It has been a rough year at Worlds for North America. Liquid’s heartbreaking 3rd place finish on Thursday had already set the tone, and now TSM’s 0-6 finish is a slap to the LCS faithful who expected a significantly more convincing performance from their first seed.
It is the first time in League of Legends history that a first seed has ever gone winless at Worlds. Nor was it all that close: TSM ran the gamut from hitting a five man Lillia sleep but failing to follow up, to trading a Baron for their nexus, to even legendary midlaner Bjergsen getting solo-killed on his iconic Zilean.
TSM already had a mountain to climb after a troubling 0-3 result in the first round robin, but after falling to Fnatic in a one-sided matchup to start the day the NA representatives were out of contention for quarters before they could even mount a comeback.
TSM with potentially the most disappointing Worlds showing ever.— Isaac CB (@RiotAzael) October 10, 2020
1st ever major region #1 to go 0-6 in groups is something deserving of criticism & they'll get lots of it.
That said, keep it classy & keep the criticism focused on gameplay. Personal attacks have no place here.
At that point, all that was left was pride. In their following match against Gen.G, there were strong showings that perhaps TSM could salvage some pride after a stellar early game out of Bjergsen’s Lucian. Even then, late game failings let the lead slip away to TSM’s one glimmer of hope and Gen.G completed the comeback.
TSM's exit from Worlds 2020 is historic in its totality. (Picture: LoL Esports)
Group C was never going to be an easy group, dubbed a Group of Death, with Europe’s Fnatic, Korea’s Gen.G, and China’s LGD rounding out the contenders. That said, going winless - especially with all the teams showing exploitable weaknesses - is an ignominious result at best.
I have nothing but disappointment today. No anger. No salt. Just heartfelt disappointment.— Clayton Raines (@CaptainFlowers) October 10, 2020
I wanted to see the TSM that won Summer Finals.
Instead I got the TSM that lost 0-3 to Golden Guardians in the first round. Completely unacceptable.#Worlds2020
Criticism for the performance of LCS squads, particularly when measured against their salaries, has seen mounting discontent within fans and analysts. What will change (if anything) is yet to be known, but perhaps the addition of the OCE to the LCS competitive territories might offer some solutions… or at least a surplus of hungry players.
Embarrassing...— Søren Bjerg (@Bjergsen) October 10, 2020
TSM have now failed to progress from groups since 2014, where they lost to eventual champions Samsung White in the Quarter Finals. In fact, this is the first time the organisation has returned to the World Championships since 2017. Unfortunately for the organisation, this is another frustrating page in a book full of domestic success and international failure.
NA’s hopes now rest on FlyQuest, who play tomorrow, but they have to battle through two tournament favourites in Damwon Gaming and TOP Esports.
You can catch them in action at 9:00am BST over on the LoL Esports website, or the associated Twitch and YouTube channels.