TSM is coming off as one of the most disappointing teams at Worlds. Despite being known as the “Group of Death,” I believe TSM’s could have managed more than 1 win in their group (KT, OG, LGD) LGD severely under-performed at Worlds, but still managed to absolutely crush TSM in their second game. TSM not only lost 5 of their games, but were absolutely mauled in every single one of them. However, the team going into this split is almost an entirely different squad. Bjergsen is now joined by a superstar team made up of Gravity Gaming’s Hauntzer, SK’s Svenskeren, CLG’s Doublelift, and perhaps most notable player, FNC YellOwSTaR.
So at this point the roster has two players widely considered NA’s best Mid and best ADC, a top laner who has a similar champion pool and playstyle as Dyrus, a jungler who is at least as good as Santorin, and probably one of the top 5 supports/shotcallers in the world.
Hauntzer came from a fairly average team, Hauntzer is a fairly above average Top laner. His KDA during the 2015 Summer Split was a decent 3.94. More impressively is his 72% kill participation. Hauntzer is most proficient on heavy front line champs like Maokai and Hecarim, and has shown himself to have a lot of potential to get better. With some positions, individual skill can easily be determined, but Top and Supports are the most likely to have their skills hidden behind an average team, and I’m truly interested to see how Hauntzer can play this season.
Svenskeren is one of the most experienced junglers in professional League of Legends, He was one of the first EU stand outs in his role. Sven also seems to prefer heavier champions. During last spring split, he played Rek’Sai in a third of his games, with Jarvan IV as his second choice. Interestingly enough, He only played three other champions last spring (Rengar, Lee Sin, and Nidalee) and had a 100% win rate with each of them. During the summer, he played a lot of Gragas, and added Ekko to his pool. His Summer performance was remarkably lackluster, but this could be marginally attributed to SK Gaming, and FORG1VEN’s suspension from LCS.
Bjergsen is a remarkable mid. I’ve heard him referred to as the Faker of the west, and I definitely feel comfortable placing him in my top 10 mids in the world. Bjerg is most impressive on his hard assassin champs like Zed and LeBlanc, and is considered a top tier NA shotcaller. His summer performance was as golden as ever, but something just wasn’t clicking. TSM made sloppy plays, and whether that is an error of Bjerg or his team is something known only by a select few. Regardless, Bjerg has spent the past year being held back by something and not playing to his full pontential.
Doublelift is almost certainly the best ADC in North America. He’s coming off of a fantastic season with CLG, and will now have the opportunity to play with one of the best supports in the world. He favored Tristana the past season and consistently was the primary carry for his team. I feel confident that he will excel on TSM even further than he did on CLG.
Yell0wSTaR is my favorite player in the LCS so I’m a little biased, but I would argue he is the best support in the west. The only player I put on his level was his predecessor Lustboy. (Some may question Lustboy’s abilities [especially after an incredibly average last season] but there was a time when he was the top ranked solo queue player in Korea… as a support… So I think that more than speaks to his abilties). Yell0wSTaR is a brilliant shotcaller and is incredibly talented on a variety of champs. I feel very little needs to be said in regards to this man as a player, so I’ll leave it at this: Yell0WSTaR is probably the best player on this team.
Strengths: Incredibly talented double threat from Bjerg and DL, Expert Shotcalling from Bjerg and YellOwSTaR
Weaknesses: None of these players have played together competitively and there may be some growing pains, 2 expert shotcallers could potentially cause butting heads and bad communication
Expected Spring Split Record- 16W 2L.
I expect TSM to go into the spring playoffs with the 1st seed. I think they might lose a few games in the first 3 weeks, but will lock down a playstyle and become a well-oiled machine as the split goes on. If Bjerg is willing to allow YellOwSTaR to take primary shotcalling duties, then he may be able to focus more on his own individual play. With Bjerg playing at full potential and the powerhouse bot lane of DL and YS, I don’t see a single NA team with the ability to stop this train.