Sergen “BrokenBlade” Celik: Top Sion (2)
Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham: Jungle Olaf (3)
Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg: Mid Lissandra (2)
Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen: Bot Lucian (1)
Andy “Smoothie” Ta: Support Zilean (3)
Eric “Licorice” Ritchie: Top Sylas (4)
Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen: Jungle Camille (1)
Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer: Mid Galio (2)
Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi: Bot Ezreal (1)
Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam: Support Braum (3)
One of the oldest and best rivalries in North America was renewed in Week 3, Day 1 of the LCS Spring Split. TSM and Cloud9 squared off in a 45-minute slug fest that was everything you have come to expect out of the two storied organizations. This match in particular was made all the more important by Team Liquid taking out FlyQuest in the previous contest; the winner of TSM vs. Cloud9 would then move into a tie for second place with FlyQuest in the early standings. The loser would drop to near the bottom of the table.
Coming out of the draft, it appeared as though Cloud9 were the clear winners. Even ceding the first pick to TSM (which they curiously used on a Lucian), Cloud9 were able to come away with two of the most powerful picks thus far in the split in Camille and Ezreal. Giving over Ezreal in particular was a questionable move as the two wins TSM has this split were with Zven on his trademark champion. In retrospect, TSM would likely want to have that decision back as it was Sneaky who carried late game team fights and sealed TSM’s fate.
After losing the laning phase, Sneaky bode his time, farming away, until he hit a major power spike with his Blade of the Ruin King purchase. No longer could BrokenBlade’s Sion reliably front line team fights as Sneaky simply shredded through the top laner. TSM was also unable to engage onto Sneaky thanks to Ezreal’s bevy of escape tools. The result was Sneaky dealing loads of largely uncontested damage into TSM, who could do little to response. By game’s end, Cloud9’s legendary ADC had done 67.9k damage, nearly double that of his TSM counterpart, Zven.
Despite the loss, TSM once again showed that they have a strong early game. Bjergsen’s Lissandra abused the Demolish rune to knock down all three Cloud9 outer turrets. That gave TSM a 3-1 turret lead at 26 minutes. BrokenBlade picked up two kills pre-20 minutes on his Sion, making him a nearly unkillable front line during the mid-game. Zven and Smoothie won lane and TSM had dominant vision control for the first 25 minutes of action.
However, as was the problem in their Week 1 loss against Clutch Gaming, TSM did not do enough to push these early advantages and snowball their lead. They played too passively, allowing Cloud9 to catch up in gold and experience. TSM also lost too many team fights, even fights where their composition was stronger on paper. Better execution in the late game fights in particular was essential as it was those fights that led to their eventual defeat. TSM will look to right the ship against Golden Guardians and prevent themselves from slipping further down the standings.
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