The quarterfinal round of the North American LCS Spring Split Playoffs are in the book and they were just about as crazy as we anticipated.
Saturday’s matchup between Team Liquid and Cloud9 was short-lived as Doublelift and company defeated Cloud9 in three straight games. Despite winning three in a row, the matches themselves were anything but easy as Cloud9 looked to be nearing victory more than once, only for things to quickly turn back in Team Liquid’s favor. This matchup just seemed to be a simple case of Team Liquid getting hot at the right time while Cloud9 couldn’t climb out of its recent losing skid. Cloud9’s season ended with them losing eight of their final eleven games.
Sunday’s showdown between Team SoloMid and Clutch Gaming, on the other hand, subverted everyone’s expectations. TSM came into this matchup as heavy favorites, as they had seemed to finally hit their stride during the final few weeks of the regular season. After coming out and continuing this recent dominance by defeating Clutch Gaming in the first game of the series, Clutch gathered themselves and absolutely smashed TSM in the next three games, securing their spot in the semifinals.
TSM’s loss was more than just your typical playoff defeat, however, and instead marks a first in NA LCS history. Upon their elimination, this will mark the first time in the history of the NA LCS that TSM will not participate in the Split finals. Up until this point, TSM had participated in all 10 Split championship matches in history.
The four remaining teams in this Split will also look to be making history of their own, as none of the organizations involved have yet to win a Split banner. In fact, the only three teams who have ever won a Split in the NA LCS — TSM, Counter Logic Gaming, Cloud9 — are now all officially eliminated, which means one of the remaining teams will be able to finally join their ranks.
Team Liquid now advances to face the #2 seed Echo Fox on Saturday, March 31, while Clutch Gaming will see if they can pull off another huge upset by taking down the #1 seeded 1oo Thieves on Sunday, April 1. As this weekend taught us, anything can and will happen in these Spring Split playoffs, so it’s almost useless trying to predict what will occur next.