Still working through my thoughts on CLG vs TSM. Right now, I'm leaning CLG's way, but there are compelling arguments for both teams.
— Tim Sevenhuysen (@Mag1cLoL) April 13, 2016
I’m not putting out a full preview or “win conditions” piece for the LCS Finals, but it’s still a fun and useful exercise to set some expectations. Here’s what I’m thinking (without having done a ton of in-depth analysis or exploration).
CLG will win because…
- Zikz is a fantastic coach. I have complete faith that he will prep a solid game plan against TSM, and that he has a much better grasp on the meta and on his opponent than the Immortals did last week.
- Darshan is looking right at home in the current Top lane meta, and that was one of the potential concerns for CLG coming into the playoffs. He’s showed a great Ekko and Poppy.
- Xmithie has a champion pool advantage over Svenskeren. Sven has looked great on carry Junglers but not as good on gank-focused champions; Xmithie has showed success on both.
- One of CLG’s weaknesses has been their laning phase, but they were able to survive Team Liquid’s very strong laning and decent early playmaking by using their Teleports effectively and softening the blows of TL’s Tower dives. TSM have great laners, but they aren’t as proactive as Team Liquid, so if CLG can keep coordinating well in their map movements, they might have an even smoother path into the mid game than they had against TL.
TSM will win because…
- Bjergsen is looking great, and should be able to play a cleaner series than Fenix did, which will make the skill gap in Mid lane more meaningful.
- They’re riding a giant wave of momentum from beating the Immortals.
- There were far fewer individual map play mistakes from TSM last series, which is just one of the signs pointing to their improved communication. That’s pretty huge, because poor communication really seemed to be holding TSM back in the regular season.
- CLG’s deliberate, relatively controlled style might give TSM the breathing room they need to farm up and plan ahead for team fights. TSM historically haven’t been as comfortable when a faster, more skirmishy pace is forced onto them.
This isn’t my final answer (yet), but I think the arguments for CLG are stronger than those for TSM.