I wrote a year ago about how CLG came up with an incredible run to take its first North American championship behind their star bottom lane of Doublelift (ADC) and Aphromoo (Support). Both players came up big against NA powerhouse, TSM, such as this team fight from Game 2 of last night’s championship where Doublelift completely turned it around:
And how fitting that it was Doublelift and his friend Aphromoo who walked away from that fight after Aphromoo saved Doublelift at the last second so that Doublelift could just do his thing.
But after that season there was inner turmoil with management and Doublelift wound up being removed from the team, only to join TSM that same day, joining another all-star in their mid-laner Bjergsen. This created a question: to which carry would the team funnel resources? TSM was used to Bjergsen carrying the games, and Doublelift is notorious for taking a lot of farm off the map.
But Doublelift changed his style, taking fewer resources, but still gushing out damage:
With the surprise performance of their rookie support, Biofrost (who won the Rookie of the Split award), TSM assembled the best win/loss record in NA history. They entered the regional tournament as heavy favorites and started out by crushing Doublelift’s old team, CLG (who beat them in 5 games in the spring split’s best-of-five finals). They found themselves in the final match against a surging Cloud 9, who had just knocked off the #2 seed.
Just like a year ago, when things were looking dicey in the deciding game, with his team down 5,000 gold, Doublelift played the deciding fight absolutely perfectly:
Let me walk you through this fight.
0:15: Biofrost gets picked off, it’s now a 5 vs 4 fight in favor of Cloud 9.
0:24: Doublelift casts Ardent Blaze to queue up his passive (which gives him two shots on his next auto-attack), anticipating having to attack in the next three seconds. He was right.
0:25: The Weaver’s Wall cuts Doublelift off from the fight and traps the remaining members of TSM. 99.999999% of all other ADC players would’ve used Lucian’s ultimate, The Culling, in this situation to continue dishing out damage. Doublelift chooses to hold it.
0:27: Out of range to auto-attack, Doublelift fires his piercing light through a minion to get some damage onto Jensen, C9’s mid-laner (and a priority target).
0:32: Bjergsen dies, leaving a 4 vs 3 fight and a low-health Doublelift as the last remaining source of damage for TSM compared to two near-full health carries on C9. Pretty much one hit will kill Doublelift at this point.
0:33: Doublelift side-steps the Deadly Flourish from C9’s ADC that would’ve killed him if it had landed. He trusts himself to side-step rather than using his dash.
0:34: C9 rushes Doublelift, knowing that if they can get that last hit in the fight will be over and they will win the game. Doublelift kites backwards, using the dash he didn’t use to avoid the Deadly Flourish a second ago, the whole time weaving auto-attacks in between his skill shots better than I’ve ever seen a Lucian player do even in calmer circumstances (not the finals in front of a sold-out arena for the #1 seed at worlds), all without burning his flash. He doesn’t just survive, he survives while constantly putting out ludicrous amounts of damage. The mechanical skill required to do this is simply unreal.
0:37: Now Doublelift uses The Culling which he saved earlier to keep kiting back and to burn through the health bars of his priority targets.
0:41: He still has his flash, which he uses offensively to close in and finish the fight.
To make all of those decisions on the fly is something I can’t even imagine. C9 had that fight won except for Doublelift, once again, stepping up big on the game’s biggest stage. He never panicked into a bad decision, or even a sub-optimal. This is simply what great players do.
The Weaver’s Wall from Jensen was perfect. C9 played the fight incredibly well. Doublelift just played it perfectly.
It was absolutely astounding to watch.