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Team Dignitas didn't look as strong as it should've against the tied-for-last-place Team Liquid but managed to pull off a 2-1 series victory on Sunday in Week 9 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series in Los Angeles.
Game 1 went well for Team Dignitas (11-7, 29-22 match record) after it stopped playing passively in the midgame. Dignitas had solid macro rotations early but started to push the tempo after winning a 4-for-0 teamfight that earned a Baron kill just 22 minutes in. Team Liquid's gold deficit quickly inflated as its turrets fell, and it didn't help matters that Liquid kept making mistake after mistake in the late game. The end of Game 1 was a bit uneventful as Liquid chased for kills well out of base while three lanes of super minions ravaged its Nexus.
Team Liquid (4-14, 13-31 match record) came out swinging in Game 2 as jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett's Lee Sin focused on getting the bottom lane a lead with gank pressure. After Liquid AD carry Gwang-jin "Piglet" Chae's Vayne got a lead in gold and experience, Liquid tried to make plays around its pressure in the bottom lane. Dignitas struggled to execute its high pick potential team composition as Liquid ran away with a gold lead, but things got messy late as Liquid misstepped and lost a fight that almost cost it the game.
Dignitas won a 4-for-2 trade and tried to rush down mid lane to finish but couldn't knock down the Nexus before its opponent respawned. The greedy overstay gave control back to Team Liquid as it picked up kills before pushing to tie the series at 1-1.
In Game 3 Team Liquid tried to stick to its "feed Piglet's Vayne" strategy as it sent ganks into the bottom lane early. The first gank worked well for, but the strategy went south in the mid game. Team Dignitas looked to shut down Piglet after losing first blood by sending ganks of its own into the bottom lane that eventually led to the first two turrets of Game 3. When it was time to group up for teamfights, Dignitas had plenty of engage tools that overwhelmed Liquid's front line and reached the priority targets in the back line. Team Dignitas' teamfight dominance let it dictate the tempo late as it stomped its way to an 18 kills to three advantage and a Game 3 victory.
Team Dignitas will face off against Cloud9 in playoff action starting Aug. 19 while Team Liquid preps to make a run through the Spring Promotion tournament starting Friday.