LCS Summer 2020 Playoff Preview: TSM vs Dignitas

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games /

We preview the first series of the LCS Summer playoffs losers bracket, as TSM faces Dignitas.

With the upper bracket matches concluding (or concluded depending on when you read this), we move down to the lower bracket (aka the “losers bracket”) of the LCS Summer Split playoffs. Here, if you lose your season ends, and that’s going to be the case for one of TSM and Dignitas. Let’s take a look at their paths to the playoffs and whose might be ending.


Record: 12-6


Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik
Mingyi “Spica” Lu
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
Erik “Treatz” Wessén

Playoffs: Lost vs Golden Guardians (0-3)

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In a shocking upset to most people (not me, but most), TSM got cleanly swept aside by Golden Guardians in three games. Many of the fingers are being pointed at Doublelift and Treatz for poor performances out of the bottom lane, but that lets the TSM coaching and management off the hook a bit too easily.

As I said before, TSM’s coaching staff is horrifically outclassed when it comes to picks and bans, as was evidenced by some bizarre decisions yesterday in Game 3. They first-picked Sett, which is fine as he can flex into four roles, along with Thresh into Caitlyn, a fine, flexible support. They then paired the Thresh with Ashe into Caitlyn Tahm Kench and rounded out the comp with Nidalee jungle and Gangplank top, flexing the Sett into mid lane.

This turned out to be a disastrous comp as Nidalee never had the lane pressure to invade the enemy Graves (who they counterpicked by the way), Sett had lane control but Orianna managed to farm safely against him, and the bot lane got rolled while GP was largely ineffective. This is a continuation of TSM’s focus on drafting winning lanes and strong comps at the expense of drafting champions their players are comfortable playing.


Record: 5-13


Omran “V1per” Shoura
Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett
Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun
Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen
Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black

The Regular Season

DIG overhauled their roster completely before and during the season. Only Aphromoo and Johnsun in the bot lane returned from their original lineup in the Spring Split, while Dardoch and Fenix were subbed in midway through the split for Akaadian and Froggen, respectively.

As a result, Dignitas rallied from their 0-8 start to finish the season 5-5, making the playoffs on the back of a tiebreaker win over CLG. Now, they’ll be facing a much tougher task as they lost the season series to TSM 0-2.

Head to Head Matchups

Top Lane: Broken Blade vs. V1per

Broken Blade wasn’t put in a position to do much during the series against Golden Guardians, and therefore wasn’t a big reason TSM lost that series. His play on Gangplank was subpar but not awful, which isn’t surprising given that GP has never been one of his strongest champions. However, V1per has proven to be little more than a Riven one-trick this split, which is why he ended summer graded as our second-worst top laner, ahead of only IMT Allorim.

Advantage: TSM

Jungle: Spica vs. Dardoch

The current TSM jungler versus the former TSM jungler, haters of TSM are licking their lips at the possibility that Dardoch (who no one wanted, if you recall) could be the one to end TSM’s Summer Split (similar to how he ended their Spring Split). He has a great chance, as he proved to be far and away the better jungler during the split. Spica did just have a decently strong series against Closer, though, and Dardoch isn’t nearly the player Closer is, so this matchup has the potential to be a bit more even than most would think.

Advantage: Dignitas

Mid Lane: Bjergsen vs. Fenix

Even the haters agree that Bjergsen was the only player to show up for TSM against Golden Guardians, as he played exceptionally despite drawing literally all of GGS’s bans. Fenix was graded towards the bottom of our player rankings, but unlike Damonte yesterday, Fenix doesn’t have the solid floor/low ceiling. With the right picks, he could pop off but with the wrong picks he could feed (*cough* TF *cough*). 

Advantage: TSM

ADC: Doublelift vs. Johnsun

Based on the series yesterday, most people are probably putting this in Dignitas’s favor. Doublelift was absolutely atrocious throughout the series, losing both sides of the Caitlyn/Ashe matchup, making terrible mechanical misplays, and not paying the QSS tax against Mordekaiser in two games, to his downfall.

Johnsun has been heralded as the next great ADC talent, and honestly I’m not quite willing to crown him. Johnsun has been very good, yes, but statistically, he was below Doublelift this season. I’m anticipating Doublelift will bounce back and give TSM the edge in this matchup.

Advantage: TSM

Support: Treatz vs. Aphromoo

Again, recency bias is going to put a target on Treatz’s back for poor play yesterday while ignoring the fact that he was exceptionally good during TSM’s run in the regular split. Aphromoo is being praised for his resurgent season, but I think fans and analysts are greatly over-valuing his improvement. He’s better than he was but ranked bottom-two of starting supports at the end of the split.

Advantage: TSM

Keys to the Series

Honestly, this series could swing either way hard and it’s entirely going to turn on one aspect: TSM’s mental. In Game 3 against Golden Guardians, TSM looked like a team with no fight and no hope. The infamous Bjergsen stare as Doublelift again died in Mordekaiser ult (without QSS) is going to be meme’d forever now.

The team is getting dragged (deservedly) on social media and Reddit for their poor performance, especially Doublelift and Treatz. The veteran ADC is probably better-equipped to handle widespread criticism than the rookie support, so it’s going to be critically important to see how the bot lane responds.

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Beyond that, though, TSM only has two days to reset their mental state following a devastating and decisive loss. A lot of big problems were put in the spotlight by Golden Guardians and with a very small window of time to identify and correct those mistakes the pressure is most surely on TSM.

Unfortunately for Dignitas, they don’t have the firepower to really compete with TSM when they’re on form. It’s going to come down to whether TSM beats themselves, which has been a coinflip all year.

Prediction: TSM wins 3-0