Team Solo Mid (TSM) is once again the victor of the North American LCS.
After a four-game series against Team Immortals, TSM came back from a 10 thousand gold deficit in game four to get 20 kills and only give one kill back to IMT. TSM has now beaten challengers back-to-back-to-back to earn the most desired award in the NALCS circuit.
Going into this series, both IMT and TSM were in great positions to challenge the other. As usual, many were saying that TSM would win yet again. And they were right IMT didn’t play up to par to truly challenge the Gods of North America. While the result of this series didn’t matter to determine if either TSM or IMT went to worlds, glory was still on the line.
Beyond glory, momentum was at stake.
If IMT could have beaten TSM, they would be in prime position to truly challenge the rest of the world at the World Championships. However, with this loss it doesn’t seem as if IMT will really be a challenge to the East Asian teams that have dominated the world stage for years.
Both the players and the coaching staff made many mistakes that really gave TSM the win. While TSM played phenomenally thanks to Doublelift and Biofrost, if IMT had better drafts and better macro decision making late game they could have clinched the victory. The IMT that played today was both inconsistent and not the IMT that has been suppressing competitors this past season. Game one draft was something of a nightmare. The full tank with one hypercarry was just perplexing. Teams have tried it and won with the composition before, but it requires the team to be winning pre-fifteen minutes. IMT was not winning at all before then. Maybe it was nervousness or just lack of experience on the finals stage, but both are unacceptable if IMT wants to be a world class team.
If IMT could have played like they did in game two and the first half of game three/four, they could have easily beaten TSM. But with their sometimes odd and irrational macro team plays, they threw their gold leads and pressure on the map. The fact that IMT lost both game three and four is something concerning for their future at the world championship. In contrast, though, TSM’s bot lane played out of this world. Biofrost being awarded MVP of the series was very well deserved and shows the world his Rakan is a must ban.
In general, TSM played better and more consistently. Though they had a comeback in game four, I don’t think their play should be awarded much praise. In the postgame interview Doublelift and Hauntzer talked a big game, while only one of them brought it. TSM won this game and did well this year because of their immense talent, yet being the best in NA doesn’t mean anything if you compare TSM with most teams from Asia. If TSM wants to challenge teams internationally, they cannot rely only on opponent mistakes. Both teams are talented, but this series showed the inconsistent nature of NA and previews the dark future of NA at Worlds.