100 Thieves kicks off LCS Spring Split with victory against Team Liquid
The 10th anniversary season of the League of Legends Championship Series began with a roar on Saturday, with unexpected draft picks and rookies standing out.
During the match of the day, 2021 Champions 100 Thieves (1-0) defeated 2022 Lock In Tournament champions Team Liquid (0-1) in 40 minutes.
A gold advantage in favor of Liquid for most of the game did little to dissuade the 100T League of Legends squad, who focused their efforts on finishing out the game and earning their first regular season win. The majority of the game was statistically close, although fights were generally in 100T’s favor throughout.
How 100T takes down Team Liquid
Due to unresolved concerns with CoreJJ’s green card status, Liquid was unable to exhibit their whole projected lineup for the Spring Split, so Eyla resurfaced in the support role. COVID restrictions also prevented the team from playing live in the LCS studio, forcing 100T to gaze across the stage at empty seats where their opponents would have been to entirely redraw the picture of the 2021 LCS Championship finals.
In contrast to the previous game, which featured Smite Janna’s LCS debut in the top lane, both Liquid and 100T went with more traditional team combinations. The two teams had access to formidable champions ready to launch team battles with Renekton for Bwipo and Ornn for Ssumday.
Though it took nearly 15 minutes for a battle to break out, after Liquid had their first drake, 100T saw an opening to strike. From there, 100T steadily increased their position on the map while looking for ways to overcome Liquid’s modest gold lead. With so much gold being pushed directly into the FBI’s Aphelios, 100T possessed a threat in their defensive line that proved impossible for Liquid to obtain.
The FBI decimated a Baron and the final Hextech Dragon in seconds, giving 100T the remaining pieces of their winning puzzle. Even Bwipo and Santorin, who were constructing tanky themselves, couldn’t take the harm that was being sent their way after 40 minutes.
The reigning LCS champions defeated their opponents in this rematch of the 2021 LCS Championship finals, putting their poor Lock In performance behind them.
Meanwhile, the upstart Evil Geniuses (1-0), who appeared like global kickers until they lost in the Lock In Tournament finals, defeated the brand-new TSM (0-1). TSM’s youthful team seemed mechanically strong but lacked cohesiveness and execution.
EG, on the other hand, played proactively and assertively, accumulating large leads for bot laner Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki, who was playing the freshly released Zeri. Danny would close out the game with a pentakill around the 33-minute mark, concluding with a 7/1/4 KDA as Evil Geniuses earned their first win of the season.
In other matchups, Cloud9 (1-0) made a strong first impression with a double-enchanter composition that included mid laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami’s unusual mid lane Ivern. Golden Guardians (0-1) started off strong, performing effectively on a pick composition, but Cloud9 forced GG to take a risk, which resulted in a Cloud9 ace at 15 minutes.
Cloud9 went on to win the game in the quickest game of the day in 26 minutes, anticipating more inventive compositions in the upcoming weeks.