The LCS 2021 Mid-Season Showdown has begun and the first round of the matchup series between Team Liquid and TSM was closer than was expected.
Two of the best North American League of Legends heavyweights put on a series that showcased full-packed action, unique draft picks, and further expounded team identities moving into the rest of the inaugural MSS of the League of Legends LCS.
The series was closer than some of the numbers might have indicated and the LCS Lock In champions finally came on top to clinch a hard-fought 3-1 victory over TSM.
Both LCS teams drifted slightly from their traditional playing styles, especially considering their mid-lane champion picks. TSM's identity generally revolved around their mid-laner Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage and his weaknesses were brilliantly picked up by TL's mid-lane veteran Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen.
PoE's natural tendency to fire-up as a late-game hyper-carry fell behind Jensen's tactical masterclass. The TL mid laner was deservingly awarded the Player of the series for LCS MSS round 1 with his outstanding Veigar, Ahri, Sylas, and Twisted Fate performances over the four rounds of play.
LCS Spring 2021 MSS Match 1 details: Team Liquid vs TSM
Game one of the day saw a good start by TSM as they steamrolled the early game, winning both the Heralds and two of the first three drakes. But Liquid's strong laning kept them within striking distance despite TSM's PowerOfEvil showing off his Azir with a series of ults in team fights.
Liquid's over-dependency on PoE backfired. TL gradually started making a comeback to the game and successful teamfights gave them a 1-0 lead in the series within 30 minutes of play.
Game two was all about Jensen, who successfully pulled off a quadra kill with Ahri. The recent item re-work on Everfrost has revived it to a popular utility mage Mythic item. The match turned out to be a series of counterpunches, both in the draft and game.
Despite their game-one win, Liquid banned out PowerOfEvil’s Azir and gave Jensen the counterpick on Ahri into his Lucian instead. Santorin’s monstrous Nidalee performance helped TL drive smoother for a clean, quick game-two win.
Game three saw Jensen pick Sylas into PoE’s Seraphine but this time, the TL mid laner couldn’t make the best use of his champion. The game was dominated by TSM after the laning phase, leading them towards their first win of the series.
Just as TSM fans were looking for a perfect comeback, TL bucked themselves up and comfortably won game four of the day with a scoreline of 3-1.
Meanwhile, TSM's top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon set a new landmark by picking Rumble for a record 55 times (40-15) in his professional League career.
The LCS Mid-Season Showdown's matchday 2 will feature Cloud9 facing off against 100 Thieves. The winner of that match will take on Liquid on Saturday, April 3. TSM ,who have slipped off in the losers' bracket after their defeat against TL, will face off against Evil Geniuses next Saturday.