LCS Summer 2020 Playoff Preview: Team Liquid vs TSM

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Team Liquid and TSM meet to decide who will get the last spot in the LCS Summer Split Championship!

FlyQuest awaits the winner of the TSM/Team Liquid matchup tomorrow, with a battle on Sunday for the title of LCS Summer Split champions at stake. While the loser’s LCS season ends tomorrow, they have already secured a spot at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship. Still, the two teams will be giving it their all for a trip to the Finals and a win over a hated rival.

Team Liquid

Record: 15-3


Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong
Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen
Edward “Tactical” Ra
Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in

Playoffs: Defeated Golden Guardians (3-0), Lost to FlyQuest (3-2)

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After a decently strong showing against Golden Guardians in the second round of the LCS playoffs, Team Liquid showed their first sign of weakness all season as they fell to FlyQuest in the semifinals. To Team Liquid’s credit, they weren’t completely shelacked in either the series or any individual games. They pushed FlyQuest to the full five games and their early game – a sign of weakness during the season – stood up to FlyQuest’s strong jungle/mid duo.

The obvious standout for TL was their rookie ADC (and in my opinion, best player) Tactical. He obviously had that pop-off 11/3/9 performance on Kalista in Game 4 that pushed the series to a fifth game. He led or was tied with the most kills in every single Team Liquid game except for Game 5, when TL only secured a single kill by Jensen in the mid lane.


Record: 12-6


Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik
Mingyi “Spica” Lu
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
Vincent “Biofrost” Wang / Erik “Treatz” Wessén

Playoffs: Lost to Golden Guardians (0-3), defeated Dignitas (3-0), Defeated Golden Guardians (3-2), Defeated Cloud9 (3-1)

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It’s been one heck of a playoff run for TSM, who very likely could equal or pass their regular-season game total in this series (if the series goes to four games, they would have played 18 playoff games). During an up-and-down playoff run, the trend line is firmly trending up as TSM pulled off a shocking upset against Cloud9 last week.

What was most surprising, to me, was how well TSM seemed to have Cloud9’s number and read the meta. They both played and counter-picked the Evelynn jungle, they managed to get Biofrost on Rakan all four games, and played through Broken Blade and Bjergsen to win in four games.

Head to Head Matchups

Top Lane: Impact vs. Broken Blade

In the battle of two overrated top laners, it’s also a battle of two different styles. Impact has proven to be more of a weak-side top laner while Broken Blade is much better at the carry-style champions. The biggest factor that pushes this lane in TSM’s favor is that Broken Blade has a much better champion pool for the meta.

Advantage: TSM

Jungle: Broxah vs. Spica

Another fairly underwhelming matchup, at least we’ve seen marked improvement from both Broxah and Spica during the latter part of the regular season and playoffs. However, Broxah has been the more consistent, low-risk player, which is what I’d prefer out of my jungler.

Advantage: Team Liquid

Mid Lane: Jensen vs. Bjergsen

A battle of two of the best mid laners in the LCS – Bjergsen an MVP finalist – and a long-standing rivalry, both of these mid laners are probably on their best form ever right now. Jensen is coming off a Summer Split when he should have been in consideration for MVP and Bjergsen has been probably the MVP of the playoffs. It’s a very close call, but I’m giving it to the player who had a stronger regular-season performance.

Advantage: Team Liquid

ADC: Tactical vs. Doublelift

It’s been lost on most fans that Doublelift has actually seen a resurgence to his play after that disastrous Spring Split. But the reason it’s been lost on them is because his replacement, Tactical, has easily out-performed him. Not only did he get (deserved) Rookie of the Year honors, he probably should have gotten much more serious consideration for MVP.

Advantage: Team Liquid

Support: CoreJJ vs. Biofrost/Treatz

Even though I’m a CoreJJ non-believer, I don’t see any way that TL doesn’t win this matchup. Biofrost has looked much better in the playoffs (which wasn’t hard considering how bad his regular season was) and Treatz has shown a lot of promise. However, CoreJJ is just a cut above both of them.

Advantage: Team Liquid

Keys to the Series

The only matchup that really matters, to me, is the mid lane. Even though I’m giving Jensen the edge based on the totality of his play all year, the Bjergsen diff has been a real thing all playoffs. If Bjergsen is able to take control of the game he can (and has) won games 1v9 for this TSM team.

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The biggest problem, though, is that Team Liquid is exactly the type of team that won’t let him do that. They are so solid in the late game, both in macro and teamfighting, that I doubt they will give Bjergsen the angles to be able to take over the game unless TSM just gets massively ahead early game.

Prediction: Team Liquid wins 3-2