After seeing TSM’s performance at the Mid Season Invitational, it is easy to bash them and scrutinize them for their underwhelming play. They certainly did perform below everyone’s expectations, but I feel as though people gave them way more credit than they should have received for their IEM Katowice and NA LCS victories. If we look at the context of these wins, specifically their IEM Katowice wins, they really didn’t play any top-tier international teams. Most people would say that CJ Entus was their strongest opponent, but considering they were at their lowest point of the entire season during that tournament, we really can’t credit TSM with too much for winning that single game or even the event as a whole. The NA LCS, on the other hand, was slightly more competitive but still lacking any top tier, global, teams. Considering how much better Bjergsen was than every other mid laner in the NA LCS, TSM could always rely on him to dominant his lane opponent, along with some incredible plays and warding control from Lustboy and even Santorin. With Locodoco making extremely bold predictions, saying that he “honesty, truly, believes TSM will win MSI”, it even more so contributed to them being a highly hyped team that could possibly win the event. Now to set things straight, TSM didn’t play their normal, controlling, style. However, the number of opportunities they have to prove themselves on the world stage, are very limited and need to be taken seriously by fans and analysts. I can pretty confidently assume that some this exaggerated hype got to the players and surely affected their play. Moreover, with such high expectations set by the fans and the coaching staff, it can be very stressful on the players. All in all, going in the tournament as a underdog isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and the fans and coaching staff need to consider the impact that a few words can have on a player’s mind. It’s ok to be confident, but cockiness is where things can turn in the wrong direction, as was shown at this tournament.