It was an exciting opening night for the first League of Legends LAN event since 2020. TL overcame their roster issues to take down TSM in what was an action packed best-of-five.
Team Liquid punched their ticket to the Mid-Season Showdown finals where they will face off against Cloud9. In a repeat of their upper bracket series, TL comes out on top with a 3-1 victory over TSM. This series again delivered, the only downside was there were no fans in attendance at the Greek Theatre.
Armao steps on for Santorin at the last minute
The news that shocked the community came less than 24 hours before TL and TSM were to step foot on stage. Team Liquid's Santorin broke the news Armao would be stepping in for him in the TSM series. The Danish jungler explained in a Tweet he has been suffering from health problems.
Fortunately for TL fans, it was not unchartered territory. Armao initially stepped in for TL in the LCS Lock-In tournament with Santorin being unable to play due to Visa issues. Armao performed relatively well in the Lock-In tournament and did not look out of place with the rest of the roster. This experience helped Team Liquid coming into their series against TSM. TL's Jensen highlighted this in his post-game interview on the LCS broadcast.
We had already played with him in Lock-In like you said, so we already had an idea of how he plays as a jungler and how he wants to play the game. So it wasn't too difficult, the only bad part was we barely got to play any games with him as Lucas (Santorin) was trying to push through.
How did Armao perform against TSM?
Armao had a solid series, one that he will be proud of given the circumstances. As Jensen eluded to, Armao had very limited practise time with the squad as Santorin attempted to power through his health problems. Armao played a controlled first game, setting the tone for the series. The LCS jungler went 0/0/11 on Udyr, helping TL secure four dragons.
Game two was a game TSM fans will want to forget very quickly. TSM stomped the early game and ultimately should have run away with the game after the first 15 minutes. Oracles Elixir's Tim Sevenhuysen, who is known for posting LoL Esports statistics, posted an image in which TSM's chances at winning based on the game state was over 90%.
Armao and CoreJJ did well to bring Team Liquid back into the game. Armao on Nocturne and CoreJJ on Rell was able to catch TSM out multiple times to bring the game back to an even footing.
Armao was a key contributor to Team Liquid's series-winning game, in which TL proceeded to obliterate TSM. TL won the game with 19-0 on the scoreboard. It was as one-sided a tie can get, Armao punished TSM early on for attempting to kill the first dragon. From that moment on the game was over and TL ran away with the game. Armao finished the game 1/0/8 on Hecarim.
Team Liquid returns to action tonight as they take on Cloud9 in the Mid-Season Showdown Grand Finals.