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