The North American League Championship Series (NA LCS) quarterfinals continued on Sunday evening with Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) and Team Liquid (TL) meeting in the playoffs for the second straight split. CLG, the defending North American split champion, was the favorite for the matchup and looked strong coming into the playoffs. TL was inconsistent and entered the knockout stages as a question mark. The question was not about talent but rather whether an inconsistent team could put it all together and show up in a big series. When the dust settled, CLG moved on to the semifinals.
CLG showcased its understanding of the new patch and abused the correct champions for aggressive pushes, rotations and ganks. It would lead to a dominating 3-1 set and help establish plenty of intrigue for CLG's next matchup against Team SoloMid. CLG's current macro-intensive play and swift decision-making will prove a tough task for the North American juggernaut dream team.
TL showed glimpses of hope throughout the set. In its lone victory, TL snowballed a victory after a rather slow and solid laning phase. From the 12-minute marker on, TL correctly pushed the ignition and forced advantageous fights. It would lead to an overall kill score of 22-8. But the biggest victory was how TL sustained the lead and controlled the map. It could be a preview of how Team SoloMid attacks CLG: Isolate priority targets and force difficult fights.
Overall, CLG played incredibly well and won convincingly, with Game 4 producing the team's most lopsided victory in the set. If the defending split champions continue their consistency and adaptation, it could be another North American title for the team's mantle.
Counter Logic Gaming sends Team Liquid home for second straight split