A bottom-of-the-table clash between two teams with everything to lose in Golden Guardians and Dignitas lived up to its billing as the former pulled off an improbable victory to claim a spot in the LCS Championship.
The win also meant that no three-way tiebreaker would be played between the two teams and Immortals for the last playoff spot and sealed the eight participants for good.
Dignitas mid laner Blue found himself 5/0/1 on Ahri before the 14-minute mark, but Golden Guardians did manage to make decent use of the game’s first Rift Herald.
That was the only neutral objective that the Guardians took in the entire game.
Golden Guardians showed glimpses of being better than their bottom-tier record as they held on in the face of an Ocean Soul and Barons.
The first three dragons of the game went over to Dignitas without too much extracurricular activity around the map. But a few minutes later, a 1000-gold shutdown kill by Golden Guardians AD carry Stixxay—not long after Dignitas took what should have been their first sizeable lead by securing the game’s first Baron—was a harbinger of things to come.
With every neutral objective that Dignitas took, Golden Guardians wrenched away something in exchange, usually in the form of kills that mitigated the amount of damage that their opponents could inflict on the map after taking said objective.
As a result, Dignitas’s 4,000-gold lead before the above fight—their biggest of the game despite their immense neutral objective advantages—evaporated fully when they secured the Elder Dragon at around the 38-minute mark, only to lose the subsequent fight to the tune of a five-to-one ace, ending their season.
Golden Guardians squeaked into the LCS Championship as the eighth seed to extend an immensely disappointing split for at least one more best-of-five. They start in the losers’ bracket, along with seventh-seeded TSM, as the road to Worlds kicks off next weekend.