Knight makes it happen as TES reverse sweep the first seed of V5.
V5 jump out to a stupendous start as they simply run over Top Esports in a one-sided affair. Rookie and Karsa got the ball rolling (see what I did there?) with their Orianna and Hecarim combo, snowballing off of early game kills into a complete beatdown across the board. Tian couldn’t get find any plays on his Viego and Knight couldn’t find a way to carry his team through the predicament they found themselves in.
Top Esports finally turn on their monitors and fight back tooth and nail in Game 2. Knight’s Zoe was out in full force, finding a mind-blowing bubble on Rookie in the early game for First Blood. The game devolved into split map scenarios, with Top Esports focusing botside while V5 benefited off of Rich dominating Rookie of the Split, Wayward, in the Gnar vs Graves matchup. TES was in control for most of this game, but Photic managed to pull it back with one of the craziest Aphelios plays I’ve seen since Berserker’s teamfight clinch in LCS Week 1 of this split. V5 rode that momentum to force a base race scenario, winning Game 2 by the skin of their teeth.
Knight and JackeyLove live up to their superstar names as they drag TES across the finish line for Game 3 and keep themselves alive in the series. Knight in particular had a superb Akali flank, killing off 3 people by himself to clinch a baron teamfight that would result in the win. The two carries of Top Esports pulled off mind-boggling mechanical plays to outplay a somewhat disjointed V5 and secure the win. Rich’s Cassiopeia Top counterpick into Wayward’s Graves wasn’t necessarily a bad idea, but V5 looked rather uncomfortable in these teamfights without a traditional bruiser with CC for Rich.
V5 look decidedly worse as the series continues; Rookie’s Viktor continues to be a fly on the wall as he is unable to muster the same magic to carry V5 through Tian’s Lee Sin rampage. The S9 Worlds Finals MVP looked like he was playing in that finals again as he teamed up with Mark to ravage V5 in teamfights, especially since JackeyLove was out of the game owing to a level 1 misplay. I feel that Mark’s engages on the Rakan were a huge reason as to why V5 were always on the backfoot – even in the skirmishes they won. And of course, Knight topped the game off with what looked like a genuine 1v5 Quadra Kill on the Ryze. Y’know… just Knight things.
V5 completely crumble to bits in the final game as Top Esports reverse sweep the first seed. A 6-minute dragon fight where Top Esports managed to pick apart V5 snowballed the game for good, as Rich continued to run it down on Kennen, getting picked off and solokilled by Wayward’s surprise Malphite pick. TES took over from there in a rather anticlimactic Game 5, running over the first seed and securing their spot in Winner’s Bracket Semis.
MVP: TES Knight
The Golden Left Hand shines bright once again, dragging his team across the finish line with some quality assistance from his bot lane. He was able to find early kills onto Rookie with Zoe in Game 2, but he truly transcended the game with his Akali flanks in Game 3, keeping his team alive alongside JackeyLove. I was mighty impressed with Knight living up to the hype in this series, going up against Rookie, who I had pegged as simply the best player on the planet right now. Knight continues to put together MVP season after season and remains the primary win condition for TES with his pristine play and ridiculous clutch factor. With Knight playing like this, if TES can continue to be stable in the rest of their lanes, they become a dark horse for the title this year.