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Team Liquid managed to upset top-ranked Team SoloMid with a 2-1 series victory Saturday during Week 9, Day 2 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split in Los Angeles.
Team Liquid (5-12, 16-29 match record) had a great start to Game 1 as jungler Kim "Reignover" Yeu-Jin's Olaf scored successful ganks, participating in all five of the team's kills. Reignover mostly ganked the bottom lane, which aided in AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng's Ezreal going on an early killing spree while building a nice lead in CS. Team SoloMid (14-3, 29-16 match record) kept the gold close and started to show some life in the mid game as it began securing kills in the top and middle lane but got picked apart trying to contest Baron. Team Liquid kept building on its momentum until it scored an ace around the 27-minute mark then pushed to finish off Game 1.
Team SoloMid was winning both solo lanes early in Game 2 as top laner Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell's Renekton and mid laner Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg's Vladimir quickly jumped out to advantages in kills and CS. Team Liquid's CS deficits only grew as it lost turrets and objectives. Doublelift was Team Liquid''s only hope as he tried to carry, but TSM had plenty of ways to chase him down for kills. Team Liquid was helpless as Team SoloMid methodically applied pressure around the map, winning Game 2 in just under 30 minutes.
In Game 3 the mid lane matchup was the same as Game 2, with Bjergsen's Vladimir against Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin's Taliyah. Once again Piglet struggled to make an impact early, falling behind in level and CS thanks to a number of ganks. Team SoloMid's early momentum began to dissipate as Liquid won teamfights throughout the mid game, however. That all led to Liquid sneakily killing a Baron near the 22-minute mark, only sacrificing a mid lane tier one turret to pull off the feat. The Baron power play left TSM's top lane inhibitor exposed, but the gold was still close on both sides. However Team SoloMid made a bad engage 30 minutes in that left only the support Vincent "Biofrost" Wang's Karma left to defend the Nexus. Biofrost wasn't much of an obstacle as Team Liquid's full squad pushed to complete the upset.
Team SoloMid will face off against Phoenix1 to close out the Spring Split on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Team Liquid's quest to avoid relegation will continue Sunday against FlyQuest at 6 p.m. ET.