The second-seeded TSM will clash with the sixth-seeded Evil Geniuses on Saturday, March 27 in the first lower bracket match of the Mid-Season Showdown. It will mark their third meeting of the 2021 season and their first in two weeks.
TSM vs Evil Geniuses
Saturday, March 27 – 13:00 PST
These sides first met way back in February when TSM bested Evil Geniuses, however, they struggled to recreate that success just over two weeks ago, when EG secured a revenge win. Being 1-1 in head-to-head this season, it would make sense to expect a close affair, but there is a good reason why TSM are priced as favorites.
TSM looked much improved
TSM struggled a little during the LCS Lock-In and early into the LCS Spring, but once this team got their wheels spinning, there was no stopping them. After dropping their opening two games of the split against FlyQuest and Cloud9, TSM went on a streak of 12 wins and only four defeats, with their losses coming against only Dignitas (twice), Cloud9, and Evil Geniuses.
And it’s not like TSM made any significant changes to perform as well as they did. They simply clicked and all of their players came online, which I have been talking about how it will happen sooner or later in our previous LCS betting previews. That’s not to say TSM were a perfect team – they stole a couple of games – but they deservingly ended the season as one of the top three teams besides C9 and Team Liquid.
TSM know how to prepare themselves
TSM enter this match off a very impressive series against Team Liquid, which they ended up losing 1-3, but it was not like TSM got completely outclassed. It was very obvious TSM did their homework and prepared themselves for Liquid that day, however, it wasn’t enough for a win.
Despite losing, TSM seemed like they had a good idea of how to approach that bout and even managed to get advantages for themselves from the draft. That was in some ways TSM showing improvement, since their drafting early into the season wasn’t particularly good, which should give you hope TSM have done their homework and know how to attack EG.
That could be a problem for Evil Geniuses, who don’t seem like they’re a very versatile team. They tend to pick the same champions, again and again, namely Gnar, Kai’Sa and Hecarim, and they rarely deviate from that, making them a very one-dimensional team that should – in theory – be easy to prepare for.
Evil Geniuses are just not special
Evil Geniuses are a team that just won’t impress you with their performances. Although they field very talented players, they are so one-dimensional that you just don’t know how you would describe them further than giving them that adjective.
While I don’t mind players picking their comfort picks often, looking at Evil Geniuses’ match history, they are doing the same thing with the same compositions again and again. And it’s not only their approach to the game that concerns me, but also their volatile playstyle.
Evil Geniuses have established themselves as a team that can win against anyone, just as easily as they can lose to any team in the league. They ended the season going 2-0 against Counter Logic Gaming, FlyQuest and Golden Guardians, lost 0-2 against Immortals and Dignitas, but they’ve split their matches with all other teams – which includes bouts with C9, TSM, Team Liquid and 100T.
Will we see another version of EG?
EG strike me as a mid-bottom table team due to their tendency to drop games against the weakest teams in the league while stealing a couple of W from the top dogs. Although you can’t really criticize a team that has managed to defeat the likes of Liquid and C9, most of those game seemed more like a robbery rather than anything else.
One thing EG have going for them is the individual talent of their players, which sits them right at the top of the LCS food chain, however, due to their one-dimensional playstyle, we won’t really see all that potential come online. Some fundamental changes will be required and EG will need to find a way to become more versatile before we can start talking about a possible LCS title run. As of now, however, they just don’t come off as a squad that is capable of that change.
EG’s individual talent
Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon is a good player and I would even go so far as to say he is one of the top-three top laners in the league, but despite his performances this season, I have to rank Jeong “Impact” Eon-young slightly higher – let’s say they’re the third and second-best top laners in the league. The same holds true for the jungle match-up, where I would rank Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen higher than Mingyi “Spica” Lu, even though Svenskeren is clearly not playing as well as in 2019 and the fact that Spica can step it up in the playoffs.
The mid lane is a similar story if we look at numbers from the whole season. Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro has been performing better than Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage. However, he is also far more volatile as a player and we have to take into account that PowerOfEvil has looked better of late.
The bottom lane, should be in favor of TSM. Even though Lawrence “Lost” Sze Yuy Hui hasn’t been playing as well as Matthew “Deftly” Chen, it’s the support gap that I believe will be the difference-maker here.
TSM vs Evil Geniuses Prediction
This match is extremely difficult to predict. If we would consider only numbers from the regular season, TSM comes off as a far more consistent team that wins harder and makes it very difficult for their opponents to cause much damage in their losses. But we have to take into account that EG had two full weeks to prepare themselves for this match and they also have a full best-of-five (Bo5) film to analyze, which is not something to take lightly.
That said, they don’t seem like they have any massive advantages across the map. While I’ve noted their players have looked better this season, the recent showing suggests EG shouldn’t have a massive advantage outside of the support role.
Solely because EG had two weeks to put together a plan for this match, I believe the series will be much closer than expected. Regardless, I don’t believe EG are versatile enough to defeat TSM, who are worth a bet at 1.50 or over.
Prediction: TSM to win – 1.53 at Bet365
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