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LCS Recap: Golden Guardians vs TSM

The Golden Guardians fell to TSM in the longest game of the split so far. Both teams took two Barons, an Elder drake and had an inhibitor down at one point. They did well to take TSM that late, thanks to their composition’s wave clear and some well-played fights with TSM at their base. However, they lacked concise calls and clean fights. The Guardians were unable to start fights in the late game but could stall forever with their wave clear. Whoever had the better fight and cleanest rotations was going to win the game, and it was TSM who did.

Courtesy of Riot Games Stream


Like most teams, TSM banned way Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung’s Tahm Kench in the first rotation. Both teams went for meta picks and clear win conditions. The Guardians played three new champions this game, Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell on Aatrox, Juan “Contractz” Garcia on Trundle and Matthew “Deftly” Chen on Sivir. Henrick “Froggen” Hansen also went back on his signature pick, Anivia.

Early Game

The early game was Top Lane focused for the Guardians, with Contractz forcing an early flash from Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik” that lead to Hauntzer’s lead coming out of lane phase. Bot lane was a big headache for the Guardians, with Deftly and Olleh losing an early skirmish and getting killed in a five-man dive. The Guardians at 15 minutes had zero kills to TSM’s five, down about 1,700 in gold, even in Towers at one a piece and down zero Drakes to two.

Mid Game

The Guardians started to turn things around in the mid game. With Hauntzers’ advantage they managed to take every tier one tower down by 18 minutes in and turn their first team fight win into a Drake. At 20 minutes in the Guardians had a tower lead and evened up the gold.

The Guardians won another team fight and turned that into a Baron and inhibitor destruction. They then threw that lead away by staying in TSM’s base too long and getting Aced. From there the game went back to an even state, with both TSM and the Guardians having a chance at the win.

Late Game

From then on, the Guardians’ poor late game decision making reared its ugly head. Poor engage after poor engage left the Guardians without any choice but to turtle in their base waving clearing for days. They eventually had to come out and fight TSM, which turned into another poor engage and eventually the nexus exploding.


This is the second instance of the Guardians throwing away an early lead after staying in the opponent’s base too long. This indecisiveness after 25 minutes is a recurring theme and has caused them to lose another game from an opponent that can punish them and knows how to play out the late game. People will say their composition might have held them back. It’s hard to engage when your only option is Nautilus and Sivir Ultimate, but if they had played their cards right after they took TSM’s inhibitor, then they could’ve ended the game at 35 minutes.

The Guardians just had their first 0-2 weekend of this split against arguably the top two teams in the LCS. This week should be a lesson in what they need to improve on to challenge these teams when they face them in the second round robin.

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