Though we’ll be seeing a lot of competitive matches this weekend, one stands out among the rest. Team Liquid will be facing TSM this Sunday at around 5pm EST. What makes this matchup so interesting is amount of star players on each roster. We’ll be seeing two former EU stars face off in the mid lane in Jensen and Bjergsen, as well as two of the best ADC’s in all of League of Legends in Doublelift and Zven. TSM has been struggling so far this split and will be looking to pick up a monster victory against the first place Team Liquid. You might be asking yourself, “What is this guy talking about? Nobody can stop Team Liquid!”, but I assure you this will be one of the best matches we’ve seen this split.
An Offensive Mindset
TSM has been defeated four times in six games, and we’re all wondering why they haven’t hit their stride yet. What sets this team behind in most games is their poor positioning. Personally, I’ve seen Smoothie and Akaadian get caught out too many times. Of course they can’t be given all of the blame for their squad’s overall struggle, but if they can manage to stay alive more often it would simplify their chances at winning. TSM is reliant on team fights to get ahead, much like TL, and we saw this in their most recent match against the Golden Guardians. They were able to secure the first two kills of the game by grouping as a team and roaming around the map.
However, this style of play can prove to be costly. Though grouping as a team in the early stages of the game will most likely secure your team a few kills, it can also set you behind if not executed properly. Taking a player out of their lane for a few minutes in the early-game can give the enemy laner the lane advantage. Also, it can give the enemy jungler the opportunity at securing a dragon or counter-ganking another lane. We’ve seen TSM play a more high-risk, high-reward style of play, and if Team Liquid is prepared enough, they’ll be able to shut down any team-oriented plays that TSM has up their sleeve.
Does Liquid Always Flow?
We’ve all made Team Liquid out to be this unstoppable force of a team, but everybody has their flaws. TL has had their fair share of easier wins and hard fought battles this split. More often than not, they’re able to get a lead in the early game, ride out their advantage until the mid-game, and fight the enemy team until they’re left scrambling to defend the nexus turrets. This has been a great strategy for them as they sit atop the LCS at 6-0, but a hungry TSM squad could be at the helm of their first defeat.
As stated previously, TSM’s reliance on team play is very similar to Team Liquid. If TSM can strike first and limit their mistakes in the mid-game they could easily take this game. However, TL has done an incredible job of playing smart until the later stages of the game. For instance, if Doublelift is focused early and starts the game off with a death, he’ll sit back and farm until he feels comfortable enough to fight again. TSM needs to focus on keeping Doublelift behind so they can ultimately take him out of the game and force the rest of Team Liquid to pick up his slack.
If Bjergsen and Zven get an advantage early on while Akaadian moderates the top side of the map, there’s a possibility that TL will make desperate plays to get back into the game. When a polished team becomes desperate, they become easier to read and to play against.
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