TSM earned their spot in the 2022 League of Legends Championship Roster by making risky roster moves when the team needed it the most. Then, in their first series against FlyQuest in that very playoffs, TSM made another. Just like in the regular season, TSM made a bot lane change with their season on the line and although it didn’t look like it initially, the change extended their season. After entering playoffs with just a 6-12 record, TSM upset FLY to move on in the 2022 LCS playoffs.
— TSM FTX Tactical (@Tactical) August 26, 2022
However, the roster change came at a very weird time. Game 1 showcased that the original roster moves were the correct ones as they outclassed FLY. Every member of TSM stepped up big time; however, their bot lane went even harder — Tony “Instinct” Ng went 6/1/8 on Zeri to give TSM a 1-0 lead in the best of five series.
Game 2 was all FlyQuest — they needed to prove Game 1 was just a fluke, and they did; their bot lane flipped the script on TSM as they easily won the game in just 26 minutes. With the bot lanes flipping carry performances, TSM decided to throw everyone for a loop before Game 3. With the series tied at 1-1, TSM made the decision to sub in Edward “Tactical” Ra; a risky move, since he hasn’t played in a LCS match since the beginning of July.
The bot lane switch enabled TSM to pick a high-kill laning duo of Draven and Pyke in hopes to win the series through the bot lane. But Game 3 couldn’t have gone worse. After having one of their best games of the entire split in Game 1, TSM decided to have one of their worst in Game 3. The plan was a disaster with Tactical going 1/7/4 on Draven as FLY picked up another 26-minute win. With FLY playing like the team many thought they were, FLY pushed TSM to match point.
TSM decided to stick with Tactical in the bot lane going into what could be their last game of the season. However, when it looked like TSM were mentally shot, the team came into Game 4 leaving it all on the rift. The team showed incredible composure even when down early to make the right moves at the right time. Through clutch picks and teamfights, TSM were able to not only push FLY back, but push them around. TSM’s hyper-aggressive shot-calling paid off; the team controlled the map throughout the mid-game. After one final teamfight in the mid lane, TSM cleaned FLY off the map and forced a Game 5.
But finally, in Game 5, TSM’s roster risk paid off. In a game where every lane was even, it was the bot lane difference that ultimately decided the game. Tactical had an immaculate game on Xayah, going 11/o/6; meanwhile, FLY’s bot laner Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen failed to carry critical fights on Jinx. TSM pull off the upset to extend their unlikely season. FLY has been eliminated from playoffs and Worlds 2022 contention.
About the Author
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.