Golden Guardians eliminated Dignitas from the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) playoffs tiebreaker bracket to secure a spot in the last stage of the 2020 Spring Split.
Despite their struggles throughout the season, Golden Guardians switched into a higher gear as the LCS Spring Split entered its latter stage, which allowed them to secure a ticket leading into the playoffs, where they will compete for the organisation's first LCS title.
Golden Guardians entered Week 9 of LCS Spring Split with a 6-10 record, meaning Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer and co. had to produce a perfect 2-0 run in Week 9 to have a shot at entering the playoffs. Going against all odds, Golden Guardians did just that, with two exceptional performances against Counter Logic Gaming and FlyQuest, which helped them secure a spot in the tiebreaker bracket by the skin of their teeth. In the tiebreaker bracket, Golden Guardians were slated to compete against Dignitas and Immortals for the final ticket leading to the playoffs.
Due to their stronger record against the other two teams, however, Golden Guardians got seeded into the second round, where they met with Dignitas, who defeated Immortals in their opening tiebreaker match.
The match between Dignitas and Golden Guardians took off on Monday, March 30 at 14:00 PST and it proved to be one to remember for Goldenglue, who put up a great performance on Zoe. His accurate Paddle Star shots played a pivotal role in Golden Guardians' success on that day, however, the match did not start very promising for Goldenglue and his squad.
Dignitas' mid laner Henrik “Froggen” Hansen picked up first blood on Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun at the eight-minute mark, with his roam to the bottom lane which caught Dignitas' duo off guard. That kill allowed Dignitas to jump to a 500 gold lead, which they later extended to 1k with two more kills in the top lane, thus secured a 3-0 kill lead before 13 minutes have passed. Despite leading in kills, Dignitas were still behind in neutral objectives, as it was Golden Guardians who picked up two drakes and Rift Herald.
As the teams entered mid-late game, Golden Guardians ADC Victor “FBI” Huang stepped up and helped his team secure a crucial three-for-zero teamfight, which allowed Golden Guardians to take down Baron and start putting pressure on the map.
In the minutes that followed, Dignitas and Golden Guardians went back and forth and while Dignitas fought back with all they had, but it was simply not enough, as it was Golden Guardians who displayed a far better approach to their macro play, which was quite surprising, considering Goldenglue and co. were known for poor macro play throughout the season.
At 40th-minute mark, Golden Guardians secured Moutain soul and shortly after engaged in a team fight next to the Baron pit, where Dignitas lost four of their members without taking out a single player on the enemy team. With a dragon soul and a Baron buff, Golden Guardians made one last push into Dignitas' base and closed out their remarkable climb from the second-to-last spot at the league standings into the top-six.
The LCS 2020 Spring Split playoffs will kick off on Saturday, April 4, with the opening fixture between Evil Genuises and FlyQuest, followed by a clash between Cloud9 and 100 Thieves. Golden Guardians and Team SoloMid, who ended the regular season at fifth and sixth place at league standings, however, got placed in the lower bracket, where they await their next opponent.
LCS 2020 Spring Split schedule:
Evil Genuises vs FlyQuest - Saturday, April 4
Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves - Sunday, April 5
TBD v Golden Guardians - Tuesday, April 7
TBD v Team SoloMid - Wednesday, April 8