Team Liquid put the North American League of Legends Championship Series on notice with its 3-1 decimation of Echo Fox on Saturday in the Spring Split semifinals in Los Angeles.
While Team Liquid has been on the butt end of the "forever fourth" meme, it washed all of that away with an incredible showing against second-seeded Echo Fox in this series. From the very start, Liquid showed absolutely no fear as it played like the better team at just about every turn and earned its first-ever NA LCS finals appearance.
Despite having two members of the first NA LCS All-Pro Team this Spring in the form of top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon and jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett, Echo Fox never managed to get the two playing at the level fans had become accustomed to thus far in 2018. The pair tried their best to engage and get the team ahead, only to be constantly cut down to the tune of a combined 12/31/29 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) in the four-game series.
With its normal win condition of getting Huni and Dardoch going eliminated, Echo Fox had to turn elsewhere to try and win games. It decided to focus on objectives, but Liquid seemed unfazed by this strategy. Liquid chose to simply fight early and often, which translated into a whopping 71 kills across all four games -- including 21 in the 23-minute Game 4 victory. Echo Fox's 27 kills paled in comparison.
While Echo Fox did manage a win in Game 3 with its objective-focused style, the overwhelming pressure from Liquid was far too much to handle.
At the forefront of this Liquid attack was none other than AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng. The NA LCS stalwart put on a clinic for the second straight series in these playoffs, this time finishing with a 29/2/26 KDA that was good for a 27.5 KDA ratio in the series. After going deathless against Cloud9 last week, Doublelift's KDA ratio now stands at an unheard-of 39 through seven playoff games.
The fact that he's even doing this after Echo Fox committing at least two bans per game on ADCs and forcing Doublelift onto picks like Ashe only serves to demonstrate just how well he's playing at this moment. With such a cohesive, all-out offense from Liquid, whoever the team meets in the finals next weekend will surely need to plan thoroughly to avoid meeting a similar fate.
Team Liquid will now await its opponent for next week's finals in Miami, as Clutch Gaming and 100 Thieves will face off Sunday for a shot at the title match. Echo Fox, on the other hand, will be waiting to take on the loser of Sunday's match in the third-place match next Saturday.