TSM coach Pojoman: ‘I think we had more problems [in February] than we do now’

TSM feel ready. Can they make as deep a run as they did in 2020?

Screengrab via TSM

TSM Rainbow Six Siege team’s lackluster NAL 2021 Stage One had some fans and analysts worrying about their performance at the Six Invitational, which had been rescheduled for May following a postponement from its original February start time.

They lost a stunner to beastcoast to open the season, lost to Soniqs in an 8-7 overtime thriller, and closed the season with a 7-5 loss to Disrupt, cementing their place outside of the top four. Without a May Major, TSM were held to a mere 225 SI Points in the Stage, meaning they’ll have to play catch-up if they want to attend the 2022 iteration of the Six Invitational.

But coach Owen “Pojoman” Mitura isn’t fazed by the team’s uncharacteristic performance. “I don’t think [the Invitational moving forward in May] hurt us,” Pojoman said. “It honestly let us have more time to work out some of the kinks… I think we had more problems then than we do now.”

Coming off a stellar 3-1 victory over incumbent SI champions Spacestation in the U.S. Finals, many analysts thought TSM were the outright favorite going into the February iteration of the Invitational. Pojoman referred to the unpredictability of best-of-ones and how close the second through seventh-place finishers in Stage One were when he discussed TSM’s slow start to the regular season.

Ultimately, Pojoman thinks TSM have more of a dynamic strat pool to pull from in May as opposed to February. “On most maps, we’d have maybe one or two takes for everything and then small changes within those takes,” he said. “Now, we have at least two, maybe three (per map) with all the variations on top of them.”

Preparing for this iteration of SI has been a challenge. TSM are in Group B, which was cut from 10 teams to eight following a pair of positive COVID tests in the Virtus Pro camp and Wildcard’s travel issues.

“It was more important to see what the teams we’re playing against now, what do they tend to like to do,” Pojoman said when asked about the difficulties of preparing for this Invitational and how TSM navigated those pitfalls. “How do they like to play and how do we need to play to deal with that?”

Pojoman said TSM had to bypass the traditional Rainbow Six style of specific counterstrategy and focus on a more general sense of tactics to prepare for SI 2021 due to the volume of teams involved.

TSM will open SI against MIBR on May 12 at 10am CT.