LCS: Why this Weekend is Cause for Big Concern from TSM

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games.
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games. /
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League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

After going 0-2 last weekend in LCS play, TSM is starting to look like they’re in big trouble.

TSM entered the last weekend of LCS play with a massive opportunity. They were playing a Team Liquid that was still looking to find their footing and was going to be without star ADC Doublelift, followed by a cakewalk against the dregs of the league in CLG. Sitting at 6-4 in sole control of third-place a 2-0 weekend shouldn’t have just been the goal, but the expectation, and put them in the driver’s seat to clinch the inside track for a playoff bye.

If you’re an LCS fan (or god-forbid, a TSM fan), you know what happened next. They lost to TL as sub AD Carry Tactical popped off before handing CLG their second-win of the season on their way to an 0-2 weekend. Instead of being 8-4, tied with FlyQuest for second-place, and two games ahead of the rest of the pack, TSM now firmly finds themselves among the “soup.”

That TSM went 0-2 last weekend in and of itself isn’t the biggest worry for the team, though. The way in which the team lost revealed some fundamental problems that TSM has yet to solve.

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1. Who Can Carry?

For most of the split, I’ve been praising TSM top laner Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik for his performance while bemoaning mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s underwhelming performance. It seems that TSM also recognized this, as they put Broken Blade on Kayle against TL and Mordekaiser against CLG, basically asking him to be their big carry.

Unfortunately for the team, Broken Blade probably had his worst weekend of the LCS split, going 0/4/1 on Kayle and 2/6/1 on Mordekaiser. This was compounded by the fact that TSM’s second-most reliable player, support Vincent “Biofrost” Wang also put up a couple of uncharacteristic clunkers, especially on Tahm Kench. While ADC Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup did well against CLG, it wasn’t enough to overcome his teammates’ poor performances.

This creates an issue where TSM is still looking for a player to be their consistent carry. With Broken Blade continuing to make careless errors and Bjergsen not stepping up, Kobbe is starting to have to shoulder most of the burden.

2. Teamfight problems

One problem that many pundits have pointed out about TSM is their seeming lack of synergy in teamfights. This has been one of the biggest reasons why they are unable to translate their early game leads into mid game ends. Their tendency to mechanically flub fights, appear uncoordinated, or just not look like they know how to execute their comp causes them to leak away those early advantages.

This weekend, it looked as though TSM was attempting to address these woes by picking comps that needed to come online in the mid-to-late game. Against TL, the team picked Kayle/Sejuani/Maokai/Varus/Tahm Kench in a comp that had a lot of tools to teamfight well, built around BB to carry. Unfortunately, the team fell too far behind early and made macro mistakes that meant their comp never actually came online until it was too late.

Against CLG, TSM drafted a more balanced comp of Mordekaiser/Jarvan/Zoe/Ezreal/Senna, that should have theoretically had plenty of synergy and opportunity to scale later into the game. This too became an issue for TSM as they simply didn’t look like they had any understanding of how to approach fights, grouping up and allowing Rumble ults to end fights before they started, rather than initiating with Jarvan or hitting crucial Zoe bubbles.