It’s a longstanding rivalry. North America’s two most dominant teams meets up once more in a split final, this time stage in Vancouver. TSM has never failed to make it to the finals while Cloud9 has dominated the reigning champions on multiple occasions, netting them the second highest amounts of titles.
TSM brought in their starting roster, with Hauntzer in Top Lane, Svenskeren in the Jungle, Bjergsen in Mid, and rounded out the Bot Lane with resident Canadians Wildturtle and Biofrost. Cloud9 lined up with Top Laners Impact and Ray (whom they swap between), Rookie of the Split Contractz in the Jungle, Jensen for mid, with Sneaky and Smoothie in the Bot Lane.
C9: Kennen, Lee Sin, Cassiopeia, Lucian, Lulu
TSM: Camille, Ivern, Taliyah, Caitlyn, Karma
Game 1 started off on a rocky start for TSM, as Bjergsen makes an attempt to steal a raptor from Contractz to stall a level up, but is quickly sent packing, and goes to lane having spent both his red potions. After taking red, Contractz moves over to Svenskeren’s blue buff, as both junglers swap sides. He is quickly met by Biofrost’s Karma, who chunks him down. His lane partner, Wildturtle comes in and quickly draws first blood for TSM.
Cloud9 then loses two flashes, as Hauntzer and Svenskeren dive Ray, while C9’s Smoothie burns his, nearly dying. However, Contractz comes back for revenge and Wildturtle has to use his heal to save Biofrost. Back in the top lane, Hauntzer shows why he is a contender for MVP as he continues to win lane despite being in a losing matchup. Ray walks through a warded bush and Hauntzer quickly jumps onto him, while Svenseren comes in with an assist. Svenskeren continues to play Ivern effectively, stealing multiple buffs and camps from Contractz as Hauntzer extends his lead. Ray makes a valiant attempt when Hauntzer misses most of his kills, and flashes back in but just did not have the damage output and Hauntzer ends him once more.
Now with an 11 kill to 1 lead, TSM quickly clears the area around Baron and chunks it down. While not high in kills in game 1, Bjergsen makes effective use of Taliyah’s ultimate, in his instance, cutting off access from the enemy’s jungle to the Baron. Now with the buff, TSM charges down top and sieges the tower and inhibitor before doing the same in midlane, spawning in super minons in two lanes. Trying to make any sort of play to disrupt TSM, Contractz dives in but is quickly shut down. The newly crowned Rookie of the Split showed his inexperience when he makes a similar play soon after respawning, but is killed once more.Bjergsen makes two more smart ultimates, cutting off the bottom inhibitor from the inhibitor tower as his team crashed down upon it and then once more as c9, wounded, retreats to base. Bjergsen locks them inside
Bjergsen makes two more smart ultimates, cutting off the bottom inhibitor from the inhibitor tower as his team crashed down upon it and then once more as c9, wounded, retreats to base. Bjergsen locks them inside base as TSM quickly wins game 1.
C9: Nautilus, Graves, Ekko, Ashe, Zyra
TSM: Gragas, Rengar, Syndra, Lucian, Lulu
Game 2, C9 opted to sub in the former world champion, Impact. They target their bans heavily upon Hauntzer, with 4 of 5 ban picks aimed at Top Lane champions. The game starts off a bit slower, Wildturtle and Biofrost makes an aggressive move and burns flashes. Sneaky and Smoothie has to use heal and flash to stay alive, but ultimately, no kills occur. Now on Rengar for the second game, Svenskeren steals Contractz’s raptors but is caught. He seemingly gets away with a flash through the baron pit. Unbeknownst to him, Jensen is teleporting in with Ekko, who draws first blood, granting him a blue buff.
With a slight gold advantage, farming in lanes resume. Wildturtle and Biofrost fails to kill Sneaky once more, who, with boots, manages to get away with more movement speed. Things seem to be going well for C9, when Hauntzer on Gragas ults Impact back toward a tower. Now under fire, Impact dies to Hauntzer, kicking off a series of events in TSM’s favor. Almost simultaneously, Jensen falls to Bjergsen in a miscalculated tower dive. Wildturtle follows up with his own double kill.
