Even though TSM recently won its first LCS trophy in three years and qualified for Worlds 2020, there was still a lot left to be desired for the North American squad after going 0-6 in the Worlds group stage.
The problems were many for TSM, but an overall lack of confidence and aggression led to the many losses. Even though TSM made some good plays and came close to winning a few games, it was never enough to take down a nexus. Fans and experts have discussed why it went this badly for the LCS first seed and many are looking towards the bot lane.
Even though the failure at Worlds was a team effort, it could be the bot lane that will see changes in the upcoming offseason.
The TSM bot lane of Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang has gone through many ups and downs over the years. Winning three domestic titles together makes them one of the most experienced bot lanes in the regoinal field with a lot of built-in synergy. But synergy and experience might not be enough for the TSM bot lane anymore.
TSM’s ultimate goal has always been to win domestically and then make a deep run at Worlds, but the latter goal has never been achieved. TSM and its bot lane has always been able to navigate through the competition in the LCS, while failing to convert on the Worlds stage. Playing against the best players in the world while under a lot of pressure has made TSM its own worst enemy internationally. The 0-6 performance at Worlds 2020 was another example of that.
Obviously not the result we wanted. I’m sorry for the poor performance. Im still grateful for the opportunity to play at worlds. The players here are incredible. Thank you to the fans who stuck with us and cheered us on throughout this turbulent year.
— Vincent (@Biofrostlol) October 10, 2020
Doublelift has been known for struggling on the international stage, to a point where memes of him “saving Flash for next year” has been created. Even though Doublelift made it to the Mid-Season Invitational 2019 finals with Team Liquid, that experience wasn’t enough to help him withstand the pressure at this year’s Worlds, where he seemed to lack confidence.
The experienced bot laner died 21 times in total over his six games played at Worlds while only managing to get 11 kills. Even though the KDA doesn’t tell the whole story, Doublelift was in fact sitting at the bottom of most stats among the bot laners at the tournament.
The same story goes for Biofrost, who had the third-lowest KDA among all support at Worlds, with a total of 18 deaths to only 26 assists. The stats clearly show that the TSM bot lane was not able to perform at the level that was required from them.
The TSM duo still has some strengths to them, due in large part to their enormous experience and synergy gained after playing together for multiple years. It’s not impossible that they could return to Summoner’s Rift stronger than ever, but the question will always be if they have already reached their peak.
Moving into the next season, Doublelift and Biofrost are both in the danger zone of getting replaced. Biofrost has been sharing time with rookie support Erik “Treatz” Wessén, but it is still unknown if the Swedish support player will remain at TSM. If not, TSM might look to find a new support elsewhere, and may also seek out someone to replace the legendary Doublelift.
Even though nothing is confirmed yet, rumors around the TSM bot lane have already started to flourish on social media. In the podcast “The Crackdown”, former professional jungler Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera brought up the topic and said that the TSM bot lane might be gone soon.
IWillDominate didn’t disclose where he heard these rumors and acknowledged that the rumors could be false. With that said, it does seem like something is going on behind the scenes, and news about TSM might be coming soon.
Both Doublelift and Biofrost are still on contract for at least one more year, but that doesn’t save them from potential roster swaps.
The official League of Legends free agency period begins on November 16 and will undoubtedly bring a lot of news to the table.