TSM was looking strong after their first win against 100 Thieves the first day of the split. It seemed like they would start with an impressive 2-0 record because they were all but guaranteed a win against CG, a team that everyone thought was going to be a lower tier team. But, CG said “NOT TODAY!” and ruined the perfect start that the old organization wanted. Well, its more accurate to say that TSM handed the game to Clutch on a silver platter after starting the game off well with 5 kills, 4 of which came in the top lane. In fact, after they secured those first five kills, I thought that TSM was going to snowball and convincingly defeat CG, and well, you know what happened.
Let’s go ahead and attempt to analyze how TSM threw the game. Before that, let me just say congrats to CG for going unbeaten in week 1 – woot woot! Okay, now lets get back into the roast of TSM’s fiesta of a match.
The Draft Phase
The only criticism I have for them during the picks and bans is centered around how Damonte ended up on Akali. Clearly TSM’s strategy was to try to ban out Damonte’s champions. So they ban out three midlaners, but forget that perhaps the most OP champ right now is akali? DOH! *Reggie facepalms behind the scenes* If there is one thing that TSM learned today, it will be to either ban out akali or be able to first pick her. Also, letting piglet have ezreal might also be a mistake considering how much damage he does. But, I am only able to criticize that in retrospect because I know how the match ended. Honestly, the draft went alright for TSM considering how much work they did in the beginning of the game. So let’s talk about that.
The Early Game
TSM went bonkers in the early part of the game. Or rather, a certain rookie in the top lane came over the LCS ready to play. At 6:42, Broken Blade comes out of the bush like a ninja and deals Aatrox damage on Huni, securing the kill and first blood of the game. Allow me to point out that BB is a rookie here in the LCS so kudos to him. It was clear that the new TSM top laner wanted to prove himself here in the fiesta region because he then calls over his jungler for another potential kill on Huni, who unfortunately thinks he is safe due to the proximity of his own jungler. The TSM pair not only get Huni, but also Lira. At this point, I too was thinking, “Wow, TSM looks so good. They will most likely snowball this lead and secure themselves a solid victory.” And they did just that for about 10 more minutes. BB gets an additional solo kill on Huni, they pick up their fifth kill on the CG support, and then they take dragon without any resistance as well as the bot lane turret.
Then, everything began to quickly unravel for them as the match shifted to the mid game.
The Mid (TSM Stall) Game
Okay, so TSM has gained a substantial lead in Aatrox and Gragas and what do they do with that lead? Nothing. They decide to farm. Instead of firmly committing to the 1-3-1, they do a morphed 1-4 strategy that consists of BB peeling off back to mid lane every time he nears the tower. Okay, Victor does have wave clear ability, but at least get some chip damage at the turret. Why he continued to rotate mid to join his team and do nothing with the added pressure is beyond me. Then there is bjeardson who is also mid with his team instead of continuing down the top lane to pressure an additional turret. If anything, gragas should hover around the top side of the map (near CG blue buff) at this point to be in between mid and top so as to make a play happen.
But none of this happens and CG eventually catches out Gragas. This first death of TSM allows CG to take a couple turrets and at this point, the game has leveled out to where the OP akali is quite strong as well as the ezreal. Heck, even Huni has farmed back from his 0-3 start.
Finally, what we have been waiting for happens with TSM starting a team fight. But then, zven gets BAITED HARD into a stopwatch by lira #LCSBIGBAIT. And well, that basically sings the end for TSM. CG has a comp that specializes in team fights, and at this point, it’s too late for bjeardson and his squad. CG rolls them in only the second team fight of the game with Victor, Akali, and Ezreal doing a boat ton of damage. Meanwhile, Aatrox along with the rest of the TSM boys did little damage. GG boys!
The Lesson Learned
Like I said, I feel like a big lesson was the akali pick as she is just to OP not to ban. Another BIG lesson was to have ANY sort of plan. It felt like TSM was just hoping that somehow CG would make a mistake by being out of position, but they did not. To believe they would when all they had to do was clear waves was delusional.
So what exactly is TSM’s story this split? They methodically beat 100 Thieves in their first game, but I don’t think that says too much as the 100T squad clearly has several issues of their own. Thus, I am interested to see how TSM does in the second week of games. I want to believe in them again, but they got to prove that they belong with the top tier teams of the region. I want to be able to say “FEAR THE BEARD!” without following it up with “Yeah, just kidding. They actually suck.”
One thing is for certain though: that rookie in TSM’s top lane came to play.