It will be close when TSM meets 100 Thieves in the opening match of the LCK Lock In tournament. Both teams have been making big changes in the recent offseason, but in very different ways.
TSM is entering the season without Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg in the mid lane and without Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng down bot. The two legends have retired, which forced TSM to make some drastic changes. Bjergsen remains on the team, but now as the head coach. To compensate for the two LCS veterans leaving, TSM has picked up former FlyQuest mid laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage and promoted Lawrence “Lost” Hui as the starting bot laner. If that wasn’t enough, TSM has also added recent Worlds finalist support Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh and the always joyful Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon for the top lane.
The changes for TSM have been so drastic that only jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu remains from the 2020 roster. With four new players, no one knows how TSM will perform and what the team’s new identity will look like. One thing is for sure though, the roster has a lot of potential and some very talented players.
100 Thieves has taken another approach to the offseason by signing four players from the 2020 Golden Guardians roster. The four players managed to exceed expectations last year at Golden Guardians, reaching both the spring and summer playoffs. 100 Thieves clearly realized that the potential in those players is big and will be pairing them up with veteran top laner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho.
Ssumday has been the front figure for 100 Thieves since the very start of the organization and remains as one of the best individual top laners in the LCS. Paired with four other talented players, Ssumday could potentially get back to his peak level and crush all competition in the league.
Looking at the matchup, both teams could come out victorious. A lot will depend on how well TSM is able to play together after just a few weeks of practice. Fans have already seen how the players from 100 Thieves can play together, with the exception of Ssumday, who has never played with the four Golden Guardians players. It’s likely that 100 Thieves will be able to take home a victory purely based on synergy, but if the TSM squad plays up to their potential, then it will be hard for 100 Thieves to keep up individually.
While the majority of 100 Thieves has already played together in 2020, the new TSM lineup is expected to win the game according to the bookmakers. Both teams will be entering Summoner’s Rift with a lot to prove and fans can only speculate how much synergy each squad has managed to build up over the past weeks. Looking at the matchup on an individual level, TSM should be considered the favorites to take home a victory.