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Golden Guardians advance to first LCS finals, earn MSI qualification with victory over FlyQuest

The team continues to achieve what many believed they couldn't.

If DRX’s miracle run through last year’s League of Legends World Championship taught fans anything, it’s to never doubt the underdogs. Today, that logic held true once more.

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Golden Guardians again exceeded expectations by successfully taking down FlyQuest in the lower bracket finals of the 2023 LCS Spring Playoffs. This victory results in not only the organization’s first involvement in an LCS grand finals tomorrow, April 9, but also invites them to MSI in London, England for their international debut.

The five-game series saw neither team wanting to back down, even when the odds were stacked against them. From more electrifying gameplay from the Golden Guardians bot-lane duo to synergistic teamfights from the storied players on FlyQuest, each game of the series seemed to pass leads back-and-forth between the two teams—with the teams even bringing out a few peculiar picks from deep in their pockets.

Yet when it seemed that the lead FlyQuest had accrued in game four was enough to cement a victory for themselves, Golden Guardians once more stepped up with tactics that have afforded them success in their underdog journey thus far. In the final fight for dragon—after having snuck a Baron for themselves—Licorice hit a three-man Malphite ultimate on his unsuspecting opponents, ultimately earning Golden Guardians a win that kept them in the series.

This momentum was all Golden Guardians needed to quickly propel themselves through game five, starting with an innovative Sion-leash strategy that brought them two kills in three minutes. The team kept their lead afloat throughout the entire game through slow coordination that they lacked in their previous two defeats in the series. With grand finals and MSI in their sights, Golden Guardians marched down the mid lane to their third and final win of the series.

While the format for this year’s MSI has not changed, both the LCS and the LEC have been given a second representative for the first international tournament of the year. Cloud9 earned their spot with their sweep of FlyQuest in the upper-bracket finals, with Golden Guardians now joining them at the event to represent all of North America from May 2 to 21—the first international League competition the organization has ever been a part of.

But Golden Guardians’ run through the Spring Playoffs is not yet over. They’ve now cemented a spot for themselves opposite C9 in the grand finals, a team they’ve yet to meet thus far in the Spring Playoffs, but one they’d traded blows with during the regular season. C9 has only lost a single game in their upper-bracket playoffs run thus far, and will be Golden Guardians’ toughest competition thus far.

The grand finals match of the 2023 LCS Spring Playoffs between Cloud9 and Golden Guardians will take place tomorrow in Raleigh, North Carolina, marking the last stop of the LCS before MSI begins in just a few weeks. FlyQuest will continue their LCS run when the Summer Split begins in a few months.

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Ethan Garcia
Ethan Garcia is a freelance writer for Dot Esports, having been part of the company for three years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and specializes particularly in coverage of League of Legends, various Nintendo IPs, and beyond.