Team SoloMid’s start to their 2016 World Championship campaign has been far from the convincing display many were expecting. After a crushing opening loss to the unpredictable Chinese outfit, Royal Never Give Up, TSM once again failed to impress against suspected group outsiders, Splyce. The American team may well have notched up two group stage wins – but if they can’t address the weaknesses in their game – Team SoloMid will crash and burn in the cut-throat knockout phases.
For all the hyperbole surrounding the Team SoloMid bot lane during the NA LCS summer split, the duo of support, Vincent “Biofrost” Wang and veteran AD carry, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng have looked out of sorts for the majority of TSM’s opening World Championship matches.
Team SoloMid’s demolition at the hands of RNG served as testament to the TSM bot lane’s room for improvement; for all the hysteria surrounding the DoubleFrost duo, they’re not yet the polished item. Even with jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen controlling the map, so frequent were the errors made by the bot lane duo that TSM entered the mid game stages at behind to RNG. All Doublelift and Bioforst had to do was not die…
Mata shit on me
but it won’t happen again 😀 NA supports never test my reactions like that and I’ll show why in the rest of our games
— Yiliang Peng (@TSMDoublelift) 30 September 2016
It’s difficult to blame Biofrost, considering it was his first ever World Championship appearance, but he was given a harsh reality check at the hands of RNG’s former World Champion support, Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong. Playing his infamous Alistar, Mata pulverised Biofrost and TSM into a pulp. The NA LCS rookie of the split was visibly shaken, missing simple skillshots and getting caught on numerous occasions.
Biofrost: “I am rookie of the split in NA LCS!”
Mata: “I am a World Championship MVP.”
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) 30 September 2016
Securing victory over Samsung Galaxy looked to have steadied the ship, though perhaps the most worrying performance was yet to come – narrowly clinching victory over EU’s underdogs, Splyce in TSM’s third game of the tournament. The third seeded team were moments away from sealing victory, before a number of consecutive errors cost them the match.
Whilst Splyce will give TSM the opportunity to win a game from behind, teams like RNG, ROX Tigers, and SK Telecom T1 will eat the North American champions alive if they insist on playing stupid across the map – watching Doublelift get caught on his own time and time again has to be setting off the alarm bells for Team SoloMid fans. Both the fans and the players themselves breathed a heavy sigh of relief as they squeaked their way to a 2-1 record after the opening fixtures.
Biofrost appears to be experiencing what can only be described as rookie nerves, his aggressive plays are poorly timed, whilst his tendency to take poor trades early in the game is really hindering TSM’s play. There’s very few excuses for a player of Doublelift’s calibre however – splitting on Jhin of all champions brought back flashbacks from his selfish Counter Logic Gaming playing days.
Team SoloMid are looking shaky. Now looking increasingly likely to take second place in the group, they will undoubtedly face a tough challenge in their first knock-out tie. If the bot lane duo of Biofrost and Doublelift can’t fix the issues in their gameplay soon, TSM may crash out of the World Championship pre-maturely, burning up before they even reach the semi-finals at Madison Square Gardens.