In watching TSM’s NA LCS performances, you’d think they’d still be alive in the 2017 World Championship today. You might even predict a fairly deep finish, likely Semifinals at the least.
After all, the squad had surpassed all expectations and proved themselves a consistent cut above their regional competition.
That is until it mattered most.
A wild ride
TSM's 2017, at least domestically speaking, was absolutely phenomenal end to end.
While it's what we've come to expect of North America's most standout organization, bringing home two NA LCS Split banners in 2017 is all that TSM fans could've asked for from their team.
But they got little more than that.
Spring and Summer Split 2017
TSM's Spring Split was even stronger than it's Summer Split finish, taking down the regular season at 15-3 over Cloud9's 14-4, and claiming victory in the Spring Split Playoffs as well. In it's Summer Split, TSM tied for first with Immortals at 14-4, then beat them in the Summer Split Playoffs to retain their throne.
It foretold a promising appearance at this years World Championship the story of TSM's life.
The team featured arguably the best top laner in North America in Hauntzer, best mid laner in North America in Bjergsen, best AD carry in North America in Doublelift, and best support in America in Biofrost. And while Svenskeren isn't many's first choice at jungler from North America's deep talent pool, he's also a top level threat on his best days.
Put that together, (add some sugar, spice, and everything nice,) and we should have a recipe for success, even on the ultra-competitive international stage.
The international side
TSM entered the MSI and Rift Rivals looking very dangerous, and while they showed up against EU at Rift Rivals enough to sweep Unicorns of Love in the final, they fell short in the Group Stage when it came to The MSI, international competition beyond just EU.
For the standards their domestic performance had set, this was absolutely unacceptable, and improvement would be needed if the team wanted to reach their goals in the 2017 World Championship.
In an Ardent Censor meta, with one of the most historically dangerous AD carries in the game, and beside all the other weapons this TSM squad had, a strong Worlds simply had to be in the cards.
But this is still North America at the World Championship we're talking about.
Group Stage blues
Even with MSI's Group Stage proving too much for TSM earlier in the year, few could've predicted the same fate striking once again at the World Championship.
In their World Championship group draw, TSM had lucked out in dodging an LCK representative. TSM stared down Team WE, the LPL representative it had met plenty before, Misfits, the underdog from the region TSM had slain at Rift Rivals, and Flash Wolves, another regular opponent for TSM representing the LMS.
If history was to judge, TSM had a favorable chance at escaping this more consistently average group.
But when push came to shove, TSM merely split its games 1-1 with all three teams. In a tiebreaker battle against Misfits, the European squad claimed Rift Rivals revenge and struck down North America's champion.
Afterward, a tweet from TSM coach Parth may have also foreshadowed his stepping down as a result.
They had fallen short again.
While TSM had a fantastic domestic 2017, their international one was a disappointment all the same.
If no roster changes come to this talented squad, including Parth's potential departure, it wouldn't be a huge surprise.
It seems that for 2018, TSM still have all the pieces a successful North American organization could hope for. It's just a matter of putting the puzzle together under international pressure.
In other words, a story TSM fans are all too tired of hearing time and time again.
What do you think of TSM's 2017? What do you expect for their 2018? Let us know in the comments below!
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