There’s no arguing that throughout the course of the Summer Split, TSM has bounced around the league’s ladder in terms of standings, stability, and predictability. As perhaps the region’s most intriguing team, TSM unveiled a roster that shook the landscape of professional League of Legends to its core back in June – one that strongly resembled the most consistently dominant roster that the league had ever seen.
In a very “getting the band back together” sort of mentality, TSM constructed a team that featured the very same superstars that carried the organization to a 17-1 summer split back in 2016, as well as a surefire trip to the World Championship.
Now, four years (and two replacement players) removed from that product, this altered iteration of that consistent and championship caliber roster has proven to be anything but.
As the summer has marched on, though, TSM has proven that they can reach the finish line through a combination of barely peeking their heads above water, while occasionally busting out in an explosive manner. Winning five out of six games to close out the split most definitely proved that.
And now, just four days into the Summer Playoffs, TSM has showcased both sides of its essentially-trademarked coin.
On Thursday, the team was absolutely shamshuckled by Golden Guardians in a convincing 3-0 sweep. How did TSM respond? With a 3-0 sweep of their own over Dignitas, of course.
Just two days after TSM had been dealt a demoralizing loss against a team that they could have beaten with relative ease, the squad bounced back by beating DIG convincingly, drowning their opposition in a gold deficit of nearly 29k across just three games.
With at least four more sets separating the team from another championship, TSM will need to bear down in every facet in order to walk out of playoffs with a ticket to the World Championship. For TSM, the climb only gets steeper from here.
“We need to focus up and improve super fast”, said Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng after his team made quick work of Dignitas on Saturday, further proving the point that the players are aware of how difficult the road ahead might actually be.
However, TSM can still find solace in the fact that all of the remaining teams in the playoffs, despite being a tough challenge, are still on par with them to a certain extent. Save Team Liquid and FlyQuest, TSM had beaten all of the remaining squads in the playoffs at least once, while one of those two aforementioned elite teams, FlyQuest, posted the same record as TSM (12-6) at the close of the regular split. Only the 15-3 goliath in Team Liquid poses a definitive on-paper threat to TSM at this very moment. Although, the major caveat to a statement like that is that anything can happen on a match day, it’s still fair to look at Liquid as a seriously unfavorable matchup, considering Solomid lost to TL as recently as eight days ago. And with the way TSM has played through the course of just two series, it’s definitely reasonable to raise questions as to which version of the team will show up for their first matchup in the lower bracket this weekend.
Which, in total theory, could be against Team Liquid. TSM will have a chance (albeit a small one) at facing that looming threat of TL in the lower bracket come Sunday if Golden Guardians is able to cash in on the upset of the century. If GG isn’t able to topple over TL, though, TSM can expect a rematch with the same squad that blew them down into their gauntlet-like predicament in the first place.
Featured image via Lolesports