The last of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) semifinals played out with a matchup between Team SoloMid (TSM) and Counter Logic Gaming (CLG). The rematch from last year's spring split finals was highly anticipated before the players even hit the rift. It was TSM's recently gelled all-star lineup against CLG, the team with the largest chip on its shoulders. It was the former longtime CLG AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng against his successor, Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes. Finally, it was a battle between two of the most storied North American teams and franchises for the right to take down the NA LCS crown.
In short, TSM and CLG did not live up to the hype. Despite all the talk about CLG's ability to fully utilize the strengths of the patch or Stixxay's fearlessness and the team's improved coordination, it was a wash. TSM swept the series 3-0 and did so in a variety of ways: macro-oriented and patient play, team fight and execution, and lane dominance. It wasn't the Doublelift and Stixxay show match, but rather, the series of TSM as a team.
Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg was a man on a mission. He was the consistent force behind every team fight, and he controlled the mid game with relative ease. Bjergsen had long been considered the best mid laner in North America, but he proved it time and time again. TSM entered every match with a winning lane before the horn sounded. Instead of Doublelift as the secondary source of damage, it was Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell, who was disruptive and dangerous. The combination of both Hauntzer and Bjergsen in fights eased the pressure of carrying off Doublelift. TSM rode their well-rounded attack -- and CLG -- out of the figurative building.
TSM looked ready to fight and could be considered the favorite to capture the NA LCS championship. The title might very well be theirs to lose.
TSM will play Cloud9 in the NA LCS summer split finals on Aug. 28.