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NA LCS 2016 W1D1 in Review: TSM vs CLG

(Courtesy of loll games)
(Courtesy of loll games)

The most anticipated game of the first week did not disappoint. With all the drama coming to a stalemate until these two teams meet again, CLG came out victorious in their first battle. TSM showed promise, but CLG’s macro level play was more significant than whatever talented roster TSM put on.

(Courtesy of lolesports Flickr)
(Courtesy of lolesports Flickr)

Underwhelming Svenskeren and Bjergsen:
The junglers most impactful phase is the early game in which it must either push advantages in his own lanes, or invade the enemy jungler and set him behind so that the enemy jungler cannot gank any lanes. Sveneskeren first picked Elise on blue side, one would expect a jungler of that caliber to take over the early game with arguably the strongest early game champion in the jungle. Svenskeren proceeded to have no impact whatsoever.

Svenskeren ganked Darshan’s Jax in the top lane very early to which he died because of a Lissandra teleport. That was only the second kill of the game. Later, he was a few seconds late to a countergank that would happen in the bot lane. Although no action was seen in said gank, a potential countergank could have turned the game around early. The last time Sveneskeren had any impact in the early game was in an attempted dive top in which TSM managed to push Jax out of lane. However, Svenskeren had the chance to land a cocoon on Bard at the end of that play. He attempted to land it on a low-health Jax, but he missed. No meaningful lead was taken since Kalista got a tower in the bottom lane as well.
Bjergsen had very uncharacteristic plays. He got caught out of position more times than I have ever seen from him before. He did not have a bad game by any means. Nor am I saying they lost because of him, but the dominant Bjergsen that hard carries games was nowhere to be found.

Bjergsen had a great fight in the 15th minute in which he managed to gold card Jax and allow for chain Crowd Control. Jax was taken down with no meaningful impact in that fight, which was extremely significant considering how far ahead he was. Bjergsen gold-carded three people during that fight, the three people he used gold card on died immediately afterwards.

(Courtesy of lolesports Flickr)
(Courtesy of lolesports Flickr)

His biggest mistake came in the 23rd minute when he made an uncharacteristic flash to get out of the fight and followed up by walking in to the fight, to which he got flash engaged upon for an easy kill. Although in solo queue getting flash engaged on feels like there was nothing you could have done to prevent it, Bjergsen never gets caught off guard, period. Getting caught off guard right after flashing by walking in might be the first time I have seen him do that.
In the 27th minute CLG killed every TSM member except one. In the previous TSM eras, that would have been Bjergsen, but this time it was Doublelift. TSM got collapsed on in a way that Bjergsen would have not died in the past, somehow he died getting caught in a Bard ultimate in a very uncharacteristic Bjergsen style.

Conclusion: Bjergsen was carrying TSM along with Doublelift, nonetheless Svenskeren and Bjergsen did not look like a solid Mid-Jungle duo.  CLG’s new members looked stellar.

Mid-laner “Huhi” and AD “Stixxay” seemed like incredibly solid pick-ups for the CLG squad. They both had to lane against the best player in their roles in the NA LCS, how did they stack up? great. CLG did not beat TSM by outclassing their counterparts. CLG identified their greatest strength, team synergy, and took leads off of the macro level play. Although CLG did not outplay TSM individually, their understanding of the game seemed to be above TSM’s. Maybe TSM had not figured out the patch yet, but that speaks greatly of CLG, a team that has historically not adapted great when a long break was taken before a tournament.

What to expect from these two teams:
-TSM was significantly worse than CLG at understanding the patch, fortunately for them, that can be fixed in a short amount of time.
-CLG looked as a cohesive unit and talented individuals. Moving forward, it looks like they should be at the top of the NA LCS standings after taking one of the most talented rosters. However, once the patch is figured out, CLG needs to maintain their macro-level gameplay at a
top-notch if they want to compete against the more talented rosters.

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