TSM breathe life into LAN hopes after 4th place finish
TSM have kept their hopes of LAN qualification alive with a much improved showing in the fifth day of the ALGS Pro League.
TSM found much needed points in their race to close the gap on LAN qualification. They shook off a really poor start to their ALGS Pro League campaign, finishing 4th today.
They have now moved up to 14th overall, but still have a lot of work to do if they want to break into the top ten overall.
The ALGS Pro League now enters a one week break, returning April 9.
TSM keep their LAN hopes alive
There was immense pressure on TSM ahead of the gameday. The ALGS Playoff split 1 Champions had made a horrendous start to their ALGS Pro League season. They sat in 18th, miles off the playoff cut off in 10th.
People always expect the best from TSM, and there has been a lot of surprise at their struggles in the ALGS Pro League. It would be unthinkable for there to be an ALGS LAN event without TSM competing.
TSM performed significantly better today, but still have lots of work to do. They finished fourth overall, missing out on a top three finish by just a single point. In their position, losing out on the two overall points could come to hurt TSM at the end of the split.
They have lifted themselves up to 14th with their finish today. A poor result today could have all but ended their chances of making the top 10. They avoided disaster, but still need strong results across their remaining two game days before regional finals.
You wouldn't bet against TSM qualifying for LAN via Regional Finals either, they are match point experts afterall. However, how many teams would choose to target TSM in that format if their LAN qualification spot was already secured?
No Controller legend in use
One of the most interesting things about TSM has been their use of Horizon. Considered a 'dead legend' by most of the community, her pick rate has fallen off a cliff in the second split of the ALGS Pro League.
Instead, the meta has shifted towards legends like Catalyst. TSM are one of the few teams not to use any legend that can scan the new 'Ring Console'. Instead, they have been identifying the zone by scanning the Survey Beacons. These reveal the positions of every team on the map. Spot where everyone is positioned, and work out where the zone is going.
This is perhaps one of the most questionable parts of TSM's strategy. Horizon has utility, but does she offer more than Catalyst does? Especially on Worlds Edge, TSM land Lava Siphon. This drop spot has one of the best Ring Console spawns, and has a fantastic central position.
If TSM wanted, they could be one of the first teams to almost any zone. Horizon does offer strong positional utility, and crucially ImperialHal knows how to execute her perfectly.
Should TSM be sat in first place overall, everyone would likely be praising TSM for not complying with the meta and choosing to innovate. Therefore, it would be unfair to be too critical of the pick when TSM delivered 4th place today, a strong result that would not be an eyebrow raiser had TSM not struggled the previous two weeks.
Vintage TSM in Game One
What is clear is how comfortable TSM can be on this legend set up. Game One was absolute vintage TSM, as they rotated their way into Dome from Launch Site. They gatekept their edge, then sweeped around towards the vault side, clearing up several teams in the process.
A classic TSM Valk Ult saw them position strongly outside the shell, and they chose to clear out the western side of Dome. They did struggle slightly to fight through, but had a huge helping hand from FaZe Phony who third partied their fight single handedly.
Seeing TSM clear out the edge of zone, Valk Ult into a strong spot and then clean up the final fight came as a relief to TSM fans. It is clear that they still have it, they are still one of the best, if not the best, team in the world.
But for whatever reason, this level of performance has not been consistent. Having made a perfect start, TSM then failed to capitalise on a 'home zone' in Lava Siphon in game two.
Pressure not going away for TSM
TSM head into a three week break in need of some assistance from fellow teams. Several teams below and above TSM compete on April 9th, and if results do not go TSM's way their job when they next play on April 16th will be that little bit harder.
Todays result has certainly improved things for TSM. They can now start to look upwards at the top 10 instead of downwards at the top 20 cut off for Regional Finals. However, they will need to consistently place within the top five of their final two regular season game days to even have an outside chance of placing top 10. Anything less, and TSM will be relying on Regional Finals to save their LAN ambitions. Perhaps crucially, TSM do not play on the final round of games before the regional finals.
Which teams are in LAN position as things stand?
With five game days now played, the top ten are starting to emerge in North America. 11 teams will qualify for LAN from the region, with the top ten being joined by the Regional Final winner. If that team is already in the top ten, the place will be passed down.
- XSET* - 60
- FAZE - 57
- MEAT - 54
- COL - 51
- DARKZERO* - 49
- OPTIC * - 47
- FURIA* - 45
- 100T* - 44
- FFA - 44
- NRG* - 42
Teams with an asterix have only played three game days, teams without have played four.
What is notable is now many teams inside the top ten have a 'gameday in hand'. Should the likes of NRG, 100 Thieves and FURIA do well on April 9th, the gap that teams like TSN, LANIMALS and Seninels have to chase could significantly grow.
The ALGS Pro League returns in two weeks on April 9th.
For full ALGS results, check out our ALGS Score hub here.
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