Impact makes a dive and nearly kills both Hauntzer and Svenskeren. However, the combined cc of both TSM members gets him killed once more under tower and overextension becomes a reoccurring theme. Down in the botlane, c9 manages to kill Biofrost, but it is of little consolation.
Three members come in to take down Hauntzer, who quickly disengages them with an explosive barrel, launching Contractz toward him. Svenskeren jumps in for the kills. The kill lead is heavily in TSM’s favor once more as it was in game 1, with a 14 kill to 2 lead. Things continue to revolve around the top lane as a team fight occurs, and Sneaky lives up to his name as he snipes down Wildturtle for a kill. The fight still ends in TSM’s favor as they trade two deaths for 3 kills. C9 makes a few picks, grabbing a kill here and there, but TSM’s lead is just too big, who lead with around 11,000 gold at the 19 minute mark. TSM ends the game just 3 minutes later, their shortest victory all split. TSM looks convincingly superior, now only 1 win away from being the split champions.
C9: Fizz, Kha’Zix, Syndra, Ezreal, Lulu
TSM: Camille, Lee Sin, Ahri, Varus, Karma
Game 3 saw Ray returning to the Lane once more. The bans are a bit more split out this time around, as it was clear Hauntzer would not be locked down. No bans were targeted at Bjergsen, who is notorious for his deep champion pool.
Svenskeren uses flash early top lane for first blood, earning Hauntzer an assist while Jensen almost answers with a solo kill against Bjergsen but runs out of mana to finish the job. C9 picks up the pace botlane and forces Wildturtle to use both of his summoners. However, he is then picked off by Contractz near the dragon pit. Svenskeren returns Top Lane for a gank, but Hauntzer falls, trading a 1 for 1 kill. Minutes later, a 1 for 1 occurs again as C9 skillfully defends a tower dive, who then return to go on the offensive but are caught by a ward. Wildturtle shoots off a defensive ultimate and walks away safely while
Wildturtle shoots off a defensive ultimate and walks away safely while Svenskeren and Bjergsen hammer down the midlane tower. C9 collpases on them to answer, but loses the trade in a 3 for 2 as Svenskeren sacrifices himself to grab a double kill. This start going wrong for TSM as Hauntzer gets a little overconfident against Ray, who has been playing really well. He dies, while Bjergsen is backing to base near the bottom of the map. Smoothie happens to ward the brush he was in and ignites him to death.
Bjergsen is burst down by Jensen by survives as Svenskeren comes in for the rescue as a fight breaks out. Svenskeren cannot reach Jensen and instead has to kick in Smoothie. This results in both Svenskeren and Biofrost’s death. To rub salt into the wound, Sneaky steals Svenskeren’s red buff once he respawned. However, Svenskeren gets his revenge and later steals back a red buff from c9’s end of the map as Sneaky is trying to take it. However, as Sven is forced to run, c9 takes a Mountain Drake and with the added bonus takes down a mid tower. Hauntzer answers by taking two towers botlane. Seeing Hauntzer bot and without teleport, C9 quickly takes down Baron. C9 quickly takes the middle inhibitor, and Jensen leads the charge, killing two more TSM members. A small scuffle
Later on, a small scuffle occurs as Svenskeren manages a nice kick on Sneaky, grabbing them a kill, but super minions nearly take down one of TSM’s nexus towers. Undeterred but still cautious, C9 makes an attempt to take bottom tower where Jensen is killed. Ray expertly draws out Hauntzer’s ultimate, forcing it onto cooldown and escaping flawlessly.
TSM makes a play for baron as Sneaky approaches, sitting on top of a ward. Hauntzer seized the opportunity, killing him swiftly as Ray is also caught in the aftermath. TSM easily takes down the baron and with it destroys a majority of C9’s base. TSM also manages to get Elder Drake, but C9 is able to defend long enough for the buffs to expire behind Smoothie’s expert Lulu play, who saved multiple teammates from near death while helping kill multiple TSM members.
