Sergen “BrokenBlade” Celik: Top Urgot (1)
Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham: Jungle Gragas (3)
Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg: Mid Jayce (3)
Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen: Bot Cassiopeia (2)
Andy “Smoothie” Ta: Support Alistar (2)
Optic Gaming Lineup:
Niship “Dhokla” Doshi: Top Sion (2)
William “Meteos” Hartman: Jungle Olaf (1)
Lee “Crown” Min-ho: Mid Zoe (3)
Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon: Bot Kalista (1)
Terry “Big” Chuong: Support Thresh (4)
Late Game Heroics
Coming into the match on a three-game losing streak, TSM was in desperate need of a win to stop their downward spiral since starting the season 2-1. Their competitors, Optic Gaming, were also riding a three game losing streak and the loser of this match would find themselves in the unenviable last place spot in the LCS standings.
Unlike the majority of their past matches, TSM did not win the early game. They did not even win the mid game, which saw them surrender not one, but two Baron buffs. However, TSM defended well, consistently trading objectives and actually chipped away at the Optic lead during both of those Baron power plays. All TSM needed was one major team fight win in the late game to secure victory.
That fight came at the 43 minute mark in the mid lane, started up by a Flash-Headbutt-Pulverize combo by Smoothie onto Crown. The former World Champion was quickly deleted and Dhokla was soon to follow, both kills picked up by the Player of the Match, Zven. With Optic Gaming’s main damage source and frontline now dead, TSM pushed into their opponent’s base through the mid lane and won the game.
Last week I dogged TSM for two main problems, ineffectiveness in late game team fights and an inability to be proactive after the early game. In this match, despite being behind for the majority of the time, the team continued to look for opportunities to make plays, largely thanks to the efforts of Akaadian and Smoothie.
This fact was none the more evident than during the fight at 26 minutes as Optic used their Baron buff to siege the mid inhibitor turret of TSM. Rather than allowing their opponents to take the objective, Akaadian and Smoothie combined to engage onto Crown, initiating a team fight which TSM won 2-0 that halted the Optic Gaming momentum.
TSM also performed much better in late game fights, showing a level of coordination that had not been there for the past two weeks. Zven and Bjergsen consistently found themselves in prime positions to deal damage, protected by the stout frontline BrokenBlade put up on Urgot. Those factors combined with the aforementioned good engages from Akaadian and Smoothie gave TSM a recipe for success in the late game team fights that ultimately lead them to victory. The team will look to continue to improve as they take on the NA juggernauts, Team Liquid, tomorrow.
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