Team Liquid defeat 100 Thieves in 2021 LCS Championship upper bracket final, secure berth at Worlds 2021 group stage

Team Liquid will have a chance to claim the 2021 LCS title next weekend.

Photo via Riot Games

Team Liquid took down 100 Thieves 3-2 in today’s 2021 LCS Championship upper bracket final and carved out a spot in the group stage of the League of Legends World Championship.

100 Thieves and Liquid haven’t played a high-stakes playoff match quite like today’s in well over three years. In fact, the two teams haven’t met in the postseason since the 2018 LCS Spring Finals. That day, Team Liquid captured a convincing 3-0 victory over 100 Thieves to win the LCS title. 

And while there was a similar result today, with Liquid finding victory once again, the effort was much more hard-fought from 100 Thieves. The final score of today’s match was a 3-2 victory for Team Liquid in the first five-game series of the LCS Championship. The victory sends Team Liquid to the organization’s second consecutive LCS Final. 

Although Team Liquid squeaked out a win, the effort required to do so was immense. The very nature of today’s series was back-and-forth, as Team Liquid found victory in the first game of the series, only to be dominated in the second game, wiping the series’ slate clean. In game three, 100 Thieves pushed the needle to match point, but Team Liquid responded one game later, forcing a fifth and final decisive game.

In that final faceoff, Team Liquid rolled through 100 Thieves, collecting 10 kills in the game’s final three minutes to steal a late-game gold advantage (and the win) away from their adversaries. The team’s veteran top laner Alphari posted a perfect 6/0/10 scoreline in the series’ final game, earning “Player of the Series” honors in the process.

And while both teams came into tonight’s match with a seed at the World Championship already locked up, there was still plenty to play for. With today’s win, Team Liquid earned themselves a trip to the Grand Finals of the 2021 LCS Championship, while 100 Thieves will now have to win one more best-of-five series against either Cloud9 or TSM to reach the season’s final match. Those two teams play tomorrow to determine North America’s last representative at Worlds. 

Because Team Liquid locked a top-two finish in the LCS with today’s victory, they’ve also guaranteed themselves one of North America’s top two seeds at Worlds later this year. Roughly translated, that means that Team Liquid has earned a ticket straight to the group stage of the World Championship.

As for 100 Thieves, a loss today has left their fate up in the air in regards to seeding, but a loss in next week’s lower bracket final could give 100 Thieves the region’s third seed at Worlds—which would force the team to battle through that tournament’s play-in stage.

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