Boy did this series deliver as 100T manage to find their footing with their backs against the wall and reverse sweep a surging Team Liquid off the back of Closer’s unstoppable engages and Ssumday’s immovable Ornn.
The onus was on Abbedagge and Closer on his famous Viego to cook up something in the early game, but they were passive the entire first 15 minutes, allowing Bjerg/Santorin combo to run the map. It was very uncharacteristic from Closer especially, who’s Viego is astoundly good, to not find any plays on the map while Santorin simply ran rampant, accumulating a massive gold advantage and 100T simply couldn’t come back from. TL look dominant in their Winner’s Bracket Semis opener as they draft teamfight and somehow still crush the early game, leading to a very easy Game 1 win.
Back to back Quadra Kills come through for Hans Sama as he shows off his Zeri mechanics for the thrilled crowd. It was pretty much fight club at mid lane for the first few minutes and Team Liquid were landing some pretty big jabs right across 100T’s face off the back of CoreJJ and Santorin supporting Bjergsen. 100T manage to claw back some of the lead with some good teamfighting and AOE fears from Abbedagge’s Vex but their trademark early game simply isn’t up to speed as Closer’s Viego has another dud of a game.
Well Closer managed to find his keyboard, as well as Santorin’s Jarvan, in Game 3 and boy did he make use of it! The reigning Finals MVP was on full display once again, clawing back yet another gold deficit with gorgeous Jarvan engages that 100T were able to capitalize from. He was helped in large part by Ssumday, who secured not only a solo kill on Bwipo, but also found crucial knockups to find clutch engages that manages to stop the complete sweep from Team Liquid.
Team Liquid definitely prepared to give Ssumday Ornn to counterpick it; we have seen the Aatrox, Graves and now the Lucian from Bwipo, and while they are doing decently (barring Ssumday solokilling Bwipo in Game 3) they are not able to find a big enough lead to translate it into teamfights. It seems as if the leads they were getting in scrims fooled them into thinking it would translate on stage, because Ssumday is impactful as ever on his trusty Ornn.
In fact, the main reason Team Liquid lost this game was because of the Lucian top – Santorin got chunked out by Abbedagge in a pivotal Baron start by 100T, and the lack of engage from TL meant that 100T could get to decide when it force the engages and boy did they! Yet another dash + flash combo from Closer, once again on the Jarvan, as 100T blow Team Liquid to smithereens and look to reverse sweep.
Okay.. so I know everyone is going to tunnel in on that insane xPeke finish from Abbedagge, but I’d like to look at the Baron fight where 100T managed to find the teamfight wipe. Huhi was hidden from sight that entire time while TL members engaged on 100T and Hans Sama also used his ultimate for burst damage instead of saving it for CC. This turned out to be quite disastrous as the unseen Huhi proves to be the deadliest, with Huhi’s Leona finding the CC lock onto the exposed Team Liquid carries, splicing apart the TL teamfight and snowballing into double nexus turrets – which only THEN resulted in the xPeke finish for Abbedagge.
Series MVP: Ssumday
Try as they might, Team Liquid just couldn’t find a solid answer for Ssumday’s Ornn during the reverse sweep, as Bwipo’s Graves, Lucian and finally even Shen failed to stifle the Forge God sufficiently. Ssumday’s mastery of the champion was on full display as he found multiple clutch picks with his dash knockup as well as positioning himself intelligently amongst his carries in order to provide necessary peel while remaining a frontline.
I do think TL will meet 100T again in the Finals and I do think Bwipo is also perfectly capable of playing Ornn (the guy can play anything as evidenced in this series alone), so I am curious as to how Ssumday will fare once his trusty champion gets picked away from him.