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  • Edward Brady

The LCS Finals Come to Texas

HOUSTON - NRG Stadium. The home of the Houston Texans. A host for championships in basketball and football. And this weekend, the site of a title fight for one of the biggest north American sports leagues you’ve probably never heard of.

The League Championship Series is coming to Houston as the final 3 teams fight for the right to represent North America on the esports international stage. Texas was originally supposed to host the 2020 finals, but the league went online when the pandemic hit.

The Crowds are back now and the fight to the finish will be between 3 very different

teams. On Saturday, Team Liquid face Evil Geniuses. Stylistically, they seem to be equal, but opposite.

A 4-time champion vs a team only joining in 2020. A team with some of the best imported talent money can buy. A team with well proven veterans in Bjergsen, Bwipo, Hans Sama, Santorin, and CoreJJ. All players that have either won championships or proven themselves on the highest level.

They will be facing a team that lives and dies by the young talent. Inspired is only 20, Danny only turned 18 in January. Their much-hyped mid laner from the academy scene Jojopyun is only 17. They are facilitated by Vulcan, who has made a name for himself in the LCS. And Impact, a former World-Champion, a star of the show in two different NA success stories (2016-17 C9 and the TL 4-peat), and an immovable rock in the top lane. They are also the only team to run any North American players this finals weekend.

This will be a true battle between legacy and new blood. Big budgets vs excellent talent development. And given that EG/TL went to 5 games the first time they played and that EG has improved significantly, it will hopefully be a fun match.

The winner will have to go through 100 Thieves on Sunday for a shot at the crown. The defending champions quietly got their jobs done and have overcome all competition so far. A brutal sweep of one of the most exciting teams in Cloud 9. Cloud 9 were looking like an easy choice for the title, and league MVP practically had Summit’s name written on it. They broke Cloud 9 so badly (as did EG) that Cloud 9 made a substitute change for the first time this year in playoffs. A team that fans heralded as NA’s only international hope was now having calls to blow the roster up. Summit went from C9’s new God, to being on very thin ice at best, or being run out of C9 at worst. And it is all thanks to 100 Thieves excellent play, great drafting, and a very good response to pressure.

They then reverse swept the TL superteam. A 2-0 series where they were looking all but dead turned into a rout in 100T’s favor in games 3 and 4. The team came alive at the best possible moment. And thanks to some great shotcalling from Closer, Abbedagge was able to walk into an undefended TL base to steal the series from the jaws of defeat. The mental fortitude to not let 2 games of below average play is admirable. And given that as soon as, in Closer’s own words in the postgame interview, “started playing like humans,” they swept their biggest competition, it was a statement series for the defending champs. now only one more series stands between them and the repeat.

No matter which team walks away with the crown, the atmosphere is sure to be electric for the biggest live event in the LCS’s history. The matches kick off at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday and can be viewed on Twitch, the Lolesports website, or Youtube.

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