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3 Things to Watch For: TSM vs GG


After what can only be described as a rough start for TSM last weekend, the team hopes to get back on track in week two. They start off their second weekend against Golden Guardians. GG are 1-2 with their lone win coming against IMT in what was a game that IMT threw. The team has struggled mightily and have some of the worst stats in the LCS. In a game that TSM should be favored, here are the three things to watch for.

[Related: 4 Takeaways from TSM’s Week 1]

1. How TSM Attack Niles

So far Niles has some of the worst overall statistics in the game. He has the most deaths in the LCS, the second-lowest KDA in the LCS and only has three kills which is worst amongst all top laners. What is interesting is that despite all of this he is still generally ahead at 10 minutes in gold and experience. That means that laning wise he has not been terrible in the 1v1 matchup. The issues for him come when he overextends or gets focused.

Teams have put a lot of pressure on the top lane because they know that if they can keep Niles down, the rest of GG are usually unable to respond and pick him back up. For TSM this has to also be the focus. GG are not going to give him a counter pick, if they continue with their current draft trends. Because of this Huni can easily get the counter and TSM can have Spica and PoE roaming up there regularly. If TSM can pull off good ganks along with giving Huni a pick he can make plays with later in the game then this game could be over very quickly. Look for TSM to focus on making Niles life miserable up in the top lane.

2. What Pick Spica Gets

Taliyah just is not doing it for Spica. Truly not many picks outside of his fallback Nidalee have so far this year. Whether this is because of the many issues the team is having or his personal struggles, Spica needs to have more of an impact in these games. Getting him a pick where he is not only more comfortable but also able to have a little more agency early in the game would definitely be ideal.

TSM should put a focus on getting him Nidalee, Udyr, Pantheon or even something that is not currently meta in Jarvan who has been seen in the LCK and LPL and is a champion Spica is very good on. Even with all of the jungle bans, it feels like they can get him at least one of these picks. They need to in order for Spica to start to gain the necessary momentum that can be used to carry this team. Make sure to be watching for what TSM end up picking Spica during the draft for this game.

3. Do TSM Run a Conventional Late-Game Scaling Comp?

When a team has their backs against the proverbial wall they seem to always fallback to late-game scaling teamfight oriented comps. TSM did this to a certain degree in their game against CLG and it worked even though they almost lost. These comps are generally easy to run and straight forward in their goals. That said, for a team that is struggling with comms and drafting issues, this comp is there to help cover these things up.

For TSM to catchup and get themselves into a good position, they need to focus on running this style of comp. This generally means sticking Huni on a playmaking cc tank, having Spica play something meta, PoE on a scaling mage, Lost on Kai’Sa or MF (unless Niles gets Camille) and SwordArt on a good teamfight focused high cc champion. Again an option that has been mentioned a lot by this author would be Galio or even Maokai, Rell, Rakan or Set are fine as well. Hopefully, TSM can run this comp effectively while they figure everything else out. In a game where they should have the advantage in every lane just based on skill, a comp like this can really allow them to gain confidence through stacking up wins.

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