In a wild clash of two rivals, Team Liquid out-fought Team SoloMid to claim their 10th win of the split and had TSM their second straight loss.
The early game lane-swap was almost entirely even, with Team Liquid opting for the the first dragon of the game while Team SoloMid settled for a small gold lead. Past the 10 minute mark the game was still highly tactical, with Team Liquid opting to trade dragon and their Tier 1 mid to eliminate the gold differential and take down TSM's Tier 1 top.
Aa sloppy Blue Buff invade by TSM left them split and meant that Liquid's duo lane was able to wrap around the back of the skirmish. With Xpecial landing a two-man Tibbers stun, both Lustboy and Santorin took a tumble to give First Blood over to Liquid as well as a 2.5k gold lead.
With both teams settling back down into a more patient game, Liquid held onto the lead by taking TSM's Tier 2 bottom lane as well as their second dragon.
After a pick onto Dyrus, Liquid made a risky Baron call. With TSM dancing around the outside of the pit Liquid was indecisive around the objective, which gave WildTurtle the time to run all the way from bottom lane. With their AD carry finally arriving, TSM was able to take advantage of the low health bars on Liquid to clean up the fight and start Baron themselves.
But Piglet was there to save the day and bail his team out, successfully stealing the Baron with a blind Corki rocket over the wall.
With their maintained thanks to their AD carry and the buff, Liquid pressed down TSM's mid-lane. Not wanting to give Liquid the fight they wanted Dyrus initiated for TSM, but the carries of Liquid were able to stay safe and when the dust settled the fight was a 2-for-1 plus Tier 2 to Liquid.
The fights continued to be very close — a whiffed initiation by Xpecial resulted in a fight breaking out near Liquids bottom lane Tier 2. This fight ended in a three-for-two for TSM but with both FeniX and Piglet alive, TSM were not able to take any further advantages of the victory.
Throughout all the fights TSM brought the kill score back to an even 7-7, however Liquid still held on to a 4k gold lead.
But Liquid grabbed firm control off the match at 36 minutes with a fight forced by Quas' Teleport. After a 2-man Tibbers stun from Xpecial and the flank from FeniX left all of TSM's carries vulnerable, Liquid collapsed and take a clean four-for-one plus their second Baron buff.
A pick onto Bjergsen a few minutes later gave Liquid the opportunity they needed to siege TSM's mid lane Inhibitor. However Liquid was over-eager with their dive, and the remaining TSM members were able to capitalize, taking a three-for-none despite the numbers disadvantage. Counter-pushing all the way to Liquid's base, TSM was rewarded by taking Liquid's Inhibitor.
With that fight TSM was able to stabilize the game, but they still trailed by 6k gold at 42 minutes.
The final fight took place mid-lane - with both team sizing each other up, Dyrus once again took the initiative for TSM and got the fight started. While the engage was messy and both teams trading damage, things looked to go TSM's way after Bjergsen landed a solid Shockwave. But FeniX's Shifting Sand-Emporor's Divide combo instantly crushed WildTurtle, and without their AD carry TSM folded under the damage of Liquid.
With the fight decisively won, Liquid rushed down mid and smashed TSM's Nexus to put an end to the thrilling back-and-forth match.
Nicholas Doucet is a News Editor for theScore eSports. You can follow him on Twitter.