With the round robin stage of the LCS 2019 Spring now over, it’s time to start our predictions and calculations for each team’s chances in the playoffs.
At the beginning of the split, Team Liquid was bulldozing everything in front of them, and they looked like the clear favourites to win it all. However, after a while, they started limping a little, showing signs of weakness, perhaps because they no longer needed to play as hard with their spot in the playoffs already secured. Meanwhile, Cloud 9 started this Split without their star Midlaner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, who left the team for greener pastures and joined their direct rivals, Team Liquid. They didn’t have the best start, yet again they managed to find consistency and finished 2nd, right after Team Liquid.
But, those two teams are not the most dangerous team of the LCS 2019 Spring — it’s Team SoloMid.
Team Solo Mid started the season atrociously, and it was understandable since they decided to make changes to their roster again after failing miserably last year to make an impact. They got rid of Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez, Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell, and Mike “Mike Yeung” Yeung and replaced them with Andy “Smoothie” Ta, Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham, and Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik.
Now, they’re looking better than ever, with some clear upset potential as head into the LCS 2019 Spring playoffs.
Can the broken blade be reforged?
The resume of Smoothie is known to many LCS fans, and Akaadian was already becoming a top tier Jungler, but the signing of Broken Blade raised many eyebrows. He came from TCS, and not many people had heard of him before he signed with TSM. Some people thought that in this Split, TSM would be in rebuilding mode and the start of the Split certainly signalized at that. After the first three weeks, they had two wins and four losses. It seemed that the addition of players like Akaadian and Broken Blade might have been the wrong call made from the TSM management.
Despite the bad early start, Broken Blade proved to his teammates that they could rely on him when he has champions that can carry on his hands. He was an absolute beast when he had champions like Vladimir (7.3 KDA), Akali (11 KDA) while having a 100% win rate on them. The only champion that he had problems performing with was Urgot, and those performances were at the beginning of the split.
With his help, TSM has won 11 of the last 12 games, and that loss came from Cloud 9, the squad that is sitting at the top of the table alongside Team Liquid.
We can clearly state that while it was Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg that carried the main burden of the squad, Broken Blade adapted very quickly and did his fair share of helping his teammates in every way possible.
Team Liquid Need to Watch Their Back
Team Liquid started this Split as the undisputed leaders of the region since they just added more star power to their already stacked team. They went 7 and 0 in their first seven games, and it was TSM who finally ended their perfect record.
While they continued dominating after that game, racking another seven victories, they started underperforming right at the end, where they were defeated by TSM yet again. TSM might already have what it takes to beat the best team in North America. Defeating Team Liquid two teams within a Split is not an easy feat to accomplish, and that has both Team Liquid, and Cloud 9 worried because they might have to face them at some point.
TSM was defeated twice by Cloud 9, once by Golden Guardians, once by FlyQuest, and also once by Clutch Gaming. Clutch Gaming didn’t qualify for the playoffs, while FlyQuest will face Golden Guardians, TSM’s next opponent will be Echo Fox, a team that they have defeated twice and I doubt that they will have any problems defeating them once again despite their current streak of four wins in a row.
If TSM manages to defeat Echo Fox, they will be playing against Team Liquid in the semifinals, and even though they might be the underdogs for the 3rd game in a row against them, the prior two games will have TL play with much more caution.
How can they repeat their success?
The window of opportunity for TSM defeating TL again should be to concentrate on the early game as they have done so in the past two games. They destroyed the first turret and also got the first blood in both of those victories, and that helped them get an early lead that they didn’t let go for the remainder of the game. Another essential factor for TSM should be trying to starve TL’s Jungler, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero. Something that Akaadian and his teammates managed to do quite successfully and he couldn’t have any meaningful impact on the map whatsoever.
In both of these games, TL managed to get only four kills, which means that TSM’s macro play was phenomenal and they barely put a step wrong. Broken Blade played both of the games phenomenally and not only did he hold his own against a world champion like Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong, he destroyed him and made sure that TL had no chance of making a comeback.
If TSM plays with the same ferocity and their decision-making is at the same level, they might have a real shot of defeating the current champions and securing a place at the finals of the LCS 2019 Spring.
TSM Are Locked in and Ready to Go
Cloud 9 and Team Liquid will have to make sure that they are not on autopilot if they get to face TSM in the playoffs of the LCS 2019 Spring because this will not be just a smooth ride for them.
We must take into account that TSM is hungry for trophies and with this new roster they have what it takes to turn things around and maybe have a squad that can break their international curse.
What do you think TSM’s chances are in the LCS 2019 Spring playoffs? Do you think they can upend Team Liquid in the semifinals and go on to win the entire thing? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.