Santorin and his team will now face Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket final in Houston, Texas. The winner will face 100 Thieves in the grand-final.
It was a sad day for Team Liquid fans as they saw their side get reverse swept by Summer Split champions 100 Thieves. Although both sides had already booked their tickets to Houston, the winner would go straight to the finals. Following the series, TL Santorin got the opportunity to speak to the press.
Santorin is still confident Team Liquid will win this weekend
Team Liquid got off to a roaring start in this best-of-five. The four-time LCS champions took a resounding 2-0 lead and looked poised to close out the series 3-0. TL gave Kim "Ssumday" his first loss on Ornn in the playoffs with Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau taking the fight to the veteran on Aatrox.
Unfortunately for TL, they were unable to close out what would have been a statement performance from their veteran squad. 100 Thieves were able to compose themselves and put three impressive games in a row. Speaking on the loss, Santorin is still very confident his side will be the team lifting the trophy.
I think we understood what they're gonna play pretty well. During the series, I feel like the most consistent issue was the way we were fighting objectives [...] even though we lost today, I still feel very confident that we'll win it all. Because it's more I felt like we're playing worse than normal more so than them playing well.
"We're very experienced players that have all played in front of these big crowds before which I think will be an advantage for us"
With the return of crowds to the LCS , North America will also be hosting its first stadium final since 2019. CoreJJ is the only player that will be returning from the Grand Finals which were played in Detroit. It goes without saying of the three rosters,
Team Liquid's is the most experienced at playing on the biggest stage. Every member has played in three different world championships, with CoreJJ attending the most at six including his World Title victory in 2017.
If Team Liquid takes down EG, this will be the first time Santorin has competed in a stadium final since 2015. Santorin last won the championship when he was playing on TSM. Despite attending three finals since they have not been in a stadium in front of a crowd due to COVID.
Santorin acknowledges the wealth of experience Team Liquid has at its disposal. This much experience should give Team Liquid the advantage this weekend.
I'm very excited to play in front of the big crowd. Again, it's been a while. I think, you know, one of the edges we have as a team is we're very experienced players that have all played in front of these big crowds before which I think will be an advantage for us.
Is 100 Thieves TL's biggest rival?
Given another intense best-of-five, the question is now being asked is 100 Thieves versus Team Liquid a rivalry? If TL were to win on saturday, this would be the third time they have faced off in the finals. The first being 2018 when TL swept 100T 3-0, and in 2021 when 100T returned the favor.
During that time between their first franchised final and their most recent, C9 and TL have been the teams to beat. C9 and TL have won multiple championships and have faced off in many grand finals during the franchised era.
During the 2021 season, despite C9 and TL finishing fourth and fifth in the regular season, both giants were always considered better best-of-five teams. This ended up being the case with Cloud9, Team Liquid and 100 Thieves all making it to finals weekend. The top three finish meant 100 Thieves had qualified for worlds for the second time in their history.
When asked who is Team Liquid's biggest rival, Santorin found it difficult to name 100 Thieves as their biggest outright rival.
I mean, for me, you know, I've not been on Team Liquid for that long but last year I felt like I would say Cloud9 was bigger rivals to us than 100 Thieves but obviously 100T won in the end. So I can't you know say anything about that.
This was a big testament to 100 Thieves story in the 2021 summer split. For years there have been teams that on occasion have pushed the established orgs through a strong regular season. 100 Thieves seemed to be that next in line, getting so close yet so far away from taking down TL and C9.
Despite 100 Thieves winning in summer, Santorin believes they have to win more titles to be considered the main rival.
I don't think 100 Thieves has made that big of a name for themselves yet because you know they have one title under their belt where teams like C9 and TL they've won a lot. So if 100 Thieves keep winning, then I feel like that they'll be the rival to us.
The LCS finals weekend kicks off this Saturday as Team Liquid takes on Evil Geniuses. The winner will then move onto the grand finals on Sunday where they will face 100T.
Featured Image credit LCSOfficial via Twitter.