Even after a rough start to the weekend and mostly rough games, TSM still sit tied for the top of Group A in the LCS Lock In Tournament at 2-1. While 100 Thieves have looked to be very strong, there is a team that TSM fans have had on their mind more, Team Liquid. Before heading into the Knockout Stage, TSM have a huge game against TL and a win helps them finish at least in the top two for Group A. Here’s a preview and some predictions for TSM’s first game against Team Liquid for 2021.
Game 4: TSM vs Team Liquid
Start Time: 9pm est/6pm pst
Top: Huni vs. Alphari
Jng: Spica vs. Santorin
Mid: PowerOfEvil vs. Jensen
Bot: Lost vs. Tactical
Sup: SwordArt vs. CoreJJ
The storylines write themselves for this matchup. Can Huni hold up to Alphari? If Spica wants to be the best he has to get past Santorin. PoE and Jensen fight for second best mid laner. Lost and Tactical are vying to be the top young ADC and of course, SwordArt vs CoreJJ for what many think may be a battle of the two best supports in the LCS. Sure it is in a tournament that does not technically matter but for TSM this is a big test. Don’t forget as well that whoever wins this game likely misses out on playing C9 in round one of the Knockout Stage. Already, this first matchup of the year has quite a bit riding on it.
Matchup to Watch: Huni vs Alphari
While every matchup is going to be worth watching, there is one that could determine the game and it is Huni versus Alphari. As of right now, Alphari has been the second-best top laner only behind Impact who is absolutely playing out of his mind. Huni on the other hand needed some big Gnar ults late in game two and a relatively strong Ornn in game three to not have been the worst top laner in week one. Because of the gap here, TSM will have to be cautious. Huni cannot make the bad TP plays and just generally bad decisions he did in week one or TL and Alphari will punish him severely. While top lane is not normally known for being a lane teams win through, TL could in this game and TSM will have to do everything they can to make sure that is not the case.
Champions to Watch: Renekton, Taliyah and Kai’Sa
When looking at champions to watch for Renekton sticks out. While Alphari didn’t necessarily play it well in his one game last week, Renekton is still a very strong pick and one that Huni struggled against. He is also not very good with the champion overall considering he rarely plays it and when he does he is 2-5 with a 1.3 KDA. TSM should look to ban it or have a strong answer otherwise as was said above, Alphari could be the game-changer.
As for Taliyah, she frankly dominated TSM last weekend. They banned her in game three against CLG and that should be something they do for the foreseeable future. That said neither Spica or Santorin have played her on stage before so they may be able to get away with not even thinking about her this game. There is still a chance Santorin could bring Taliyah out as he has been practicing her and if TSM aren’t confident that they have an answer then they should try to avoid her.
Lastly, Kai’Sa will be a contested pick as long as she is in the meta and she is one that TSM let hurt them in game one as well. Seeing a theme here? Lost is strong with her and Jhin, both of whom are in the meta right now. Getting Kai’Sa will likely be better but if TSM aren’t going to play her they shouldn’t let Tactical either. Plain and simple TSM struggled mightily against these three champions and they will need to make sure they have solutions for them or they should just ban them out.
Prediction: TL Wins
Every TSM fan knows that the team is going to have to beat TL and C9 in order for them to make it far this season. But, that doesn’t have to happen now and likely won’t happen in their first matchup of 2021. TSM are still figuring out how to play with each other while TL still have great bot lane synergy and a mid laner who can at least nullify PoE. The biggest concern for this game has to be Huni and while TSM can just put him on Ornn duty, that still may not be enough if they get too far behind early. Until they fix their early game and get a little more comfortable with each other, TSM will have a hard team beating a team as talented as Team Liquid.
“From Our Haus to Yours”