Over the last few weeks TSM has been struggling in the NA League of Legends Championship Series. First, we have a few stats on TSM. TSM has fallen to fifth place with a ten to six record. In the last two weeks TSM lost to Team 8, Team Liquid, and Gravity with one win to Team Dragon Knights. TSM also has some of the lowest stats with a first blood rate of 33%, a first dragon rate of 40%, and a first tower rate of 47%. Now you do have to take the some of these rates with a grain of salt. NA has really liked lane swaps so first tower are nearly at the same time and first dragon tends to go to whoever is on the bottom side of a lane. However, if you look at wards placed per minute TSM sits at one of the highest at 3.08 wards and a high wards cleared per minute of 1.10 wards. Finally, TSM has one of the longest game times of 42.6 minutes. These stats just show that TSM really tends to wait for the enemy team to make a mistake before making a play and have a bit of a more reactive play style.
These stats are from Oracle’s Elixir. Last updated July 18th.
Video Review of TIP v TSM
Now I do have a video review of TIP v TSM here. It is a 2 hour video going over the game and why these things happened and what could have happened. If you don’t have the time I will be typing down my general thoughts on the whole match here. I do have a bit of a lisp sorry.
Picks and Bans
Starting with picks and bans TIP has a really nice ban phase. You take away one of Bjerg’s strongest control mages Azir. It also tries to force Bjerg back to that Ezreal he has been trying to move away from. Santorin loses one of his quick power farm champions with gank pressure and forces Santorin to commit to one or the other a bit more. Taking Kalista off the board from Turtle is really good because Turtle has been having trouble with positioning and getting rid of this constantly bouncing marksman gives Turtle less forgiveness on positioning when he is on a different marksman.
TSM’s bans are a bit more forced. Ryze does so much damage right now you do not want a carry like Impact to get Ryze. Sivir is also the top marksman that was not nerf this patch unlike Kalista and it has been Apollo’s go to pick so you do not want this going to Apollo. The Alistar ban is questionable as there are still more threats on the board. Rush’s Nidalee was left open which you can play around but I think they should of tried to focus Rush onto something more like Lee Sin. Rush still gets that aggressive champion but is not as strong as Nidalee late in the game.
Now looking at champion picks we see Nidalee is first picked for TIP. They get an aggressive jungle champion for Rush that does not only have presence but can poke and heal late into the game. TSM decides to counter with Corki and Shen. I don’t mind the Shen pick because it can flex both top or Support but I do think they pick their marksman to early. You already see that Rush has got his jungle champion so why not just pick Santorin’s jungle champion instead of giving away half of the bot lane match up. With Sivir and Kalista being banned you have a lot more flex room with marksman champions. You can pick up Gragas since Gragas does well into most team compositions and does not give away much whereas picking Corki shows this more of this half bully lane.
TIP goes on to pick Maokai and Janna. These two picks should signal to TSM that are looking for some type of hyper carry team fight. They have Janna with Nidalee for heals and shields along with Maokai to be a front line. TSM picks Gragas and Annie. This would be a fine time to pick your marksman. At this point you know that they have Janna so bot lane is going to be pretty safe for TIP and TSM. I’m pretty mixed about the Annie pick. The Annie does give some hard engage but later in the draft you see that TSM goes for a more pick styled composition that does fit Annie a little, but I don’t feel she was needed for TSM’s composition. Annie can be dealt with by Maokai by rooting her when she tries to engage a fight allowing the carries to kill her.
Then the last picks for TIP are Kog’maw and Orianna. Now Annie is in trouble. With all the heals, shields, and disengage from TIP it becomes really hard for Annie to be relevant because she is fairly squishy and she is trying to walk into an Orianna that can use her ball to slow her and the Maokai is not going to let her walk up. Annie is going to have hard time even getting to the Kog’maw so she will be forced to look for a flank. I will say TSM makes the right adaption for picking Twisted Fate last. This Twisted Fate pick seals the deal that TSM is going to be have split push composition. TSM’s composition will not win a team fight straight up so it lowers Annie’s usefulness as she is more of a powerful AoE engage.
This pick and ban has really made me wish TSM would experiment with Dyrus on top lane carries. I look at TSM’s composition and it makes me feel like Dyrus could have played Fizz in this composition and taken Annie out. We see from TIP’s first three picks Nidalee, Janna, and Maokai that it is going to be really hard to dive the back line. TSM would succeed with Fizz in both the 1v1 lane and lane swap. Fizz has percent health damage and he has mix damage from attack from items and magic on his abilities that allow him to bully a champion like Maokai early really hard. Then with Shen on support you can set up more a bully lane with Corki against Kog’maw and Janna if you find standard lanes. Even if you don’t you still get this scenario where TIP has this team fight composition but TSM has this really nice split pushing composition. TSM wouldn’t even have to look to team fight. They could have played a splitting composition forced TIP composition to stay spread out and slowly choked them to defeat. You just keep pushing in and when TIP tries to stop one lane you push in the other two; however, that is not what happens at all.
Inside the game
For this part I do recommend going back at watching the video as it is easier to see some of the things I talk about here in a visual form.
We see that TIP makes the first aggressive move by Impact leaving two saplings at the raptor camp giving XWX an early level 2. The small raptors plus one full wave allows him to get the early level 2 over Bjergsen. This level advantage means Bjergsen gets bullied back to base early and forced back to get home guards to stay relevant in lane. Now with his newly found lane dominance XWX can afford to defend his pink wards and the early vision that TIP puts out. This vision helps keep tabs not only on Bjergsen, but on Santorin as well. TSM also can’t keep their early vision up because of the pink wards that they can’t clear and an early sweeper from Adrian finishes off the last of their wards.
Later in the game TSM over commits for a disastrous tower dive top and end up give TIP an early gold lead. This early gold helps TIP deal with these early threats disarming TSM’s split push composition.
Game to game TSM has failed to identify and shut up threats. Apollo’s Kog’maw can be seen clearing side lanes to get farm to hit that late game state and TSM at no point try to force pressure onto him. Whether that is good decision making from TIP to keep Kog’maw in a side lane or poor decisions from TSM not to pressure is debatable. What ends up happening is TSM solely focuses onto Impact. At one point Turtle greedily flies in and gets himself killed while trying to take down Maokai but that is a problem for a different day. All this pressure onto Impact does not stop his creep score from going up and hitting his core items while Kog’maw just freely farms. It may seem fine but it is really weird that they try to shut down the Maokai that can always really be useful over the late game hyper carry Kog’maw. This failure to prioritize ends up costing towers and ultimately the game for TSM because they did not stop the actual threat. This misplaced aggression onto TIP does not stop there in fear of falling behind TSM looks to force a desperation baron because they got so far behind instead of getting the first tier turret.
The last thing I’ll say is that I don’t like how they positioned Twisted Fate this game. Corki should have been the one wave clearing with Annie and possibly Gragas depending on the scenario because Twisted Fate and Shen both have ways of warping to mid lane from side lanes. Corki is not going to pressure as much in a side lane as a Twisted Fate because he will push faster than Corki. Instead they have Twisted Fate sitting mid lane wave clearing unable to roam because Orianna is shoving him in. In Contrast if Twisted Fate was able to be in that side lane he could push against Kog’maw or Maokai harder than Corki could while still sustaining his mana and Corki is still going to get farm because he will be the one being pushed in instead of Twisted Fate.
TSM’s downfall this game ends up being a poor early game in the mid lane and failure to see their win conditions by prioritizing Maokai over Kog’maw and making panic plays for baron instead of smart rotations for turrets ultimately they end up handing TIP over an easy victory.
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