No other team can compare to the legacy that the TSM organisation has created.
They’re the team with the most domestic titles in the NA LCS and will be bidding to add another to their collection over the next few games.
They made it to the new franchised NA LCS and so did a few others familiar faces. Fans will know names like CLG, Team Liquid and Cloud9 all too well. Other names, not so much. 100 Thieves, Golden Guardians, Clutch Gaming were the new teams in town at the start of the split.
The new teams had well known players, 100 Thieves signed CLG’s former Support, Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black. Golden Guardians hired C9’s former Jungler Juan “Contractz” Arturo Garcia and Clutch Gaming brought one of the mid laners in Europe, Fabian “Fabiven” Diepstraten. Despite acquiring top players, few gave them a chance to actually win the split. Yes, these were millionaire teams but they lacked the culture and legacy of their more established rivals.
To everyone’s surprise, 100 Thieves finished the spring split in first place. The new organization won a pass to the semi-finals after a match against Echo Fox.
Clutch Gaming, another new team, has also made it to the playoffs. After a not-so-good final performance, the team finished up in sixth place. They will now face TSM in the quarterfinals.
TSM vs Clutch Gaming: Regular season
Clutch Gaming and TSM faced each other twice during the regular season.
Week four – Clutch Gaming (winner)
Clutch Gaming dominated the early game. The synergy between the players was strong and it showed.
On the other side of the rift, TSM struggled to find its identity. They didn’t look like a team, but instead like strangers.
Clutch Gaming took advantage of Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung’s hesitancy and the lack of communication. It didn’t take long for the new organisation to stomp over the legacy and take the first victory home.
Week five – Clutch Gaming (winner)
Just one week later both teams met again in the summoner’s rift. TSM couldn’t correct their old mistakes and Clutch Gaming knew exactly how to take advantage of that. The match was one-sided again. This time, it became more obvious that the new TSM team wasn’t working.
Many believed that Clutch Gaming would lose their momentum, but that wasn’t the case. Methodically and without mistakes, they took a second victory.
TSM vs Clutch Gaming: Tie-breaker
The teams would play again in week nine for a tie-breaker. At this point the story had changed for both teams.
Since their last match, Clutch Gaming had maintained a steady level of performance. Meanwhile, TSM had started to resemble their old selves.
This time on the rift, TSM was assertive on the shot-calling and found opportunities to make plays. Every time a Clutch player was out of place, they ended up dead. The shy jungler became a hunter and Clutch Gaming were sitting ducks.
In the end, TSM would win and then face Team Liquid. They found a victory in that match and, as a result, they will face Clutch Gaming once again on Sunday.
This will be an important match for both of these teams.
Whichever side wins will face Echo Fox in the semi-finals. Echo Fox are known for their dominance in game and the strong personalities of the players.
Many predicted that the winning streak wouldn’t last and that eventually Echo Fox would show its weaknesses.
The first strike came in week seven when they lost against Golden Guardians. Team Liquid managed to defeat them in week nine, allowing 100 Thieves to snatch first place from their hands.
The organisation made changes and hoped for the best. The results were good, but not good enough to recover the throne. Currently, Echo Fox is considered the easier opponent of the two in the semi-finals.
Both Clutch Gaming and TSM ended 1-1 against Echo Fox during the regular season. These results could give some idea of how the semi-final match might go.
Analysts believe that TSM is the strongest contender with the best chance of making it to the final.
TSM vs Clutch Gaming: Weaknesses
The new TSM looks like a team that could win the Split and make it to the Mid-Season Invitational. An assertive shot-caller and lack of unnecessary risk-taking has already taken them to the playoffs.
MikeYeung is the weak link of the team. He’s been playing aggressively and confidently of late, which has handed TSM some victories. However, if for some reason the jungler goes back to his previous state of mind, TSM’s chances of failure increase.
It is difficult to point out Clutch Gaming’s weak spots. Rivals, analysts and even the fans underestimated them and yet they made it to the playoffs.
Their tendency to play too safe may have cost them some points, but it is not necessarily a weak point.
If Clutch Gaming manages to draft a good composition and find the opportunities, they will give TSM a run for their money.
TSM vs Clutch Gaming: Playoff prediction
TSM have been made the favourites. This is the most likely scenario. However, people seem to be forgetting about Clutch Gaming’s record.
A best of five is a completely different situation and there is every chance that Clutch Gaming will adapt better.
Will TSM win? Probably. Will it be easy? Not at all. Clutch may be the underdog, but they won’t go down without a fight.