A list of predictions for week two of the 2021 LCS Lock-In tournament simply wouldn’t be complete without the most anticipated clash of them all: Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid! This is about as exciting as it gets, and that’s mostly because of the many overarching narratives surrounding both teams (and a bit of mutual history between them).
But, frankly speaking, most people will probably tune in solely to see Team Liquid compete — they don’t care much for whom they’re up against. Watching the four-time LCS champions is quite a privilege (especially when they’re playing this well), whereas TSM, talented though they are, don’t have much to offer at this point in time.
Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid Predictions
Coming into 2021, one could easily discern between two types of competitive League fans: those of devout nature who believed in Team SoloMid’s chances, and those who laughed at the sheer thought of them actually leaving a mark. It felt like there was really no in between, for one reason or another. Then again, such a thing was expected — this age-old perennial giant always invoked polarizing opinions, and its current line-up is about as divisive as it gets.
Of course, their mistakes are still somewhat excusable — this is a brand-new line-up, after all, with no prior synergy. But they should’ve still played better on an individual level. Evil Geniuses, for instance, don’t have a lot of synergy either and yet they stomped and annihilated their opposition with staggering ease precisely because they’re talented players with ample mechanical prowess.
TSM has that in spades but — in true TSM fashion — something is standing the way. And sure, this was just the start of the season, a meager sample size, but an important one nonetheless. We’re no longer talking about TSM hoisting the LCS trophy. That, by all accounts, seems like quite a remote possibility. Instead, we’re trying to figure out where they stand amongst other LCS teams. Are they a playoff contender? Almost certainly, but they’ll face an uphill battle going forward with certain other teams performing far better than anyone expected. Frankly speaking, if TSM struggled so much and nearly lost to the Golden Guardians — the team everyone had ranked tenth — then it’s hard to feel any semblance of hype for the defending LCS champions, no matter how much talent they might have within their ranks.
A Return to Form
Team SoloMid are far from a bottom-tier dweller, despite their lackluster play. Right now, if we were a bit generous, we’d call them a struggling mid-tier contender with a relatively high skill ceiling. That’s a mouthful, but at least it’s an apt description.
They’re far from perfect, but boy did they deliver last week, even in their loss to 100 Thieves. Their play is screaming “potential” which, to be fair, was expected. It’d be strange if it were otherwise. And, the fact that their best days are yet to come makes this whole thing all the more exciting.
Betting on Team Liquid right now is the only logical choice, although things might end up being a bit more competitive than people expect — TSM won’t go down without a fight, after all.