The champions have fallen. After four splits in a row of dominance from Team Liquid, led by North America’s most legendary player Doublelift, the superteam failed to even make it to the playoffs of the 2020 Spring Split, finishing in an abysmal ninth place. Despite having a chance to make it to playoffs, first through a potential 2-0 week and then, once they had lost game one, through a number of other teams losing or winning when they needed to and beating Cloud9. But despite what might’ve been one of Team Liquid’s best games of the season, they were unable to defeat Cloud9, who got their revenge on the squad who beat them in Summer Finals in both 2018 and 2019.
After the dust settled on Sunday, the LCS found itself with four tiebreakers to determine both placement in the playoffs and who made the playoffs. In the end, Evil Geniuses managed to fight their way into second after defeating 100 Thieves on Monday. 100T ended up in third after a win over FlyQuest and a loss to Evil Geniuses and were picked by the number one team Cloud9, which means that Evil Geniuses will be playing the fourth-seeded FlyQuest this weekend. In the lower bracket, the fifth-seeded TSM and the sixth-seeded Golden Guardians await the losers of those matchups. Golden Guardians only just managed to make the playoffs, following a win over Dignitas. Dignitas, who ended up in seventh, knocked out Immortals, who had only needed to win one of the three games they played last week in order to qualify.
In Europe, the standings were somewhat more clear. After week eight, the top six teams were already decided which meant week nine was primarily just for placement. That’s not to say week nine wasn’t important, however, as getting a top-four placement means that teams are able to lose twice before they go home instead of just the once that the 5th and 6th place teams get as they begin their fight in the lower bracket. G2 claimed first place with 15 wins and decided that they wanted to play the fourth-place Mad Lions. Fnatic, who edged their way into second-place over Origen, who they now are playing in the first round of playoffs. In the lower bracket, Rogue and Misfits, who both ended the season somewhat poorly, await the losers of those games.
As we reach playoffs, we reach the stage where the results really matter. No one remembers who beat who in Week 3 of the spring split, but everyone remembers when Dignitas upset TSM in the playoffs of Summer last year. Everyone remembers Team Liquid’s four championships in a row even if they don’t care what teams they beat on the way. It’s like the saying “nobody remembers second” tells us. It doesn’t matter what teams they beat, it doesn’t matter what teams they lost to; when playoffs start, the only thing that matters is the next series. If Cloud9 wins playoffs, this team will probably be remembered forever as the team that had the most dominant split in history. If they lose, no one will remember how close they came to being truly, undeniably great.
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Ashton Stansel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.