As Baron respawns, TSM starts to kill it but is interrupted by C9, who kills off Hauntzer and Svenskeren. Refusing to give it up, both WIldturtle and Bjergsen are also killed, leaving Biofrost to defend alone. C9 easily closes out the game, now only one game behind.
TSM: Nautilus, Ivern, Orianna, Lucian, Lulu
C9: Shen, Graves, Syndra, Ashe, Gragas
Impact comes back for Game 4, as c9 baits with a Gragas pick that is surprisingly used as a support. The Gragas pick proves to be successful, as Wildturtle is killed while trying to pick off Sneaky. 8 minutes in, Jensen and Contractz is able to take down Bjergsen. Impacts ults in as Shen for extra safety. Cloud 9 extends their lead by taking down an Infernal Drake. Wildturtle are unable to do much, as Gragas provides too much pressure. At 11 minutes, Sneaky has over 30 cs in lead. C9 then takes down bottom tower, grabbing first tower gold as four TSM members are forced to answer by taking top. Bjergsen is then killed by Jensen and Impact. A fight ensues as Biofrost is killed by Contractz. C9 leads 4 kills to 0.
TSM sends 3 members to try to siege top, but Impact proves himself too tanky. C9 takes a second Drake (Cloud) in retaliation. TSM is finally able to take another tower bottom by sending four members, but Sneaky manages to take on up top. Jensen chunks down Bjergsen before Contractz finishes him off with his ultimate. C9 leads by 5 kills to TSM’s 0. Bjergsen choosingto take the Barrier spell over Cleanse drops him to an uncharacteristic 0/3.
TSM makes an attempt to take down the mid lane, and an extended fight occurs, though nobody loses their lives. Both teams take some time to reset. As another Infernal spawns, TSM is pushed back as C9 takes their third consecutive Drake. Jensen and Sneaky then take down Bjergsen, dropping him to 0/4. Hauntzer and Impact take to the bot lane for a slow tank fight as the rest of C9 sets up around Baron. TSM makes the poor decision to go assist Hauntzer, as C9 rushes and easily takes Baron. TSM kills Smoothie as a consolation prize. TSM manages to take middle tower, but loses Bjergsen and Biofrost in the effort to Jensen and Contractz, who are leading the their team to victory. C9 then easily takes the tier 3 middle tower and inhibitor.
C9 makes good use of their Baron buff and takes another bottom tower before taking a third Infernal Drake granting a now 30% damage boost, all but sealing TSM’s fate. C9 plays safely, as TSM tries to make a desperate play against four C9 members, knowing full well Impact can use his Ultimate to join in. C9 easily aces the team that looked dominant for the first two games. C9 the ends the game and the series is tied at 2-2. The winner of the next match will become the new Spring Split Champions.
C9: Kled, Kha’Zix, Ekko, Lucian, Lulu
TSM: Hauntzer, Lee Sin, Syndra, Varus, Nami
Despite Impact playing well, C9 chose to start Ray for the final match. Only 3 minutes in, Ray and Contractz not only burns Hauntzer’s flash but secures first blood for the Jungler. Meanwhile in the Bot Lane, Smoothie burns both summoner spells to try to take down Wildturtle, but fails to do so. He forces a flash, but Biofrost easily heals his partner back up. Bjergsen and Svenskeren quickly double team and take down Jensen, with the Danish midlaner taking the kill. Not much else occurs until Jensen and Bjergsen engage in a fight. Jensen is brought low, but Ray uses his ultimate for a dive, securing himself a kill. TSM trailed 1 kills to C9’s 2.
