It’s a dark, yet glorious day.
When it comes to Team SoloMid, I’m quite torn on the matter. On one hand, I have a lot of respect for the individual players. They’ve sacrificed a lot in order to try and push NA’s competitive achievements to new heights, and I genuinely enjoy the personalities and stories of the players. For that, I am sad that this team did not meet the expectations placed upon it and drowned in groups. On the other hand, by god is TSM’s fanbase hard to love, and my lack of respect for Weldon Green, TSM’s head coach, only deepens when he pulls bullshit like this.
Honestly, he probably needs a sports psychologist to give himself a stronger mental fortitude.
As I’m caught between the feeling of enjoying the salt and feeling sad for the players that sacrificed so much, my only hope is that the example TSM set in summer creates a ripple through Western esports, a new dedication to practice and competitiveness develops.
Onto other things, like Samsung! I’m happy to see them turn up so well in week 2. They’ve had a lot of flak on them for being the Korean team that some considered to be undeserving of being at the world championship, what with the upset over KT Rolster. But there is no such thing as “deservedness” in esports. You win, or you go home. Samsung won. Deal with it.
Honestly, Jo “Core JJ” Yong-in has been something of a breakout hit for Samsung. I do respect Kwon “Wraith” Ji-min as a player, and I do agree he has been vastly underrated, but Samsung is a completely different beast when Core JJ is talking on the comms. It’s more proactive, Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong seems to make less mistakes, and they even have some Core JJ pocket picks like Zyra. The only drawback is a loss of lane synergy, but that isn’t as important as Core JJ’s other contributions. That is going to be yet another thing that pushes Wraith to the background, unfortunately. I wouldn’t be shocked if Samsung makes Core JJ starting, and if Wraith looks for a team that doesn’t need a talkative support.
I’ll talk about RNG and Splyce together, as they are both similar and yet contrasting. I don’t think either should have gotten out of groups, but the distinction is that while RNG is talented, it lacks cohesion, while Splyce is very cohesive but its talent isn’t at the level to compete internationally, yet. RNG managed to scrape wins together through individual players, who are gods within the scene, popping off massively, and getting a solid early game plan against TSM put together in the final game. Splyce just didn’t look good, but I think that’s more due to inexperience than anything of the roster’s skill. I hope to see Splyce continue it’s development, and I hope that RNG actually puts up a fight in the quarterfinal.
Lest I scream, “TSM didn’t die for this.”