Team SoloMid got off to a rough start in 2019 by going 2-4 through the first three weeks of the LCS Spring Split. This came to shock us all because TSM has one of the best rosters on paper. It was pretty clear that the synergy wasn’t there through the first few weeks of the split, but as stated in our “LCS Team Rankings”, TSM just needed to practice and work out the kinks.
Now standing at 4-4 and tied for fourth place, this TSM squad is moving in the right direction.
TSM Surges in Victory Against Team Liquid
With a beard longer than Gragas, Bjergsen carried TSM to what seemed to be an easy victory against the first place Team Liquid. This was my match of the week and it surely lived up to the hype.
Broken Blade pulled out the Jax top for TSM and proceeded to stomp Impact, who was playing Yorick. TSM was able to build up a huge gold lead before 20 minutes, while Broken Blade quickly became one of the highest spenders in the LCS. His build of a Trinity Force, Spear of Shojin and Tiamat at 22 minutes helped seal TSM’s advantage. Doublelift gave Team Liquid a sliver of hope in the bot lane, but there was too much gold on the TSM side. They forced Team Liquid to make desperate plays and ultimately put them in their largest gold deficit of the split. “TSM! TSM!” chants emerged from the crowd as they put the nail in the coffin and secured a huge win.
Synergy and Team Play
TSM’s first three weeks were a little shaky, and as a result, they were tied for last place entering week four. It seemed that they were playing with an individualistic mindset and not grouping up as a team like the old TSM we’re used to seeing.
However, they were able to flip the switch against Team Liquid and fluster the best team in the LCS with their team play. TSM is very reliant on ganks and rotations, so you’ll almost always see Akaadian and Bjergsen helping out top lane or vice versa. In this case, Broken Blade had the advantage against Impact and continually harassed the Yorick out of lane. Bjergsen was on point with every ability on Zoe and ultimately forced Jensen to play passive on an aggressive Syndra. Overall, TSM made Xmithie’s job too hard because of their lane pressure. Even though Doublelift and CoreJJ held priority in the bot lane, TSM was able to pound the other two lanes to the point where it didn’t matter how well Doublelift was doing.
As a team, they were able to secure multiple dragons to further inflict their punishment. Overall, their positioning was great which made team fighting much easier. As an old TSM fan, this was one of the biggest regular season wins that this author has ever seen. They stopped Team Liquid’s winning streak, but more importantly silenced the nay-sayers.
TSM Back on Top
The sky is the limit for Team SoloMid as we inch closer to the halfway point of the split. Only Team Liquid, Cloud9 and FlyQuest hold better records than TSM. If they want to ensure their spot among the top teams, TSM will have to go 2-0 again this coming weekend.
On Saturday (2/23), they’ll play a tough CLG team. CLG has beaten three of the top five teams, so that will most likely be a fantastic game. On Sunday (2/24), they’ll play an inconsistent 100 Thieves squad. 100 Thieves started off the split with three straight losses, but quickly countered with three straight wins. This past weekend, they dropped two games and we’ll see if TSM can take advantage of their recent struggles.
If TSM continues to play like they did against Team Liquid, they’ll be an almost-unstoppable force for weeks to come. Bjergsen and Broken Blade have undoubtedly proven their worth, as well as Akaadian. I like seeing Akaadian play utility champions because of his ability to set up the other lanes. This gives Broken Blade and Bjergsen the opportunity to pull out higher DPS champions and stomp their lanes.
There are ten matches left this split, and TSM is looking to bridge the gap between the middle of the pack and the top three. There’s always room for improvement, but I feel that this TSM squad will move through the rankings with relative ease. As long as they’re able to keep their advantages when ahead, I don’t see many teams beating them. Teams like Cloud9 and Team Liquid will always bring out their best, but if they can secure easy victories against struggling teams they’ll be right up there at the top.
Featured Image Courtesy of TSM’s Twitter
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