The road to the World Championship for North America has been set, and once again Team SoloMid has proven they are the team to beat in this 2012 season.
Making very short work of Dignitas with a quick 2-0 finish, TSM walked away from the NA PAX Regionals with $40,000 dollars and the #1 seed going in to the World Championship in October. And while the extra $10,000 dollars they received over Dignitas is always nice, that first place finish is extremely important for any team – even a powerhouse such as TSM.
Why? A first place regional seeding means they won’t have to compete in the group stage. And once you realize who actually is in the group stage – names like CLG.NA, CLG.EU, Azubu Frost or Blaze, SK Gaming, Singapore Sentinals, Taipei Assassins, etc – you understand how coveted that first round bye becomes. Any way you cut it, this will be a very difficult single elimination tournament to stay alive in.
But how confident must TSM be right now? The victory over Dignitas this past weekend marked their 7th consecutive major tournament win. And – to put it bluntly – the PAX finals weren’t even a competition; Dignitas got straight steamrolled. Check below for a quick recap of the match-up!
Championship aside, the PAX Regional saw some grueling matches and dominating work. How did Dignitas overtake CLG? What happened to Curse? If you haven’t caught up, I urge you to check out all the VODs over at the official League of Legends website.
See you at the World Championship, Summoners!
TSM v. Dignitas Recap
The picture says it all.
Despite what seemed like an early game 1 advantage, Dignitas was unable to convert a lead into a victory. While top lane Crumbzz was able to secure first blood against Dyrus’ Shen, the retaliation kill came seconds later with a well timed ignite making it at 1-1 exchange. Just before that, TheOddOne’s Shyvana was wrecking havoc in IWillDominate’s jungle, stealing red buff from Skarner and setting him back in leveling which in turn left TheOddOne in a safer situation to openly gank. At the 13 minute mark Dignitas secured an uncontested dragon, but once again TSM countered; a dragon kill equal to roughly 1 1/2 – 2 champions meant nothing to TSM, as two minutes later they scored 3-0 kills in bot and mid lane.
From there, the game started snowballing out of control. By the 20 minute mark TSM was sitting at a comfortable 7k gold lead and a combined 10-2 score. Securing a very early baron, TSM decided to try and go for a quick end. However, it was this overconfidence that allowed Dignitas to rally, as they engaged TSM at the top tower and pushed them back after a 3-1 exchange in Dignitas’ favor.
Unfortunately, the surge didn’t last. After another uncontested baron, TSM once again pushed top lane and successfully went on to take an inhibitor. A quick recall and second push saw TSM taking the other 2 inhibitors and both nexus turrets, leaving the Dignitas base wide open. To their credit, Dignitas was able to hold off TSM from the final kill, but the damage had been done. And after taking a 3rd baron, there was nothing Dignitas could do but watch as their nexus fell.
Game 2 wasn’t any better for Dignitas.
Electing to go with a poke comp – a strategy that’s at odds with their usual late-game mentality – Dignitas tried to go for an aggressive early game finish with Nidalee, Caitlyn, Gragas, Nunu and Janna. But TSM once again saw through their plan at champ select, opting to go with a much tanky lineup of Vladimir, Soraka, Morgana, Skarner, and Corki. With no real sustain damage, Dignitas simply crumbled.
The 4 minute mark saw TheOddOne tower diving bot lane to secure first blood and a tower on Nidalee, but Dignitas quickly responded 30 seconds later with a tower grab of their own. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Dignitas. By the 24 minute mark, TSM was up 2 dragons, a tower, and 6-0 in kills. Forcing a baron fight, TSM was able to catch Patoy’s Janna out of position to secure yet another kill. Supercharged by baron, the team went all out on the Dignitas base from every lane, eventually taking the win with a 15/2/42 score.