Top Esports have progressed one step closer to the grand finals of the 2022 LPL Spring Split playoffs after taking down Victory Five in a surprising reverse sweep today.
The 2022 LPL Spring Split playoffs are quickly coming to an end since only four League of Legends teams remain in the race to represent the region at the Mid-Season Invitational. In today’s match, the LPL’s fifth-seeded Top Esports took on the region’s No. 1 seeded Victory Five to determine which team would move on to the semifinals.
In the first game, Victory Five jungler Karsa led the charge against Top Esports on his dominant Hecarim pick. Throughout the entire early game, Karsa charged across the Rift, applying his pressure on the bottom half of the map. This eventually helped both mid laner Rookie and AD carry Photic collect leads on Orianna and Jinx.
As the game progressed further, both Rookie and Photic were unstoppable since both the teamfighting and late-game scaling were in favor of Victory Five. This helped the team grab three dragons, a Baron, and a 12,000 gold lead that was used to close out the game in 27 minutes.
Throughout the first game, Top Esports only got two kills, so they immediately had to try to reverse their fortunes going into game two. And Top Esports improved upon their initial game one struggles through two early kills onto Rookie and Victory Five support ppgod.
Top Esports continued to pressure Victory Five throughout the early game, but Victory Five stopped a snowball from forming through CS leads over their opponents. While Top Esports used their early kill pressure to grab three dragons, Victory Five took the fourth dragon of the game at 24 minutes after they killed Wayward around the pit. Top Esports used that initial dragon loss to path toward the Baron, where they grabbed the major objective and even killed jungler Karsa after a failed attempt to steal it from them.
With Baron-empowered minions, Top Esports held mid-priority over Victory Five, but Victory Five top laner Rich was unstoppable in the side lanes on Gnar. His pressure on the champion helped Victory Five mitigate any oncoming structural damage since Top Esports always needed to send more than one player to stop Rich’s pressure.
This was ultimately what stopped Top Esports from winning game two, especially when Rich used his pressure to pick off Wayward. Alongside Rookie and the rest of Victory Five, they stole the game from Top Esports to go up 2-0 in the series.
The turning point of the series came in game three. It was the closest game of the series and saw both Victory Five and Top Esports battle back and forth for control and pressure. Through the first 15 minutes of the third game, Victory Five held control with a 3,000 gold lead. They looked to extend that lead even further when they took the Rift Herald at 17 minutes and Karsa charged at the Top Esports backline.
But things began to turn in Top Esports’ favor because of Wayward’s Graves ultimate that burst three members of Victory Five to low health. This helped mid laner Knight turn the teamfight and game around for Top Esports on the Akali, bringing that gold difference down to under 1,000.
This pattern continued into the mid to late game, where Victory Five would initiate an objective take before Top Esports’ late-game scaling composition continued to win these crucial teamfights. Shortly after, Top Esports took the Baron from Victory Five to grab their first major gold lead of the game at 21 minutes. Top Esports used this newfound advantage to take more of Victory Five’s structures alongside a second Baron at 28 minutes.
From here, Top Esports’ gold lead grew from 2,000 all the way to a near 10,000 at 40 minutes. They eventually used this advantage to close out the third game and bring the series to a fourth game.
Down 2-1, Top Esports entered game four looking to piggyback off of their late-game successes in the third game. Similar to game three, Victory Five started the game strong, grabbing three kills early on. But this early game proved to just be a ruse since Top Esports jungler Tian erupted shortly after on Lee Sin. He picked up his early-game pressure to help Top Esports grab five kills in a matter of three minutes.
This unrelenting pressure continued when Tian was joined by the rest of Top Esports to thwart any momentary pauses from Victory Five’s end to continue a snowball throughout the fourth game. Tian led the charge for Top Esports to grab three dragons and a Baron just past the 20-minute mark. And at 27 minutes, Top Esports were knocking down Victory Five’s Nexus and bringing the series to a fifth game.
In the final game of the series, Top Esports continued their fourth game dominance. This time, Top Esports dominated the early game over Victory Five. Wayward’s Malphite dismantled Rich’s Kennen on the top side. This opened Tian up to apply some pressure to help Knight’s Ryze and the mid and jungle duo left Karsa silent on his usually strong Hecarim.
The entire game saw Victory Five look helpless to Top Esports’ pressure and there were few opportunities for them to come back into the game. While Victory Five found one teamfight win around 20 minutes, that was not enough to stop Top Esports from charging into their base and pulling off the upset over the favorites to win the 2022 LPL Spring Split.
With this win, Top Esports have secured their place in the 2022 LPL Spring Split playoff semifinals. This series against Victory Five saw Top Esports progressively improve and adapt to Victory Five’s strengths. They also showcased a strong level of teamwork to claw their way back through immaculate teamfights.
As for Victory Five, they’re still in the race for the 2022 LPL Spring Split playoff crown and will now drop down to the losers bracket. They await the loser of the JD Gaming and Royal Never Give Up series, where one team will fall just short of the semifinals. That series will be played on Saturday, April 16 at 4am CT.