The Mid-Season Showdown returns this week with the lower bracket. TSM will have to replicate their run from the summer if they are to make MSI.

The LCS Mid-Season Showdown has been a positive spin on the original play-off format for North America. With Cloud9 and Team Liquid facing off in the winner's finals, fans must shift their attention to the losers bracket. Here are two interesting stories going into this weekend's matches.

TSM vs EG: TSM are in their comfort zone

<em>Image courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">TSM via Twitter</a></em>
Image courtesy of TSM via Twitter

TSM finds itself in familiar territory with the Summer Split champions instantly dropping down into the losers bracket for the second split running. TSM were not able to take down Team Liquid in the LCS Mid-Season Showdown, thus setting a date with Evil Geniuses. This is an extremely interesting best-of-five with there being major win conditions on both sides.

In their series vs TL, TSM showed signs of improvement after an impressive early game display. Despite appearing to throw the game later on, TSM was able to keep up with the best early game team in the league. Punch after punch TSM answered back with a heavier swing. If Evil Geniuses does not handle the early game well then this will be a clean victory for TSM.

<em>Bjergsen has his eyes on retaining his championship. Image courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">TSM via Twitter</a> </em>
Bjergsen has his eyes on retaining his championship. Image courtesy of TSM via Twitter

Fortunately for TSM, both Spica and Bjergsen have the knowledge and experience of making a run in the losers bracket. In the 2020 summer split, TSM was able to successfully run the gauntlet and take the LCS Championship. This experience will be vital in high-pressure situations given there are no more second chances.

TSM has been great this season when they are able to draft to their strengths and pick scaling team comps. TSM still has problems in the draft however, which is a key area for improvement going into summer. That being said, Bjergsen and his staff have instilled an identity, one that has been lacking for many years. Even when they have looked strong over the last couple of years, TSM has always lacked a style that is comfortable for their players. A strategy to fall back on per se but this TSM, however, has shown under the right draft they are a scary outlet.

100 Thieves vs Dignitas: Which 100T will show up?

100 Thieves were on the cusp of something special proceeding the LCS Lock-In tournament. There was an identity, a way of playing that made teams react to them. Damonte was the spearhead for many of their early wins, putting in strong performances on roaming champions such as Twisted Fate and Galio. This all came crashing down halfway through the regular season when Damonte was switched out for Ryoma.

<em>Image courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">LoL Esports Flickr </a></em>
Image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr

100T has looked stale, out of ideas and trending downwards as they go into their losers bracket series against Dignitas. 100 Thieves has resorted to playing a standard control mage style with a team that is not suited to it. 100 Thieves had favorable drafts against a Cloud9 side that was in cruise control as they were looking to get in and get out without revealing too much. While it is unlikely Damonte will return to the line-up, it does pose the question of what are 100 Thieves plans going into the summer split?

100 Thieves is not considered the favorite in their current form against Dignitas. Dignitas has proven to be a strong team in the mid-game where they are able to showcase their team fighting prowess. If 100 Thieves are to have any chance of making a run in the losers bracket, they will have to figure out how to utilize Ryoma and start taking over the map again, and fast.