Team SoloMid were seemingly caught off guard by the aggressive play by the yoe Flash Wolves in Game 1 of this series but as the match went on they became more aware of the Wolves’ play style, ending the series with a dominant Game 3 that saw the Wolves score one lone kill to TSM’s 18.
TSM's first big play came in the top lane and even though they pushed Steak out of the lane and wore down the turret significantly, the Wolves had sent four champions to the bottom lane to secure first blood on Dyrus as well as their opponent's bottom tier one turret and a dragon.
The Flash Wolves found a couple of more pickoffs, one on Dyrus and one on Lustboy, but they kept the turret score even with calculated pressure wherever the Wolves weren't.
SoloMid knew the place to be was the top lane, where Steak had been starved of experience - he was only Level 4 at the 10 minute mark. TSM backed off to give Steak false confidence, diving on him from the jungle once he pushed beyond his turret. An over-eager Santorin dove to his death, taking shots from the tier two turret, but Lustboy was able to finish Steak off.
As the third dragon was spawning, the Flash Wolves had pulled ahead in kills and TSM had been forced to play defensive. However since Steak was still playing catch-up in the top lane, TSM could move into the river and clear out vision, taking their own first dragon uncontested.
Once again, Steak was caught out in the top lane and TSM secured themselves another kill, but not long after Dyrus was caught out in the jungle and was quickly brought down. With Dyrus dead, the Wolves took another kill, trading Maple and still holding the kill lead 7-4.
Bjergsen landed a big initiation on the Wolves but as they fought they lost so much health that Neverloses was able to come in and easily clean up, grabbing himself a triple kill.
The kills just kept coming for the yoe Flash Wolves and after a significant fight gave them some space they were able to find themselves a Baron buff and their fourth dragon shotly thereafter. They were not able to use that Baron to take out any inhibitors but all only one outer turret remained standing on the SoloMid side.
Their first attempt at an incursion to the TSM base started with yet another pick off on Dyrus but they were repelled after taking heavy damage and losing Maple to a dive.
Their second attempt was more successful. Dyrus was caught out for the umpteenth time and only Santorin was left alive. The Wolves took a second inhibitor but didn't go for the finish instead backing off for their fifth dragon.
That would be enough to march back into the TSM base and after a bloody battle leaving just Santorin and SwordArt at very low health duking it out. After a bit of a dance around the super minions the support prevailed and the nexus fell.
While TSM pushed down the top tier one turret, the Flash Wolves took their first dragon. They had been thinking about diving Dyrus’s Lissandra, but as he got to Level 6 they thought better of diving.
First blood went to Bjergsen’s Zed when Maple made some brave moves in the midlane. As his health fell low though, he became an easy pickoff for TSM’s midlaner.
A long back and forth fight in the bottom lane almost looked like it would turn sour for TSM, but some timely spells meant they only lost Dyrus while notching a double kill for Wildturtle. By this point TSM were up 5-1 kills and 2-0 towers, giving them a respectable gold lead as well.
The Flash Wolves were looking rough as TSM dove in for another couple of kills and took out a third turret. The Wolves had only managed one kill and hadn’t taken a single tower for themselves by the 19 minute mark.
An attempted engagement by the Wolves as TSM took their second dragon went completely wrong. They weren’t able to take down a single target and SoloMid secured another two kills, not to mention the dragon just before the initiation came through.
TSM’s third dragon was essentially free after taking out Maple in the middle lane. They quickly followed it up with a push on the bottom lane but the Wolves’ wave clear pushed them back before they could do any significant damage there.
The thing TSM needed to work towards finishing the game would be the Baron buff, and as they set up near the pit a fight broke out and the icing on the top of the Baron buff was an ace on the Wolves.
They were still unable to break the base even with the fourth dragonslayer buff. A slow push in the bottom lane almost took out the inhibitor turret but a death for Dyrus forced TSM back once again. Even with yet another Baron they were still unable to finish off that bottom inhibitor turret.
Finally TSM had taken their fifth dragon and with Baron buffed minions still active they took out that first inhibitor and a kill, then healed up before moving back in to take out a second inhibitor, a second kill and the nexus.
It was obvious from the get go that both teams trying hard not to make any mistakes with a place in the finals on the line. As a result, the first ten minutes of the game saw very little action as both teams worked to set up a strong mid game for themselves.
Everyone clicked away at those little minions, looking for key item pickups that would allow them to make a move. After the ten minute mark Karsa started clicking on one of the big minions - the dragon. TSM were caught unaware and the first dragonslayer buff went the way of the Wolves.
An overextension on the part of the Wolves brought Dryus to low health, but Santorin came in to both save the top-laner and allow him to take first blood on his aggressor.
The yoe Flash Wolves made a few attempts at aggression, but were denied every time by TSM. As they sat with all five champions in the mid lane trying to pressure the tier one turret they were jumped from the sidelines by Santorin and Lustboy and even though Tibbers didn't quite hit the mark it was still a 4 for 1 trade for TSM and a quick and easy tier two turret takedown.
Yet another near-ace for TSM made the score a daunting 11-1 and gave them space to take out Baron before backing up to heal. As the Wolves respawned they quickly moved to the dragon pit and grabbed it, but it would have only been TSM’s second so perhaps they weren't that bothered.
With that Baron, TSM took out the bottom inhibitor but stalled as they looked for a further opening into the Wolves’ base. They found nothing before the Baron had actually respawned, so they backed up to take it while notching their second dragonslayer buff for good measure. They then returned to kill the respawned bottom inhibitor.
The final fight was, fittingly, an ace for TSM as they took down the middle inhibitor and finally the nexus.
Annabelle "Abelle" Fischer is a writer for theScore eSports with a love for Dota 2, birds and cheese. You can follow her on Twitter.