CLG versus TSM is not the rivalry it used to be. The teams that were once considered the top organizations in North America are now on a redemption journey, trying to establish themselves as contender in the LCS.
Spring was a catastrophe for CLG, the team that finished tenth and had to make quick roster changes halfway through the split. In the summer, CLG is looking better. The team has picked up key victories and is keeping its head above water for the time being.
TSM has missed the World Championship two years in a row, but the third time may be the charm. This season, TSM is determined to return to the international stage. Before dreaming of making it to Worlds, TSM must address the elephant in the room, its ongoing jungler issue.
Week six exposed the weaker side of TSM, as the team looked scattered and disconnected. The main issue came from the jungle. Mingyi "Spica" Lu went from being a jungler with a strong presence on the map to a farming bot. Spica was hardly there, and TSM played like it didn’t even have a jungler on the map. TSM has benched players for less, but the problem is that TSM doesn’t have a replacement on hand.
Things are far from perfect on CLG’s side. While the team doesn’t have the same issue in the jungle, CLG is struggling in different areas. CLG plays too passively at times, and at other times seems to take pointless risks just for the sake of trying to make a play.
The key matchup is between TSM's Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik and CLG's Kim "Ruin" Hyeong-min. Broken Blade has proved that he can carry TSM, as the team pays extra attention to him and won’t hesitate to funnel resources into the top lane. Regardless of the team’s condition, Broken Blade is one of the most consistent gears in the TSM machinery.
Ruin is showing improvement after his poor spring performance, but it won’t be enough when he goes against Broken Blade. Ruin plays safe, absorbs pressure and can make one or two plays of his own. Outside of the laning phase, Ruin doesn’t make much of a difference for CLG. Ruin falls short against Broken Blade in almost every regard.
The win condition is clear for TSM: Get Broken Blade on a carry and funnel as many resources to him as possible. He’s guaranteed to win the laning phase while the rest of his team will at least go even. Of course, for this win condition to come through, Spica needs to be on his game.