Worse than the sum of their parts – what is wrong with TSM?

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So what’s the reason for these bad fights?

People have blamed a lot of factors for these bad mid game fights that swing games out of TSM’s favor. From Zikz’s drafts to Akaadian’s reckless play to a passive playstyle (cut that stuff right out, TSM is one of the most aggressive early-game teams in the LCS), what is the reason?

Quite frankly, there isn’t one sole reason that TSM keeps throwing these early leads other than…they just lack synergy. Whether it’s communication, lacking a cohesive shot-caller, or coaching not adequately preparing them to take those mid-game fights, for some reason TSM just goes dumb in the mid-game.

Their loss to Clutch in Week 1 is a prime example of this. At the 15-minute mark of that game, TSM had a 4-0 kill lead, first tower blood, and a 1.1k gold lead. Five minutes later, it was a 5-0 kill lead and a 2.7k gold lead; all good right?

Well, five minutes after that, at the 25-minute mark, that lead was gone. And it disappeared because – surprise surprise – Akaadian led the team into a bad fight.

While the rest of the team was needlessly posturing around a mid tower against Ezreal and Viktor, while Bjergsen was still pushing a wave top, Akaadian was off on the side clearing a ward. It wasn’t a terrible decision, he had support with Smoothie’s Thresh right there to bail him out, but when Damonte’s Akali attacked he used his stopwatch instead of immediately taking the lantern Thresh dropped. That gave time for the rest of Clutch to collapse, kill Akaadian, and snowball that to a mid tower. Between the tower gold, the kill, and the bounty Akaadian was holding, the gold was almost equal.

You can blame Akaadian for overextending and misplaying yes, but there was a fundamental miscommunication. Smoothie didn’t call out that he would lantern his jungler out, Bjerg didn’t communicate that he couldn’t arrive to a potential 4v5, and Broken Blade didn’t communicate that he’d popped his ult on Aatrox way too early (then walked away from the fight towards bot for some reason). Too many little things that the team needed to be communicating and considering weren’t.

So what needs to change? The team needs to work better at those little things, communication, and shot-calling. The problem isn’t with the team’s macro or aggression, but their team fighting and execution. Once TSM cleans up all these issues and manages to stop throwing their early leads, they can start playing like the talented team they are.

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What do you think are TSM’s biggest problems? Let us know in the comments below!