TL Tactical on practice before match vs TSM: "We put a lot of work into side laning this week."

Source: David Lee for Riot Games


Following Team Liquid's 3-1 victory over TSM in the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Mid-Season Showdown, TL AD carry Edward "Tactical" Ra sat down with Inven Global to discuss TL's approach to the series and how he bounced back after a "Malphite moment" in game 2.


Congrats on the win against TSM. How did things go compared to your expectations?


*Laughs* I don't know what I expected, honestly. I didn't expect the series to be like this, though. It's been a while since I played a best-of-five series, and the games were all coming down to teamwork more than individual skill. That was the main difference between today's series and our scrims and matches, so it was pretty fun.



The first game was much longer and a lot less bloody early on than the rest of the series. Was that simply due to the draft or were both teams just more cautious out of the gate?


A lot of the times in a series the first game will be played way more safely. Both teams start out kind of nervous, but as they play out the series, they will start to feel more comfortable and get in the zone.


I think it was also partially due to the draft because both compositions weren't really focused on running at each other and fighting. We were trying to play off cooldowns and range, so the first game was slower both because of our champions and because of what I mentioned before about the first game in a series.



What specifically about the series was unexpected?


It basically felt like all of the games were decided by objective fights. There were not as many random fights as I thought there was going to be, and the top side of the map definitely felt like the main party spot of the series. There were a lot of battles in the top lane, and it felt like games were won based on how those top-side fights played out.


I just thought there'd be more fighting between us bot laners, but in the end, we just played for the guaranteed advantages and focused on pushing in lane to get priority.


Source: Yicun Liu for Riot Games


How do you think you played individually?


I think I played pretty well, and I think everyone played well together as a team, but I wouldn't say I was outstanding individually. However, I think I did play decently. I didn't get caught as much this time, though I did have another Malphite impression in one of my Tristana games today. *Laughs* That was really bad, I think that game was probably my worst game. Aside from that, I'd say I played just fine.




It was good to see that you weren't afraid to keep playing aggressively after that mistake. How did you reset your mental after that unfortunate Rocket Jump?


Honestly, right after I jumped in and died, I felt really anxious. I felt a sudden hot flow of blood hit my body and I thought, 'F**k, I really messed up badly.' Basically, I just tried to calm my breathing to reset my mental. It worked, and in calming myself down, I was able to focus up again.


We saw an unexpected pick from you in game 4 in the form of Sivir. Was this just for the synergy with Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen's Twisted Fate, which TSM had banned the previous three games of the series?


Basically, we saw TSM blind pick Nautilus, and Sivir looked like a good fit for our composition overall. Sivir just looked good, so that's why I decided to pick it...actually, Core was the one to call it out. He thought it was a good idea, so we followed up on that suggestion.



I felt that the difference in game 4 was primarily due to TL's superior side wave control. Is this a style that you felt was good into TSM specifically, or do you think we will see more of it in the current meta?


Personally, I think we've gotten pretty good at playing our side lanes, so it's just one of the ways we prefer to play. It just so happens that in this matchup against PowerOfEvil, which will essentially be a bunch of control mages, TSM could be in trouble if we picked TF.


I do think we got better at side laning. We put a lot of work into side laning this week. That's the main reason we were able to play Twisted Fate, and the main reason TSM was scared of it.

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