The loss to Team Liquid was much worse than even the least hopeful TSM fans could have thought. They were dominated in every area and their mistakes were pronounced in a major way. That said, they still have made it to the Knockout Stage. The unfortunate part is that they have to play Cloud9 in round one.
While Cloud9 certainly have plenty of talent, TSM are luckily facing them at a time when they are vulnerable. So far, Cloud9 are 3-1 but none of their wins have looked all that clean and they have had to rely heavily on the trio of Blaber, Zven and Vulcan to bail them out of some rough starts. TSM will come into this best of three as the underdog but there is a chance for them to pull out a victory. Here is what TSM has to do to beat Cloud9.
[Realted: TSM 2021 LCS Schedule]
Draft to Win in Lane
Admittedly this is easier said than done but so far TSM are 0-4 in early games. This is not news to anyone who has watched their games but a lot of the reason for this is that their drafts have been suspect to say the least. Not only have they picked plenty of losing lanes but they have missed the chance to give themselves much hope in the early game which is where they have struggled most.
In this series or for at a minimum one game, TSM need to basically forget about the late game during draft. They need to give themselves advantages early and then have maybe Lost or PowerOfEvil on something that scales. While this may not be the best way to normally go about it, TSM have lost the early game so hard that they have to switch things up if they even want a chance to win. This is especially true when looking at Cloud9’s early-game struggles. It has taken late heroics from Blaber and Zven to dig this team out of their problems. If TSM can start their games with a strong draft and hopefully, one with early game power then that will be step one to pulling off an upset.
Be More Proactive and Play with Confidence
Another issue TSM are having is that they are playing scared, well outside of Huni but mostly to his own detriment. Once one death or bad play happens they seem to curl up and wait, hoping that their late-game will save them. Their late-game has saved them twice but both of those games were against lower-tier teams in Golden Guardians and CLG. Against teams like TL and C9, they haven’t and likely won’t get the same chances.
Instead, TSM need to be the ones making the moves and keeping the pressure on Cloud9. This means they are leaving lane to look for opportunities have a numbers advantage wherever this is. They have to take control of the game and not give Cloud9 a chance to think. So far TSM have rarely been the ones to do this. They have instead been responding to ganks and man advantages from their opponents. In this series they need to make it a point that they will get their advantages through being proactive and getting to the point of attack before C9. With this they will gain confidence and will be more willing to make plays, even if they are behind. It is better than bleeding out as they have in their losses.
Come Into the Game with a Plan and Stick with It
Maybe it has just been that the draft has been struggling this much or the team is not on the same page yet, but it feels like TSM have no plan when they get into the game. They are all over the place and no one seems to able to figure out what they should be doing at any given moment. For this series, TSM need to have a plan and play it through. If that is scaling then so be it but don’t allow for Huni or the bot lane to take so many unnecessary risks and try to force plays when they aren’t there.
They can even just play around Huni since Fudge has been struggling so much. Give him Gangplank or Rumble and have Spica focus his efforts towards him. This could be a great strategy for this series. No matter what TSM choose to do, they just need to do it. They need to agree to a plan and have everyone stick to it. Again this is something that is easier said than done considering they are still learning to play with each other. TSM don’t even have to be on the same page, just being on the same paragraph will make them that much more dangerous.
Cloud9 are a strong team and one that definitely has the ability to reach the Lock In Finals. That said, TSM can beat them. They need to have a better draft and early game in order for them to find success. They need to play with confidence and show that they have the talent that can help them win another title. Sure this tournament is a preseason of sorts, but winning even just this series would go a long way towards building confidence for a team that has very high aspirations for the 2021 season.
“From Our Haus to Yours”