The 2020 Summer Playoffs are beginning with a “banger”. But actually, this TSM and Golden Guardians series may be the best one of the first round of playoffs, at least on paper. TSM slipped from a chance at second down to fourth with their loss to Team Liquid. Golden Guardians finished 9-9 after being unable to win against TSM and EG in their final week of games. Now, these teams go at it again with a chance to move closer to Worlds 2020.
Golden Guardians are definitely a dark horse for Worlds and this could be the series that gets them into the spotlight. Here are three keys that will help them get off on the right track.
1. Don’t Lose Track of Bjergsen
Bjergsen is one of the most storied players in LCS history and it is not just because he has been around for a long time. It is because he has performed at high levels and is easily capable of 1v9ing. This means that it will fall to Damonte to keep him in check. Even for a veteran like Damonte, this is a tough task to do on his own.
Golden Guardians will need to make sure that they all are keeping track of Bjergsen. He is an assassin on basically any champion he plays and is always looking for angles. Even when he is in a teamfight he will be skirting around and dodging to set himself up to deal as much damage as possible. If Golden Guardians do not keep him in check then they may think they are winning a fight and then turn around to see Bjergsen killing FBI or Damonte before going onto the rest of the team.
2. Let the Younger Players Make Mistakes
Throughout all of 2020, TSM’s biggest issue has been that they do not play clean games. This is something that Golden Guardians need to expose and attack. Specifically, TSM come in with Broken Blade, Spica and Treatz who are all young and prone to making mistakes.
Even with some experience, Broken Blade makes a multitude of mistakes and sometimes has communication breakdowns that cause him to be extremely out of position. Hauntzer, Closer and Damonte will want to punish him for these. Let him overextend or mess up a dive, there is no doubt he will at least a couple of times in this series.
The same can be said about Spica. Closer will want to make sure that he is keeping Spica on his toes and punish him when he gets overwhelmed. This will be especially important when fighting for objectives. TSM have struggled to keep track of objectives and have been losing Smite fights a lot recently. If Golden Guardians can punish this mistake in a big way then they can control most of the series.
3. Give Closer the Opportunity to Get Involved
Closer is the kind of player who likes to get in the fight and get his hands dirty. When he does this, he is normally able to either carry or at least get his team ahead in a majority of games. Closer is likely the catalyst for Golden Guardians to find their advantages.
When looking at his champions, everyone can see that his Nidalee struggled, that is not a big secret. That means that Nidalee or picks like her, need to be off the table. Throughout his entire career, Closer has thrived on champions that either start fights or have heavy engage. This allows for him to constantly be involved in fights and normally gives him an advantage in jungle 1v1s.
While he has only been in the LCS a little longer than Spica, he still has more experience overall and in the playoffs from his time in Turkey. Golden Guardians need to make sure that Closer is involved in most teamfights in a major way in order to get a lead and keep it.
What Could Go Wrong?
As with many teams, a lot could go wrong during a five-game series. Golden Guardians have struggled at the beginning of patches. Their drafts have been off and they get lost when trying to figure out what their comp is supposed to do. Hopefully, last week’s struggles coincide with Golden Guardians preparing more for this patch and playoffs. If so, then they will have a much better chance and taking down TSM.
They will need to remember that they can be a bit one-dimensional with trying to play through side lanes with Damonte pushing in and roaming. Having more playstyles is imperative during a five-game series. If they do not succeed with other strategies, then all of playoffs could be tough for a team that is expected to compete.
Watch the series live on 8/13/2020 at 4 pm EST/1 pm PST on lolesports.com.
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