Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid | 2021 LCS Mid-Season Showdown Predictions

The 2021 LCS Mid-Season Showdown is here and, needless to say, it’s packed with a slew of exciting Best of 5s!

To start things off, we have an age-old match-up that is still as enticing as ever: Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid! A spectacular opener in every way, shape, and form!

As always, we have a lot to talk about and, as far as predictions go, this isn’t as easy a match to predict as it might seem at first glance. To better explain why that’s the case, we need to do a bit of in-depth analysis. We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s cut straight to the chase!

Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid | Mid-Season Showdown Predictions

We’ve been watching these two titans grow and evolve over the last two months, and it’s still hard to assess just how strong and potent they really are. Team Liquid, of course, are heavily favored but they’re not a whole lot more consistent than the boys in black and white.

In fact, both of these teams have had quite noticeable ups and downs.

In the case of TSM, that was somewhat expected — they had no pre-existing synergy whatsoever coming into 2021. So, naturally, swings in performance are par for the course. Team Liquid, on the other hand, looked nigh unstoppable throughout the first-ever LCS Lock-In and were universally deemed as the frontrunners to win the whole split. Why they suddenly started dropping games — seemingly out of the blue — was definitely one of the more perplexing developments of the most recent Spring Split.

In fact, let’s put it this way (without any sugar-coating):
Their dips in performance made no sense whatsoever. A team with such a staggering amount of experience and mechanical talent shouldn’t have struggled so much. But at least their losses came as a result of internal struggles — that makes a world of difference. Losing to someone who’s better than you is one thing; losing to someone because you yourself failed to execute is a much better scenario. That way, you know what you need to work on and your confidence didn’t take as big of a hit.

But you could argue that Liquid eventually found a way to circumvent their biggest issues and are currently as good as they’ve ever been. There is one problem, however, and it’s quite a big one, too: Edward “Tactical” Ra.

Trouble in Paradise

Back in 2020, Tactical looked downright incredible, and his performance was even more impressive given the fact that he was basically a rookie. And sure, he couldn’t have done it without one of the best supports in the world by his side, but he definitely delivered when it mattered most, so credit where credit is due.

But fast-forward just a year later and he’s a pale shadow of his former self. Heck, we’re putting it mildly here.

And sure, not all of his statistics are grim, but you have to remember that he’s playing on a Top 3 team — that alone is bound to inflate his numbers.

Tactical ranks first in Death Share amongst all AD carries with a whopping 25.5%.

Contrast that to, say, Victor “FBI” Huang who has just 15.6% or Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen with 17.8% and you start to get the bigger picture. And it’s not just about dying — it’s when he dies that’s the biggest problem. In today’s meta, marksmen have a lot of agency, and a good team fight (singular) in the late game can often be the difference between victory and defeat.

Please Note:
Now, you knew as much if you’re even remotely acquainted with competitive League of Legends, but the point still stands — the margin for error is basically non-existent. Tactical, on the other hand, is consistently getting caught out of position at the most random moments and his overall effectiveness and impact also took a hit. He’s supposedly feeling burned out, and even though that’s a perfectly acceptable excuse, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s the weakest link on TL right now and that might, potentially, cost them dearly.

Fortunately for Tactical, he’s surrounded by some of the most talented Western players of all time (along with the venerable Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in). That alone should be more than enough to offset his individual performance for the time being.

A Most Potent Challenger

Team SoloMid aren’t getting enough credit, it feels like. Are they as good as Team Liquid? We’d be inclined to say no, even though the boys in black and white hold a positive head-to-head record for the time being. But just because they might not have as high a skill ceiling doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of our respect and admiration.

In many ways, they started the season off in a much more unfavorable position when compared to Team Liquid and yet they’ve finished the split off in second place — above the four-time LCS champions. That’s nothing to scoff at, especially given just how much TSM struggled at the very start of the split. The progress they’ve made is nothing short of remarkable and they deserve a ton of praise and commendation.

Still, their lack of synergy and experience as a five-man unit is undoubtedly their biggest weakness coming into the 2021 LCS Mid-Season Showdown. And if there’s a team that has the potential to exploit the boys in black and white and capitalize on their mistakes, it has to be Team Liquid.

A Question of Fortitude

Finally, one thing needs to be said: this TSM line-up is not one that’ll easily crumble under pressure. We saw that in their game against Cloud9 a couple of weeks back as well. Mingyi “Spica” Lu already had three deaths on the board just a couple of minutes into the game.

He had his whole jungle taken away and yet that didn’t phase him all that much. Even worse, Cloud9 took eleven out of fourteen turret plates by the fourteen minute mark and were en route to one of the cleanest and most dominant wins of the split.

But TSM fought back, and they found a way to turn the tides, despite having very meager means to work with.

The fact that they managed to pull off such a reversal is still nigh inexplicable.

So even if they don’t start things off on the right foot, they should never be counted out until their Nexus actually explodes.

In other words: Team SoloMid will fight for every inch of the Summoner’s Rift, and even though they’re fairly inexperienced as a five-man unit and have a bunch of inherent flaws (most of which can easily be exploited given the right preparation), they’re still a force to be reckoned with and will surely give it their all against Team Liquid.

Regardless of the final outcome, fireworks are all but guaranteed so make sure to tune in!

Match Winner
Team Liquid
Elias Andrews / Author

Elias identifies as more of an esports geek rather than a sports geek. While he enjoys playing tennis and enjoying the outdoors once in a while, he’s most comfortable in the darkness of his self-proclaimed “man cave.” When Elias isn’t partaking in anything himself, he enjoys writing about the nuances of the esports betting world, including covering controversial takes, where esports might be headed, and why bettors should get in on the industry while it’s growing.