TSM’s time at the Lock In Tournament has come to an end. In a 2-1 loss to Cloud9, TSM exited after winning game one, getting stomped in game two and playing a relatively even game in their final loss. The best part about this tournament is that it is essentially just the preseason. It does not count towards the regular and teams can use this experience to learn what they need to work on. TSM will be able to use this in a big way and there is a lot for them to work on. Here are the four major takeaways for TSM from the Lock In tournament.
[Related: TSM 2021 LCS Spring Preview]
Drafting has to be Better
This is an aspect of the team that fans hoped would be better under the new coaching staff. It may have been worse. There are a few things to note before completely bashing on Bjerg and the crew. The first is that no team drafts perfectly all the time. Even the best-planned drafts can have curveballs thrown at them, they have to roll with the punches. Also, the coaching staff is not only learning how to work with each other and do their jobs, but they are also learning how to draft with four brand new players and their champion pools.
The good thing is that time should help TSM. Bjergsen will get more comfortable with the players and with the meta. He found a couple of good drafts in TSM’s seven games and TSM noticeably played better with them. This is not to say that the only reason TSM lost was due to the draft as the team had some good drafts that they played terribly as well. Overall these seven games definitely gave the team a lot to think about, like why pick Gnar in the TL game if it has been awful? Why let Gragas go through in game two against C9? These questions and more will need to be answered and fixed. Hopefully Bjergsen and TSM as a whole will have a better idea of what they need to do to set themselves up to succeed when they start up again in two weeks.
The Carries have to do More
The headline for this section says it all. Generally teams will designate at least two players as the carries for their games. Normally these are the mid and bot laners. Luckily for TSM they also have a solid jungler and when necessary a top laner who can take up the carry mantle as well. For TSM during the Lock In tournament it felt like they were not getting enough out of PoE, Lost and Spica when giving them champions carry on.
Starting with PoE his best stat from the past two weekends was that he had high kill participation, the problem is that when the team is not getting many kills, that is not that hard. What is even stranger is that he still did the majority of his teams damage just behind weirdly enough, Huni. This means that he was not doing enough to finish kills or he was doing damage that could not be punished by his teammates. Also he was behind in nearly every laning statistic. PoE was not bad but he absolutely has to do more if TSM hope to go anywhere.
Next on this list is Lost. His issues may have been due to the fact that he basically played Jhin all weekend. In terms of hitting his skillshots, Lost actually had a good weekend. The problems start when looking at his laning and damage stats. For the bot laner to do only 18.5% of damage is just frankly unacceptable as it is fourth on the team. Even on Jhin he should be doing much more. With more time playing with SwordArt he will probably be better and feel like he can take more risks in lane. He played against the three best bot lanes in the LCS and was able to hold his own more or less. Out of everyone on this team Lost should get the only pass considering how little stage time he has but he will need to be dishing out more damage if he wants to stay as the team’s starter.
The last one to look at is Spica. The spear of TSM was dulled a bit this tournament. TSM put him on more carry oriented champions and truthfully he just was not able to get it done. To be fair he did lead the team in kill participation and was the only one to finish the tournament with more kills than deaths but he was consistently behind and was unable to make much of an impact early in any of the games. Luckily Spica is still young and this criticism is more based on hope for what he can be than being overly critical of what he did. This kid is special and he showed it these past two weekends. If he can learn to really take control of the game even from the jungle then there is no doubt that TSM will find success.
Huni will be Solid
One of the biggest questions coming into this tournament was what would Huni look like? The answer was that he continued to be a coin flip. The interesting note here though is that when he wasn’t beaten in draft he actually performed very well. This was specifically when he played tankier champions like Ornn and Gragas. He loves to make plays and have an impact on the game which these champions and ones like them allow him to do.
Huni may be relegated to tank duty and hard cc for TSM but that is not a bad thing. He doesn’t get beat too badly or at all in lane and he is able to be a playmaker the team needs him. Huni was even able to lead the team in damage while mainly tanking because of how good his teamfighting was. The TSM coaching staff will need to remember this because Huni will be able to be at his best. This is not to say he cant bring out Rumble enough to stomp on people and get it banned so that TSM can get a free ban but he should stay on tank duty.
After this weekend there is hope that Huni will be solid for TSM.
TSM will be a Top Team
There are currently four teams that have performed very well at the Lock In tournament, 100T, C9, EG and TL. TSM played three of them going a combined 1-4 . While this does not look good, this team played C9 very close and showed in game one what they can do when they actually have the pieces working. This includes successful draft, players not TPing to dead turrets while being surrounded and having an early game where they aren’t down 2k gold at 12 minutes.
TSM can and will be a stronger team. They will be able to beat most if not every team consistently once the puzzle is more put together. The flashes from these past two weekends made that very clear and TSM fans should be excited for the upcoming Spring season.
“From Our Haus to Yours”