The North American LCS Spring Playoffs continued this Saturday as Team Impulse and Team Liquid faced off against each other in the third place match. After a tumultuous season in which both of these teams faced their fair share of ups and downs, each team was so close to reaching the finals, yet were unable to beat TSM and Cloud 9. Nevertheless, each team was hungry to win this weekend’s match, secure third place and end the Spring Split of the season on an up note.
Coming into this match everyone expected it to be close. Impulse and Liquid both won one of the games when the teams met twice during the regular season. They have also both looked incredibly strong lately, even after losing last weekend. Saturday’s best-of-five was just as close as most expected. The teams traded wins back and forth until it all came down to a fifth and final game. With everything on the line, Liquid reverted back to their comfort strategy, putting Quas on Lulu and IWDominate on Nunu, with hopes of protecting Piglet’s Lucian and letting their ex-World Champion AD Carry lead them to victory. On the other hand, Impulse threw a curve ball in champion select, picking up Sejuani for their Jungler Rush and Ziggs for their Mid-Laner Xiaweixia, both of each the team had not played at all during the season. Liquid’s comfort with their team composition showed however, and they were able to win the fifth and final game, securing themselves a third place finish.
Finishing third place is a huge accomplishment for Team Liquid. They have had a roller coaster of a season. After being incredibly hyped when they signed Piglet to the team, they struggled to find their groove. The team was able to barely make it into the playoffs, though they had to beat Team 8 in a tie breaker just to earn a spot. Once in the playoffs, Liquid destroyed CLG, who had spent most of the season in the top two spots, and were one game away from beating Cloud 9 in the semi-finals. Though they were so close to the finals, a third place finish shows just how far this team has come in such a short period of time.
This third place finish also has an important sentimental value to the team. Team Curse, which was Liquid’s previous brand, has been infamous for never being able to finish above fourth place in the LCS. Though the team changed names and picked up some new players, many wondered whether the new squad would be able to shake off the “fourth place curse”. Finishing third shows that Liquid is a team that has been reborn from the ashes of Curse. They will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming Summer Split.