After an upset loss last week to surging Phoenix1, Team SoloMid was able to regroup coming into the final week of the North American League Championship Series Summer Split. TSM played Immortals on Friday night in a game heralded to be one of the best of the year. However, what was supposed to be a hard fought three game series, turned into a 2-0 statement match for the seemingly unstoppable TSM squad. Game one featured bans targeting the bottom lane of TSM. Taking Karma, and Sivir out of the hands of the potent duo, Doublelift, and Biofrost. But when you waste two bans on the bot lane you leave mid wide open, allowing star-studded mid laner Bjergsen to wreak havoc with his exceptional Zilean play. He finished 3/0/12 on the game and Zilean seemed to be the key to a composition that allows Bjergsen push out mid lane, and assist wherever on the map he is needed most. TSM jumped out to an early lead after a stalled out team fight at dragon in which TSM was able to kite out the damage and secure 4 kills for themselves. The game swung back and forth, but ultimately fell TSM’s way after a blown Baron play by IMT.
Game two was decided within the first few minutes by the TSM bot lane as they pushed the lane in and got out to an enormous CS advantage over the duo of WildTurtle and Adrian. After a clutch chronoshift by Bjergsen, TSM was able to win a teleport play bot lane to jump to further their duo’s lead and earn a 6-1 kill advantage. IMT would answer following a couple of blown dive attempts by TSM in the early-mid game, almost evening out the score. Even though IMT was able to claw back into the game, the early lane advantage was too much to surpass as TSM closed out the series on the back of a Doublelift pentakill.
Doublelift and Biofrost Courtesy of Riot Games
The match against Immortals proves what many fans of the scene already suspected, TSM is the premier team in North America. The wins, although sloppy at times, showcased the team’s true prowess when it comes to making quick, effective decisions, and the squad’s overall coordination. Just take into account that TSM took eight elemental dragons during the entire series while IMT wasn’t able to secure one. Against their only true contender for the North American throne at the moment, if total objective control doesn’t impress you, then I don’t know what does.
After a day off on Saturday, TSM returned to the rift to take on the struggling NRG team, lead by jungler and former TSM player, Santorin. The game had no major implications for TSM as the win over Immortals secured their outright first place position in the regular season. However, NRG still needed the win to secure top spot in the Promotion tournament. The other storyline going into the series was TSM Doublelift’s attempt to reach the milestone of one thousand kills.
Game one featured a stomp as TSM Svenskeren became a monster in the jungle as Nidalee. He constantly harassed side lanes and ran amuck in the enemy jungle. Continuously throughout the game TSM pushed it’s advantages and choked out NRG attempts to mount a comeback. Needless to say, NRG was quickly forced to start thinking about the next game.
The day before TSM owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh, tweeted saying that if his tweet got 20,000 retweets TSM would play Teemo. True to his word, the team delivered, as the second game of the series featured everyone’s favorite yordle, Teemo. The duty of playing the Swift Scout fell to Hauntzer. TSM fell short in game two as the viability of Teemo top has not improved since he last made a serious appearance, but it provided some good entertainment for the fans and the casters.
Finally, once game three rolled around TSM put the pedal to the medal again and continued to make plays all around the map. The bigger storyline throughout the game wasn’t the usual TSM stomp, instead, it was the focus on Doublelift’s attempt to reach 1000 kills. It looked shaky at times as to whether or not he would pull it off, but with one kill left to reach the milestone, TSM dove the fountain to secure Doublelift his 1000th kill just before killing the nexus.
TSM Huddled up Courtesy of Riot Games
It was a fitting end to a superb season as TSM finished out 17-1; a complete contrast to the spring split. The addition of rookie support Biofrost and improvements to the coaching staff, like adding Weldon Green to help assist with team psychology and work habits, have turned TSM into a well oiled machine. These additions are why going into playoffs TSM should be feeling confident about its chances of reigning as NA LCS champs once again. The players don’t seem to be showing any signs of letting up or getting complacent, and their play is getting better and better every week.
With a first round bye, they will have the chance to continue to hone their skills, and formulate new game plans heading into playoffs. It will be interesting to watch what new strategies they bring out, or whether they choose to hold most of those for Worlds. Whether they will stomp the competition or be challenged remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, TSM is ready to show the world just how good they really are.