a kill on Apollo in the bottom lane and grabbed the bot Tier 1 tower to tie both teams at one tower each. Liquid continued their run grabbing another tower to tie TiP in gold, but they were still trailing by one kill and two dragon stacks. A lack in protection allowed TiP to grab a second tower kill of their own.

The third dragon went to TiP, but Liquid tried their best to disrupt it. Instead of stopping the dragon they ended up feeding TiP three kills for one.

TiP followed up on their advantage by taking the first Baron of the game and pushing down Liquid's mid lane, taking a fight and the mid inhibitor.

The fourth dragon spawned and was immediately killed by TiP, who then pushed down the bottom lane, easily taking another fight and killing another inhibitor.

Liquid were still putting up a fight, but the fifth dragon brought about their final fight. TiP calmly took the dragon to give them their fifth stack and then turned on the three Liquid players who were contesting them. With three players down TiP easily walked to Liquid`s Nexus and took the first win.

Game 2

Both teams got one kill early - TiP's Rush ganked bot lane to kill Piglet while IWDominate ganked mid lane to kill XiaoWeiXiao. TiP was the one who got first blood, but Liquid were farming better and had a small gold lead. The difference grew slightly larger with Quas picking up a kill on Rush after catching him out of position with IWDominate.

Liquid had taken a small gold lead, but TiP killed Xpecial, got a tower and took the first dragon, all in quick succession to kick off the mid game. Both teams were taking turns killing each other in lane as they wrestled for map control. 

The first team fight looked to be going to TiP but a nice Rumble ultimate from Quas turned the fight around, allowing Liquid to come out ahead.

The game broke out in fighting, one team fight after another, but Liquid were taking all of them. No where was safe for TiP, Liquid were simply taking the mid game by force. Liquid found a period of free space to go and kill Baron for the first time of the game. 

Liquid's aggression had gained them a four thousand gold lead and a firm control on the map. They did enough damage to force their way deep down TiP's mid lane and killed the inhibitor.

TiP were keeping up by getting tower kills of their own, but they still had a five thousand gold gap to make up close.

When the middle inhibitor respawned Liquid pushed down mid lane again. TiP could not hold them back, Liquid took the fight and quickly ended the game to tie the series 1-1.

Game 3

TiP got an early lead when Rush got First Blood on FeniX after a mid lane gank. Liquid hit back though, as Quas managed to get two kills on his Hecarim (one on Rush and one on Apollo). Liquid managed to overcome the First Blood gold deficit, but a safe dragon kill still had TiP in the driver's seat.

An extended team fight in the bottom lane saw both teams trade three kills each, but Quas was quickly getting ahead, sitting at 4/1/0. TiP continued to push their lead, getting a pair of tower kills to put themselves ahead by two thousand gold. 

Liquid were able to take down a dragon to get their first stack, but they gave up another tower in the process and had quickly fallen behind another 2K gold. Just after 20 minutes another team fight broke out, this time it went decisively in the way of TiP, putting them firmly in control of the game. They used the win to safely take the first Baron of the game.

Unsurprisingly, the buff only brought out more aggression from TiP. They continuously pushed lanes in an attempt to find a weak spot in Liquid's defence. TiP had managed to make the gold gap reach eight thousand gold and they were only looking for an opening that could let them end the game.

TiP forced a Baron and picked off FeniX and IWDominate when they tried to contest. After killing the Liquid duo, TIP restarted Baron, but they took too long and IWDominate got there just in time to steal it from them.

The Baron buff took some pressure off of Liquid, but it was only temporary as TiP quickly continued their siege. The gold differential had become massive, TiP lead Liquid by thirteen thousand gold, not to mention that they also lead in kills 17-6. 

TiP waited for the next Baron, they annihilated Liquid for the final time and ended the game to take a 2-1 series lead. 

Game 4

Both teams took early towers in Game 4, but First Blood went to Liquid when they forced Impact into a corner and allowed FeniX to finish him off. FeniX followed it up with a very clutch kill on XiaoWeiXoai in the mid lane.

Despite having two kill FeniX was losing lane and got solo killed by XiaoWeiXiao. Liquid were managing to maintain their lead by getting two tower kills, but they had given up the first dragon to TiP. 

The second dragon brought about the first team fight of the game. Liquid came out on the better end, they aced TiP in exchange for three kills. 

Since the mid game had began, FeniX had climbed to 5/1/2. The third dragon brought another team fight, this time both teams traded a pair of kills, but Liquid managed to get control of the pit. TiP instead went to kill the Baron, but Liquid wasn't having it. IWDominate got there just in time to steal the Baron from TiP for the second time of the series.

With the buff Liquid had every advantage they needed and were only waiting for TiP to make a mistake they could capitalize on.

Liquid put pressure on the top lane Tier 2 tower and it paid off as TiP overextended while trying to defend. TiP could not survive the fight that ensued, allowing Liquid to take their Nexus and even up the series 2-2.

Game 5

The early game was very slow. Liquid managed to get the first two dragons, but neither team wanted to give the other an opening to take the lead.

The 20 minute mark brought action, Liquid's FeniX claimed First Blood and traded his life for another kill. Both teams claimed there first towers shortly after, then IWDominate gave TiP their second kill while failing to contest the dragon.

The first decisive fight went to Liquid, 2-2 quickly became 2-6 and they followed it up with the first Baron. 

Liquid pushed TiP's bot lane and took the better end of another skirmish, this time trading three kills for one. With a few players down for TiP they could not defend against Liquid and had to give up their bot inhibitor. 

Liquid held off until the next Baron spawned. TiP's attempt to contest failed miserably as Liquid picked off their front line and took the buff uncontested. This time, Liquid chose to put pressure on the top lane, but they could not break through TiP's wave clear even though they led by ten thousand gold.  

With the pressure off TiP were able to go take the next dragon, but the decision was a fatal one as Liquid had them cornered in the pit and aced them to end the game and take the series.

Jacob Juillet is a CS:GO writer for theScore eSports. You can follow him on Twitter.​