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Team SoloMid dismantled Phoenix1 with a swift 2-0 sweep during Week 9, Day 2 of the North American League Championship Series in Los Angeles to secure a first-round bye in the NA LCS Playoffs.
Moving into the battle, both teams had a large amount riding on the series. Despite its dismal record, Phoenix1 (4-13, 15-29 match record) was hoping for an upset to begin paving its way to the regional qualifiers and an outside chance at the World Championship later this year. It would be a tough task given that Team SoloMid was also fighting for a first-round playoff bye and wouldn't be letting off the gas at all.
The first game of the series was an absolute steamroll from Team SoloMid (13-4, 28-11 match record) despite a couple of misplays. Picking up speed in the mid-game, TSM heavily focused the enemy mid laner, Choi "Pirean" Jun-sik, and quickly removed him as a threat in the game. Once ahead, TSM mid laner Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg and Yilliang "Doublelift" Peng dealt massive damage and demolished P1 in teamfights. P1 found itself at such a disadvantage that despite having a fed AD carry No "Arrow" Dong-hyeon on Kog'Maw, it was unable to bounce back. Without any comeback mechanics, P1 was defeated in just 26 minutes.
The loss forced Phoenix1 to drastically switch up its style in Game 2 in an attempt to mount a reverse-sweep. Picking up Shyvana for jungler Mike "MikeYeung" Yeung and Draven for Arrow, in addition to substituting Pirean out in favor of Ryu "Ryu" Sang-wook, the team opted for an entirely new approach. Although these changes were able to bring an early lead for P1, TSM showed perseverance throughout the game, playing calm and controlled to bounce back. Despite being down 6,000 gold, TSM was able to secure back-to-back Barons, allowing it to siege and claim a 35-minute victory.
The outcome of the series solidified Team SoloMid's first-round playoff bye, allowing the team to take its series against Counter Logic Gaming at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday as seriously as it wishes. Phoenix1, meanwhile, will look to take down FlyQuest at the same time in an effort to keep its World Championship dream alive.