After a two week break, TSM are back in action today against FlyQuest. The Lock In tournament did not go TSM’s way but they were certainly able to learn a lot about themselves and their issues. Most of the issues seem fixable and hopefully the team has used the last two weeks to get everything ready. The Lock In tournament was definitely fun and interesting but this is where the march to Worlds 2021 begins. Here are some things to watch for in the TSM and FlyQuest matchup along with a prediction of how the game will play out.
2021 Spring Game 1: TSM vs FlyQuest
Start Time: 6pm est/3pm pst
Top: Huni vs. Licorice
Jng: Spica vs. Josedeodo
Mid: PowerOfEvil vs. Palafox
Bot: Lost vs. Johnsun
Sup: SwordArt vs. Diamond
TSM get the chance to start the entire LCS season off as this is the first game of the official season. There are some interesting storylines. Apparently, TSM had been in on Licorice at some point during the offseason. Huni gets the chance to show that he was the better get. Also Spica and Josedeodo are both newer young junglers that fans expect a lot out of. They will have the chance to have their first matchup of what will hopefully be long careers.
Neither of these teams faced each other during the Lock In because they were in the finals last year. With Spica being the only player from either team to return in 2021, there is not much of a grudge match here for players. It will be interesting to see which style of offseason ends up paying off. The spending ways of TSM or the young talent cultivation of FlyQuest.
Matchup to Watch: PowerOfEvil vs Palafox
PowerOfEvil has had big shoes to fill, those of his current head coach Bjergsen. While he was not bad in the Lock In tournament, he certainly did not look like someone who was in their comfort zone yet. Luckily for him he is going up against someone who, while young, has been in the scene for quite a while. Palafox, on the other hand, is finally getting his chance to show that he deserves to be here and a good game against PoE will help him prove that.
For TSM to come out on top PoE will need to have a big game. He will need to take advantage of Palafox’s lack of experience and get a big advantage in lane. Look for PoE to be on a comfort pick like Orianna or Azir where he can lane effectively and push Palafox under tower. Then he will be able to roam around the map and take his lead into the other lanes. Hopefully, all of this will be in coordination with his teammates, something TSM struggled with quite a bit during the first few games of 2021. If PoE can win this matchup then TSM should be able to feel better about their chances at winning this game.
Champions to Watch: Udyr, Ryze and Jarvan
By the finals for Lock In Udyr had become 100% pick or ban. While he may not stay that way, Udyr is clearly a strong champion in League of Legends right now. Spica has yet to have played him at a pro level, to be fair, most players hadn’t until 2021. Luckily he has been playing him in soloq and doing quite well. He has also been practicing Taliyah. Both are meta junglers that Spica has yet to bring out. Look for TSM to either pick Udyr or have a strategy against him should he make it through as Josedeodo has not been afraid to play him.
With TF showing just how important map movement can be, Ryze has been seeing play in his place lately should he get banned or even to match him. While Ryze’s range is not as great on his ult, especially early on, he can still position himself around the map well enough to be there if his teammates need him. Normally one would think that PowerOfEvil would run Ryze, he is not great on him. Instead, TSM may unleash Huni who has played him pretty effectively in nine games. TSM could even flex it because PoE has been practicing Ryze a bit recently according to his soloq account. It will be interesting to see how or if they use him but Ryze could end up being a nice pick for TSM.
Lastly, Jarvan is potentially coming back in the meta. For TSM this would be an absolutely fantastic pick. He is another potential flex pick as Jarvan has seen time in the jungle and at support in various other leagues. Spica is 10-6 on the pick in his career and while SwordArt hasn’t played him at the pro level, it seems like a pick he could use rather well considering how much he loves to make plays and roam around the map. While of the three champions to watch J4 is the least likely to be picked, if TSM were to bring him out he could be quite impactful for them.
Prediction: TSM Wins
There is a chance that this game ends up being much closer than TSM fans would probably like. If Johnsun is allowed to scale, PoE continues to struggle to get an early advantage against lesser opponents and Huni feeds Licorice then TSM could definitely lose this one. That said, it is unlikely all that happens because TSM have presumably been working to fix their issues they showed during the Lock In tournament. People are starting to write this team off already and that is a dangerous thing to do. They need to come out strong with a solid plan against FlyQuest and they will hopefully be able to remind everyone why they should be considered a top tier team.
“From Our Haus to Yours”