In the first match of the losers’ bracket in the LCS playoffs, TSM easily triumphed in a 3-0 series. While a late-season resurgence enabled Dignitas to make the extended playoff bracket, they looked outclassed and quickly floundered against their old rivals.
After their loss against Golden Guardians on Thursday, TSM had to fight in the lower playoff bracket to avoid an embarrassing and premature end to the season. Dignitas, meanwhile, benefited from the recent expansion of the LCS playoffs to 8 teams, winning the last spot after a tiebreaker with another old rival, Counter-Logic Gaming.
Dignitas Nailing a Good Start, At Least
The first game had a scrappy start with both teams brawling in the top lane. Dignitas were able to inch ahead at the 10-minute mark and, with two early kills on Kim "Fenix" Jae-hun.
However, a tower dive two minutes later ended in disaster for Dignitas and they were aced in the extended teamfight. Even worse, TSM’s star mid laner Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg got three kills and soon, his Syndra became a terror on the Rift. Dignitas could not win against her or find a way to pick her off. They had to concede two barons and eventually, a kill on Fenix gave TSM the opportunity to break in the base and take the opening game.
Dignitas had a good start to the second game, winning a fight near the mid-lane just three minutes in to get two kills and a double buff on Fenix’ Zoe. However, TSM soon took the lead with a fight near the first drake. Even more worryingly for Dig, Mingyi "Spica" Lu’s Nidalee was 5/1/1 just 12 minutes in and was a monster in the jungle.
Not Enough to Beat TSM
Still, the underdogs tried to fight back and narrowly missed an ace 18 minutes in a great fight for Fenix. However, they could not get any major objectives and a positional misplay five minutes later cost them an inhibitor as they were not in place to fight TSM’s push. A successful dragon steal shortly afterward cost Dignitas their jungler and meant they could not contest the Baron. Armed with the purple buff and a big gold lead, TSM dismantled the enemy base before ending the game 31 minutes in.
The decisive game saw TSM get a better start and eventually their Twisted Fate-Camille combo started exerting a lot of pressure on the map. Dignitas focused their early efforts on the bottom lane, but it was not enough and they quickly started falling behind in gold and objectives despite having a kill lead. An extended fight near the dragon 23 minutes in saw Dignitas get a third drake only to overstay, get hemmed in and eventually aced by TSM. This gave the favorites an easy Baron and with it, they broke into the enemy base and took all three inhibitors before ending the game.
With this, Dignitas’ summer season is at an end and while the team saw its first playoffs since its return to the LCS, they were simply outclassed by their opponents and made many mistakes that they were punished for. For TSM, the 3-0 result will likely appease fans and restore the players’ confidence after the 0:3 in the opening series. This is a necessary victory, but not enough for a team with such history and ambitions. TSM fans want their team with the cup again or a least making finals, and those are still a long way away.
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