TSM are about to face Team Liquid in the final best-of-five of the 2019 LCS Spring Split. The two will clash on April 13 in a thrilling battle for fame, glory, and the prize money that comes with being the No. 1 team in North America. Let’s see which lineup has the best odds of taking the crown.
Drive and momentum
TSM thrive on aggression. This is a team that wants to get into the driver’s seat from the first minutes of the game and keep its foot on the gas until it hits the enemy Nexus. On top of that, TSM are one of the few North American lineups that can pull off 1-3-1 comps. This gives them a massive edge.
Credit where credit is due: TSM switched up their style for the playoffs. Broken Blade is still an important part of their game plans, but they no longer live and die by their top laner. Instead, TSM started funneling resources into their superstar carries. Zven and Bjergsen have always been the foundation of this roster, and now that TSM are playing around them, the Danes turned into the cornerstones of their strategies. Throw in a playmaking support in Smoothie, and TSM have all the moving parts of a world-class lineup.
The only worry is in the jungle. Akaadian can look like a top-tier jungler when he’s in the zone. But he can also go invisible when he’s off his game. And it’s always scary to have such a volatile variable in an LCS Playoffs setting.
Balance and structure
On the flip side, Team Liquid play a very controlled game. They rely on structured teamfights and shrewd objective setups as their primary win conditions. It’s common to see TL outmaneuver their enemies around the map. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re bad in the laning phase. Team Liquid’s roster is stacked with talent, and they frequently win the early game with their stronger laners.
It’s hard to find a more well-rounded squad to be honest. Their main carry threat lies in the bot lane, as Doublelift and CoreJJ are the best marksman/support duo in North America. Meanwhile, Jensen acts as the rock in the mid lane, Impact provides a robust frontline to his carries, and Xmithie employs the role of a diligent caretaker. And even though this dynamic is fairly predictable, it’s polished enough to make Team Liquid the clear favorite in most of their matches.
Yet this series is an exception. Jensen has always had a rough time going against Bjergsen in the mid lane. And Impact is notorious for being hit-or-miss in the laning phase. Combine that with the fact that Doublelift and CoreJJ don’t have a significant edge over Zven and Smoothie, and Team Liquid are running dangerously short on win conditions.
PREDICTION: This will be close, but in the end, TSM overtake Team Liquid 3-2.
Image credit: LoL Esports/Riot Games