We preview the second match of the lower bracket of the LCS playoffs with 100 Thieves taking on TSM.
The LCS playoffs continue tomorrow with the second of the lower bracket matches. With their backs up against the wall, we will see whether 100 Thieves can rebound back to their winning ways or if TSM can recapture their midseason form.
It was an uneven season for TSM, who came into the year with high expectations that they clearly did not meet. After a shaky start that saw TSM trading 2-0 and 0-2 weeks, they had their landmark weekend in Week 8. They took down the number two team in the league, FlyQuest, as well as the number one team, Cloud9, becoming the only LCS team this year to defeat C9.
While optimism was looking up at that point, and at 8-6 TSM was tied for second place with a chance to solidify their position at the top of the standings, things quickly fell apart down the stretch. They went 1-3 in the last two weeks of the season, including two losses to non-playoff teams (Immortals and Dignitas). This caused them to fall to 9-9, missing out of a spot in the upper bracket and a possible tiebreaker to take that #2 seed in the LCS playoffs.
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100 Thieves (10-8)
100 Thieves put up an admirable fight against Cloud9 in the first round of the winner’s bracket. No, actually, scratch that. They got absolutely demolished by Cloud9, which isn’t necessarily an indictment that 100 Thieves is a bad team (just that C9 is that good). Now, they’ll have to shake off that loss and take on a wounded TSM team that had the weekend to analyze their drafts.
The two teams split their season series in 2020, going 1-1. In the first game, back in Week 5, TSM mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg completely dumpstered 100 Thieves’s Tommy “ry0ma” Le on his signature Syndra. Bjerg ended the game 6/1/8, leading TSM to a victory.
Things changed in Week 9, though, when 100 Thieves were battling for a playoff spot. While TSM certainly had a lot to play for, looking to secure a spot in the upper bracket, 100 Thieves were the more desperate and better team on that day. It was a back-and-forth game in which Bjergsen secured a Pentakill on Azir but 100 Thieves won some late game fights to secure the victory at 43 minutes.
There are certainly some uneven battles across the map in this match-up. TSM should hold the advantage in the mid lane and support roles, 100 Thieves likely has the better jungler and AD Carry. That leaves the top lane, where both teams have two of their strongest players, as what will be the deciding factor for the series.
In 100 Thieves’s late-season push to the playoffs, top laner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho has been their unquestioned best player. Although he stumbled (and then faceplanted) in their series loss to Cloud9, he’ll be looking to turn it around against TSM. That’ll be no easy task, though, as TSM’s own top laner Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik has been one of the best players in the LCS this season.
Prediction: TSM wins 3-2
TSM is the better team, their real problems over this season have been poor drafts and consistency. These are both aspects that should be fixable with their extra time to prep for 100 Thieves and will be helped over the course of a five-game series.
The fact that all of these players have been on playoff teams and have experience in crunch time also gives them added experience over 100 Thieves’s two rookies, ry0ma and William “Stunt” Chen. I think this series will ultimately be very close and could swing either way based on which version of TSM shows up this weekend. In the end, the experience of TSM gives them the edge in my book.