I felt CLG threw a breaking ball at TSM in Game 1 with the Poppy/Ekko combination. TSM still came away with a pretty powerful comp, but Poppy is just better than Gragas and Svenskeren’s Nidalee wasn’t impactful enough in the later fights. He consistently got caught early and that’s the danger of not having an CC or tank stats on your jungler. I wonder if CLG will let Nidalee through to him on blue side and pick for top lane again?
Picks and bans – CLG let Nidalee through but TSM first-pick Graves. Interesting. CLG then go back to Ekko/Caitlin – Huhi and Stixxay were fine in Game 1, but I don’t know that either carried the game, and this gives Poppy to Hauntzer along with Alistar for Doublelift. This is a win for TSM with Kalista bound to follow. CLG get Morgana/Rek’Sai and TSM grab Lulu along with that Kalista. Love this draft from TSM. I feel Lulu gives them more tools in the teamfight and really empowers Doublelift. Of course, they will have a tough time laning against Caitlin, but TSM just need to get to teamfights. CLG last-pick Corki for Huhi, which is fine, but TSM have more sources of CC and knockups than CLG. We’ll see if they can use them better.
Early Game – CLG get even more of a lead in standard lanes with a jungle start that catapults Stixxay to level 2. Doublelift does an excellent job farming under tower to make sure Stixxay doesn’t get too far ahead. 15:30 shows just how strong Poppy is at absorbing damage and prolonging fights. Hauntzer is dead to rights but buys time for Svenskeren to pelt away and Bjergsen to TP in for the finish. Hauntzer immediately TPs bot side at 16:40 and helps get another kill for Doublelift on Stixxay (Stixxay can’t even steal a minion on the way to the grave). This gives Huhi and Darshan a lot of solo tmie though, and Darshan eventually knocks down the top outer turret. The early lane advantage allows aphromoo to roam with Xmithie and they narrowly miss a kill at 22:40.
24:25 – TSM set up a dive bottom with both TPs but CLG walk away and TSM don’t have minions and can’t even take the turret. I agree with Jatt and Kobe – TSM just don’t look as sharp cross-mapping as CLG do. At 26:10, CLG rotate bottom to chase down the TSM duo lane but TSM gladly give it up for two top lane towers and a lot of damage on the mid outer. Now CLG fans are wondering if this was #NotWorth. This is conversely what CLG are so good at: not tunneling on saving someone and transitioning to another objective.
28:40 – After taking turret, TSM are flanked by Xmithie and Darshan on the way out and Doublelift is erased. CLG still have a lot of cooldowns up! Yellowstar then headbutts Xmithie back into the waiting arms of Hauntzer. That Poppy!! In a 1v3, Darsham, Huhi, and Xmithie can’t take him down and Bjergsen gets aphromoo. With no remaining peel, CLG are forced to run but Xmithie is slammed into a wall by Hauntzer and killed by Bjergsen. TSM have excellent kill distribution on their carries but cannot lose Kalista that early. TSM are rotating faster this game with vision and are taking turrets left and right.
37:05 – CLG get the Alistar engage combo out and catch Bjergsen with a binding – that’s the go signal! But Hauntzer is already there. Darshan can’t take down Lulu and Poppy is wreaking havoc in the middle of CLG. Hauntzer actually channeled his ult to disengage and then sent it in the wrong direction on purpose – he knew TSM were about to turn the fight and didn’t want to give anyone a way out. Poppy with lulu shields and ult tears through CLG; it’s an inhibitor and a Baron for TSM.
38:25 – CLG go all-in to stop the Baron but TSM do a fantastic job juggling damage and it’s so hard to take against Kalista. They take down Xmithie patiently before rending the Baron. Darshan had already used his ult trying to distract them and fails his flash out of the pit. The game’s over anyway. Ace, TSM, game, TSM.
This was a pretty straightforward win for TSM – they got an early game lead when they shouldn’t have, won almost every team fight, Svenskeren was good on Graves, Bjergsen fantastic on Lulu, and Hauntzer a monster on Poppy. The big risk leaving Poppy up bit CLG – they could have gone Ekko/Poppy but put a ton of emphasis on Caitlin for Stixxay, and he wasn’t that good. I just don’t know that Caitlin should have that high priority. Stixxay has to be able to play another viable counter if Doublelift picks it. This series is still up in the air.