Well week one for TSM surely was, something. The team lost a weird game to FlyQuest, got crushed by C9 and then pulled out the closest of wins against a bad CLG team. At 1-2, it is safe to say that TSM struggled mightily in their first regular-season weekend. There are a lot of things to discuss with this team and boiling it down to a few points was tough. With that, here are the four biggest takeaways from TSM’s first LCS regular-season weekend.
[Related: LCS Power Rankings Week 2: Living on Cloud9]
1. Where are the Ganks?
One of the most important aspects of League of Legends is ganking. It allows for teams to get a player advantage wherever they focus, or at least that is the hope. So far TSM have set up ganks very rarely. They have either tried to counter-gank, coming in late or they have taken fights under towers where they have no coordination whatsoever and it backfires. Spica specifically has been noticeably absent from the lanes in the early game. While this is more of a farming focused meta for junglers, he is not really the type of player that just sits back and waits for plays to happen. He likes to get into the action and be the one making the plays. Right now he is struggling to do that.
Also because Huni and PoE are normally using their TP’s defensively TSM are rarely able to get the man-advantage that they desperately need. The same cannot be said about their opponents. It seems as though TSM are constantly getting ganked and the team does little to nothing in response. If Huni gets ganked they never really respond with much in the bot lane. The same can be said if the bot lane gets ganked. TSM have to start making plays and stop sitting back during the laning phase. They can cover up some of the massive issues they are having with better timed and regular ganks in an attempt to help out whichever lane they want to get ahead or caught up.
2. Late-Game Scaling Teamfight Comps Have to be the Focus for Now
While it barely worked in the CLG game, this type of comp was enough for TSM to win. With better comms, especially in the mid-game, TSM likely spank CLG because they aren’t giving up their base and having to claw their way back. They were able to focus on getting drakes and scaling their comp for the late-game. This was a bad game but the idea for how this team needs to win in its current state is there.
Many good teams will try different comps outside of the basic late-game scaling teamfight comps early in the Spring. It is normally a good time to learn how to use them better so they can change things up in the playoffs or at Worlds. One of the most important things teams have to have to succeed with this though, is good comms.
That is something TSM are not good at and most importantly, they are already 1-2. While these are far from being unfixable issues, it is clear that TSM need to focus on old faithful for now. They need to just play late-game scaling comps to ensure they at least make playoffs and rack up as many wins as they can for the Summer. As they win more they will be able to try new things but for now, they need to stick with what allows them to have the best chance of winning.
3. Communication is Clearly a Problem in a Multitude of Areas
If it was not painfully obvious already, PowerOfEvil confirmed that TSM are not on the same page at all. This has been seen with failed macro gameplay, outside of the beginning of game one, terrible dive attempts and just an overall lack of continuity when playing. This has been obvious and discussing the in-game problems at length won’t add much to what has already been said. What is worth talking about is that their comm issues are likely spilling over to other areas, specifically the draft.
TSM have already had notoriously bad drafts this year and one of the likely culprits are their communication issues. If TSM are not on the same page in-game then there is no way they are all seeing the same picture with their draft. Between odd picks and picks that seem to counter the idea of what the team is trying to accomplish, this has to be the first area that TSM addresses.
While everyone wants Bjergsen and staff to be as good as Bjergsen was as a player it may be time to admit that those aspirations for a first-year head coach were too high. He and his staff need to make sure there are clear goals to each draft and that everyone is on the same page as to what role they and their champions play. Until that is fixed, TSM will continue to have major issues in nearly every facet of the game.
4. Stop Blaming Huni and Lost
There are a lot of people on Reddit and other social media platforms that are calling for a change in the TSM roster. Hauntzer and CodySun are waiting in the wings and TSM did sign them as a backup plan should Huni and Lost not work out. While Huni specifically has made some boneheaded plays and Lost is not necessarily dominating lane, now is not the time to give up on them. They may be a part of the problem but the whole team has been bad and getting both of them out will not fix that.
Benching Huni and Lost will not fix the team’s draft issues. Benching them will likely not fix the comms issues. Benching them will not make Spica get more involved in the early game or help PoE dominate opponents that are not as good as him or help SA make the plays he is known for making. The point is that every single player and coach on this team are at fault for the bad play of this team, not just Huni and Lost. In fact, Huni and Lost have been instrumental in at least two of TSM’s four wins so far this year. For example, if Lost isn’t leading the charge against CLG on Sunday, this team probably loses. Without Huni making key plays on Ornn and Gragas during the Lock In tournament, this team likely loses those games as well.
TSM fans are understandably frustrated with the team but pinning everything on the only two players that TSM have true backups for or don’t have a ton of money invested into is just unfair. Making Huni and Lost the scapegoats won’t fix everything because even if Haunzter and/or CodySun were to come in, this team likely still has the same issues. Instead, fans need to take a step back and wait to see PoE, Spica and SwordArt actually playing well enough to determine that replacing either or both of Huni and Lost would actually be a fix this team needs.
“From Our Haus to Yours”