The LCS has gone through a lot of changes for the 2021 season. The format is different, the league has rebranded and most of the teams have almost entirely new rosters. This should be a new era for the LCS for a lot of reasons and heading into the Spring portion of the season (no longer known as a Split), teams will be looking to show that they made the right moves. To start things off, here is the TSM 2021 LCS Spring Preview.
*Note: All predictions assume the main roster plays all of the games.
[Related: What is the 2021 LCS Start Date?]
To say that 2020 was a rollercoaster of a year for TSM would be an understatement. They started by bringing in Kobbe and Dardoch while trading Smoothie for Biofrost. These three along with Bjergsen and Broken Blade made for a team that definitely intrigued fans. While they would have their solid games, the Spring Split was largely a disappointment as the team could not come together. They would barely make playoffs on a three-game losing streak to end the regular season with a 9-9 record. In the playoffs they would surprise 100 Thieves by taking them out in the first round but then would lose a close five-game series to FlyQuest.
While for most teams this would already be a pretty drama-filled year, TSM were just getting started. Leena would accidentally leak that “no one wants him” when talking about Dardoch on Doublelift’s stream. Then TSM would get a disgruntled Doublelift from Team Liquid that had everyone up in arms as the GM was also his girlfriend. Fast forward to the season with a team that added DL and brought up Spica.
The Summer would be much better for TSM than the Spring. They were able to go 12-6 after a strong Split but then they would be swept by Golden Guardians in a surprising first round matchup. That seemed to be the spark that the team needed as they would make arguably the best run of all time in the lower bracket to win the 2021 LCS Summer Split. Sadly the good times would not last at Worlds in China as after an epic run TSM would bomb to the tune of an 0-6 record and thus a quick exit. To add to TSM fan’s sorrows Bjergsen retired to become the head coach and Doublelift retired as well with Biofrost stepping away. For most TSM fans 2021, could not come sooner.
The complete overhaul of the lineup for TSM has brought in new talent from a multitude of areas with only Spica remaining from the 2020 roster. First was PowerOfEvil as TSM needed to shore up the spot once owned by Bjergsen. He is coming off arguably his best season of all time and will look to fill some gigantic shoes. Then in quick succession Lost, Huni and SwordArt were all confirmed. For Lost, this will be his first chance in over a year to show why he has been arguably the best ADC in Academy. Huni will also have something to prove as many TSM fans are still unsure about him. Lastly, SwordArt comes over as the biggest signing of the offseason for TSM. He comes off a second-place finish at Worlds 2020 and will need to show that TSM made the right decision paying him the substantial amount they did.
Expectations for this roster have already been set by team owner Regi, success at Worlds. While those are high aspirations, TSM have put together what could be a very strong roster. If Huni can find his form again with Lost and SwordArt transitioning to the LCS relatively easily then expectations are rightfully high. Also, while not mentioned on the main roster, TSM do have Hauntzer and CodySun waiting on the LCS Academy team as backup in case the team should need them.
The full schedule is still not known. Only the Lock-In teams have been revealed along with the dates for when the team plays in the regular season. They do not include who they face or at what time.
Predicted Lock-In Placement: 3rd-4th and 3-1 in Groups
Had TSM been a part of Group B instead of A, they would have a much easier time to start off the season. But, the saying “iron sharpens iron” applies well in this scenario. To be the best TSM will have to beat the best and having the chance to face TL, 100T and CLG early will be good for this team. They will already be facing some of the best or at least solid veterans in just about every role for all three of these games. Taking games off of these teams will be no short feat.
TSM will need to have a strategy and style already figured out. It seems like this might be a good meta for Spica as jungle carries have been seen quite a bit in the LCK and LPL. If that meta holds true in the LCS then Spica could have a field day. Also watching the bot duo will be crucial as they go up against two of the best bot lanes in the LCS, Tactical with CoreJJ and FBI with Huhi. Once TSM likely makes it to the knockout stages, it will be interesting to see who they get first. Luckily it will likely be someone other than C9 which should get them into the semifinals. Any success after the semifinals will just be icing on the cake for TSM during this first tournament.
Predicted Spring Placement: 3rd
Potential Range for the Team: 1st-5th
Expectations for the Spring will vary. The Lock-In tournament will be a good gauge to see how quickly this team is coming together. If they look to be in sync then getting early wins shouldn’t be unexpected. Especially if they can get to C9 or TL early on while they are figuring out all of their issues. The problems come in if this team looks completely out of wack. For all intents and purposes, TSM are a completely new team with a first-year coach. When taking this into account, it is likely that they won’t look great right away.
That said, this is what the Lock-In tournament is for. It is to find out what the teams are good at and what they are struggling with. Because this tournament does not affect their regular-season record, TSM should take advantage of this time to prepare for the rest of the season. Once it start, the Spring should be a good time for TSM. Their biggest competition will likely be C9, TL and 100T. Getting past them won’t be easy but if the meta continues to stay in a favorable spot for TSM then they should be able to ride their way easily into the playoffs.
Once there TSM will have to have come together if they want to make a deep playoff run and try for a chance to go to MSI. If piece are still being put into place or the team is struggling to find their grove similar to the 2020 Spring Split, then TSM will probably exit early. Either way, everyone knows they have to keep their eyes on the prize, making it to Worlds and performing well there. As long as the Spring season helps them towards that ultimate goal then TSM fans should be happy.
“From Our Haus to Yours”