TSM has been taking a lot of criticism for picking up WildTurtle for the 2017 Spring Split roster, but that pick might be exactly what TSM needs.
How could picking up WildTurtle, an ADC that is a downgrade from their previous ADC, DoubleLift, be good for the team? To answer that, you need to look at TSM’s weaknesses as a team without DoubleLift.
DoubleLift’s greatest strength is that he’s decisive. He’s obsessed with winning and the game revolves around him. In any other circumstance other than League of Legends, this would be a bad thing, but in this game, it just works. He forced plays to happen and revolve around him, and the team had to adjust to taking care of him and helping out with those plays. Hauntzer discussed this characteristic of DoubleLift in a post-game interview after week 1. On top of his quick decision-making, he’s also pretty damn good mechanically.
WildTurtle is an excellent mechanical player, just like DoubleLift. He makes crazy flash-plays to secure kills no one else would even think of and he outplays most of the lane match-ups he finds himself in, but he’s missing that one key factor that makes DoubleLift so good: Decisiveness.
In fact, that’s what TSM lacks as a whole. So when DoubleLift left, the team’s former aggressive decision-making went with him. They picked up WildTurtle and are left with one of two options:
Either they can figure out, as a team, how to be aggressive and decisive to secure their place on the top, or they can regress back into their passive play-style and not get anywhere in the post-season.
Picking up WildTurtle forced them into this position, and if TSM wants to hit the next level, they’ll need to use this as a catalyst to improve as a team. Even if DoubleLift returns to TSM for the Summer Split, which we know he plans on, TSM will mesh together with his playstyle much better if they can reach this new height.
And it looks like TSM is trying to do just that. In the first few weeks of the LCS, we saw TSM begin to struggle, recognize this weakness, and immediately begin to improve. It also appears that their top laner, Hauntzer, is leading the charge. Hauntzer has been a deciding factor in a few of TSM’s latest wins, and perhaps the most aggressive player on the team at this point.
If they keep going down this road of improvement, TSM is going to be a shoo-in for a spot in the Finals, and they might even make something happen at Worlds.
Photo via Riot Games