After mustering in the basement of the LCS for the entire first half of the season, Golden Guardians pulled off the biggest upset of the split so far, starting their second half with an enormous upset over third place Team Liquid.
After a relatively close early game, Golden Guardians was able to pull away from TL around the 20 minute mark, as North America’s last place underdogs looked like a Worlds-caliber team for the majority of the game. Constant team fight victories and catches on to TL’s carries, mainly Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, resulted in a snowball effect for all of GGS. Hai “Hai” Lam looked the 2013 version of himself, and Samson “Lourlo” Jackson was quickly blossoming into the top lane powerhouse he was expected to become.
However, It only took two lost team fights and three surrendered Mountain Drakes for Team Liquid to show a glimmer of hope around the 30 minute mark. Golden Guardians did their best to dive the bot lane inner and inhibitor towers, but after nearly a 4,000 gold Baron power play, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero managed to catch Hai with a point blank Glacial Prison, resulting in a clean 4-for-0 in favor of Team Liquid.
Only a few minutes later, TL engaged once again, but this time, a mid-fight teleport from Lourlo’s Gnar set up yet another lost team fight for Liquid. GGS killed their second Baron of the game, turning the tides in their favor yet again. Just 2 minutes later, Golden Guardians secured the Elder Dragon, as well as a kill onto Xmithie, as they increased their gold lead to over 6,000. Golden Guardians utilized their massive buff advantage to destroy TL’s bot lane inhibitor, resulting in yet another 4,000 gold power play.
After mulling around the map for a few minutes, Golden Guardians were able to utilize their three Mountain Drakes to obliterate their third Baron of the game. GGS cracked the top side of Liquid’s base, breaking another inhibitor and eclipsing a gold lead of 10,000. TL tried to defend their base, but a textbook shockwave from Hai resulted in a massive kill on Eon Young “Impact” Jeong. From there, GGS was able to destroy all three inhibitors, the Elder Dragon, and eventually Team Liquid’s nexus.
With this massive win, Golden Guardians still find themselves in last place with an uninspiring record of 2-8. However, this loss put a massive dent into Liquid’s playoff plans, as they will now find themselves a full 3.0 games back of first place.