By normal standards, TSM had an okay 2018. By TSM standards, it was dreadful. This year was by far the worst in the franchises history and they’re going to need to make some changes if they want to do better in 2019.
Fix The Jungle
First up, they need to fix the jungle. Grig may or may not be an LCS caliber jungler. He had some great performances and is incredible when it comes to smite steals, but his overall play was lackluster. He was a rookie on a team of veterans and it showed. Either he needs to get demonstratively better in the offseason or TSM need to look to find themselves a new jungler.
Play Through Mid and Bot Lane
The synergy between Zven and Mithy and Bjergsen was lacking all year. The mid and bot laners never seemed to be able to come together and dominate all at the same time. As three of the most talented players in North America, the bottom half of the map should have been dominated by TSM the majority of the time. Instead, it usually came down to either Zven and Mithy carrying or Bjergsen carrying. They need to all be able to play their best at the same time for TSM to compete next year.
Think More Towards Synergy and Less Towards Skill
From a purely skill standpoint, TSM were arguably the best team in the NA LCS this year. But the team never felt synergized in the way that so many of their counterparts did. One possible explanation for this is that coaching and management were so wrapped up in getting the best players available that they neglected to consider how well those players would work together. Maybe Bjergsen can coexist with Zven and Mithy, maybe they just don’t play the same type of game. That’s something coaching and management need to figure out.
Get New Coaching
The first place to look when a team just doesn’t play up to their potential is the coaching staff. Maybe the blame shouldn’t be placed squarely on Ssong and the other coaches, but sometimes you need to switch up the coaching staff regardless, if for no other reason than because something needs to change.
Get Used to Franchising
One of the reasons for TSM’s past NA dominance was the quality of the other teams. Now with franchising and all the changes that came with it, NA teams are generally better, smarter and more well-equipped than they used to be. TSM and its fans are simply going to have to adjust to the fact that being at the top won’t be as easy as it used to be.