One clutch Baron steal today reignited Team Liquid’s dream of making it out of the group stage in the 2019 League of Legends World Championship.
With DAMWON and Invictus Gaming sitting at 2-1, today’s match against AHQ Esports Club was a must-win for the 1-1 Liquid. Things looked grim at the start for North America’s first seed, however, since several poorly-played teamfights led to a 7,000 gold deficit.
A well-placed Rumble Equalizer by AHQ top laner Chen “Ziv” Yi at the 36-minute mark led to a one-sided teamfight that nearly cemented the Taiwanese team’s victory. Liquid ADC Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng didn’t help the cause when his Xayah frontlined the fight and got caught by the opposing Nautilus’ Dredge Line.
With three Liquid players taken out and four AHQ players still alive, it seemed like NA’s best chance would fall to 1-2. AHQ pushed mid hard, but they were only able to take out an Inhibitor.
But AHQ may have gotten overzealous with the sweet nectar of their first Worlds victory in sight. The team failed to reset before starting Baron and Liquid quickly rushed to the crucial objective.
While the Baron’s health was quickly dropping, Liquid’s jungle powerhouse Jake “Xmithie” Puchero saved the day. By combining Gragas’ Barrel Roll and Explosive Cask along with a clutch Smite, Xmithie was able to secure the Baron buff for his team—and it was all downhill from there for AHQ.
Liquid claimed Elder Dragon shortly after, which increased the strength of the team’s Dragon Slayer buff from two Infernals and one Mountain. They were then able to close out the game with one more deciding teamfight.
Although the victory wasn’t pretty, Liquid now sit in a three-way tie with DAMWON and IG at 2-1 in Group D. AHQ, on the other hand, may have seen the end of their Worlds journey after falling to 0-3.
Fans who are eager to watch Liquid can catch them take on DAMWON on Oct. 20 at 8am CT, followed by AHQ at 9am CT and IG at 12pm CT.