Svenskeren then moved up top to help Hauntzer, who has been pushed in by Ray. Ray tries to escape with his ult, but Hauntzer follows suit with his ult, locking him in. Contractz comes up to meet them, with the two now engaged in a two on two. Svenskeren kicks Ray, who is now dismounted, into the baron pit, with each team engaged in their own 1 on 1. TSM is successful in both instances, with Hauntzer and Svenskeren both picking up a kill, who now leads with 3 kills. TSM extends their lead as Svenskeren and Bjergsen steals away C9’s blue buff. Contractz makes a valiant attempt to assassintate Wildturtle, who gets away and is quickly healed by Wildturtle’s Nami. Both teams converge near the first Drake (Ocean, where Smoothie is killed. Sneaky is killed shortly after by Wildturtle in turret dive as Jensen teleports in and retaliates with a kill of his own, and Contractz finishes off Wildturtle. Chaos ensues as Bjergsen is picked off by Ray, who chases him down.
A pure brawl goes down as TSM and C9 trades kills, with Svenskeren falling to Jensen, Bjergsen takes down Smoothie while Sneaky and Biofrost trades deaths. Tied at 8 kills each, Wildturtle attempts to suicide to a turret, but Jensen manages to chase him down for a kill, taking a 9-8 lead. Hauntzer and Svenskeren answer back with a gank on Ray, who has no way of escaping, tieing it back up at 9-9, with neither teams refusing to back down.
With a Cloud Drake spawning in 30 seconds, both teams take some time to reset and heal up. Sneaky makes it to the Drake first and C9 quickly brings it down. Hauntzer is caught out and killed. TSM attempts to take a blast cone to escape, but Ray dives in bravely. Jensen manages to kill Biofrost under tower, in a 2 kill and Drake advantage. C9 leads the match with 11 kills to TSM’s 9.
Hauntzer and Svenskeren take their frusturations out on Ray, killing him in the bot lane as C9 attempts to do Baron. They are caught and choose to back off while TSM brings down a middle tower and Hauntzer solo kills a bottom tower. Despite an early advantage for Ray, Hauntzer start to pull ahead, up 2 levels and 50 cs at the 25 minute mark. However, Hauntzer is the only casualty of a 5 man fight, as both teams crash onto each other. A nice 3-man bubble by Biofrost’s Nami prevents any more deaths, as TSM turns back to heal and C9 takes another Cloud Drake.
30 minutes in, C9 seems to catch TSM off guard, as Ray ults in and connects to Wildturtle. However, he flashes out as Hauntzer teleports in and Ray is killed by Bjergsen. TSM is still down, 11 kills to C9’s 12. Ray (with teleport available) then split pushes down bottom, attempting to draw out a TSM as C9 sets up for Baron. Hauntzer goes out meet him, but TSM manages to clear out C9’s Baron wards, filling it with their own. C9 then reciprocates. A Baron fight breaks out, resulting in Ray’s death once more. TSM then forces Baron as C9 runs back to try and retaliate. A skirmish occurs as both teams retreat. Sneaky runs off to take down a middle turret.
With neither teams being able to take Baron, TSM runs down and takes down a Mountain Drake. Both Hauntzer and Ray take to the Bot Lane, waiting for a teleport play. Ray goes first, as C9 attempts the Baron. Hauntzer teleports in for a flank, but is too far away to be helped, as C9 crashes onto him. TSM manages to force C9 away from Baron despite being down a member twice.
A fight breaks out as Hauntzer engages. TSM appeared to have the upperhand, as Ray loses his Guardian Angel and Contractz is the first to be taken down. However, Sneaky qiocly grabs two kills, and TSM loses 4 members, leaving Hauntzer alone. At long last, a team manages to take Baron, and that team was C9.
A fight for Elder Dragon breaks out and TSM ties the kills at 17 when they take down Ray, Jensen and Smoothie. C9 tries to base race and manages to take down mid tower and an inhibitor, but TSM aces the rest of the team, as members are swiftly destroying the lane through the bottom side. TSM ends the game, as they march forward and hoist the trophy.
And just like that, one sudden team fight resulted in TSM retaining their title as North America’s most dominant team. TSM now secures a spot for the Mid-Season Invitational. Congratulations and well played to both teams!
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