[MSI2017] Eliminated in the Group Stage: What TSM should learn from G2


G2 Esports has made it to second place in the 2017 Mid Season Invitational. G2 had not shown any remarkable results for awhile, so G2’s success this year means a lot. G2 moved on to the semifinals from the group stages and defeated Team WE 3-1. Although they were defeated by SKT T1 3-1, G2 fiercely fought against SKT T1 in the finals.

Zven, the ADC for G2, mentioned during his post-match interview that “doing scrims against SKT, WE, and FW allowed us to learn and catch up.” Zven added that those teams are great with macromanagement and G2 has learned a lot from them through scrims and matches.

G2 has won the championship in Europe 2 years in a row and should be proud of that. However, G2 decided to learn from other champions, rather than stagnating as an isolated champion. G2’s on-going effort of admitting their weaknesses and trying to overcome those led the team to success in the MSI.

TSM was the team that fans expected to do well in last year's League of Legends World Championship. Their game performance in the 2016 NA LCS was close to being perfect. TSM dominated the laning phase and kept rolling the snowball they started, and finally won the LCS regular season with 17 wins and 1 loss. TSM was ranked at the top of various League of Legends power rankings.

However, TSM experienced failure at the 2016 League of Legends World Championship. TSM not only failed to meet the expectations of their fans, but also went through the unbelievable humiliation of getting eliminated in the Group Stage. Also, since the 2016 League of Legends World Championship was held in NA, TSM’s failure was a shock, and left many of their fans disappointed.


The most disappointing part was the attitude of people from the NA region regarding TSM’s failure at the World Championships. Some NA pro gamers claimed that since TSM showed their strategies to Korean teams when they were off-season training in Korea, that gave Korean teams a chance to adapt and that was the main reason for TSM’s failure. Aphromoo, the support playing for CLG, even suggested in an interview with Travis "SotLTravis" Gafford that it won't be necessary to scrim with the top teams in Korea.

Two teams practicing together can be a great help to both teams, as they can learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work towards improvement. This means that while they will they be exposing their strategies and giving the opponent teams a chance to adapt to them, they also gain the opportunity to learn the opponent’s strategies and improve upon any flaws revealed in their own. Despite the fact that TSM’s strategies were exposed, they had the chance to recognize what their weaknesses are and work to improve them, just as G2 Esports has done. G2 seized the opportunity, whereas TSM failed to do so.

It may be that the teams’ different mindsets were what caused each one to obtain different results from the same process. One who admits his own fault and endeavors to overcome it, versus one who is too proud to make an effort to learn; only one will move forward and up. If TSM had the will to learn, they’d have gotten a better result by improving upon their weaknesses via off-season training.

Some people have said that the addition of skilled Korean top laners to regional teams has caused other regional top laners to become better, while some people have said that the Korean top laners they’ve fought were actually mediocre. While these two views may be describing the same situation, only one of these perspectives will allow for growth and future gain.

It is truly terrible to be full of faults; but it is even worse to be full of them and yet also unwilling to recognize them. If the NA region aims to stand out on the international stage, keeping an open mind to admitting their flaws and striving to learn from mistakes will be their first step towards victory.

Note: Some factual errors have been edited after the article has been posted.

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