Team SoloMid had a good first week at worlds, but AD carry Yilang "Doublelift" Peng told Garena eSports that he knows his team can do better. If only because they finally started to feel challenged.
Doublelift said that, after their Day 1 loss to Royal Never Give Up, TSM had to go back to the drawing board for their pick-ban phase. According to Doublelift, It wasn't just that TSM left strong picks up for RNG, it's that no one had taken advantage of their flawed picks the way RNG had.
"We just were not really accustomed to the new picks everyone does at worlds. Usually when I play Jhin, it doesn't get punished, but when we played RNG they played a full dive comp that can really easily kill Jhin and any carries that doesn't have escapes," Doublelift said.
"As we play more, we're being exposed to more and more strategies. That's a big issue we had in North America, which was like, everyone sucks so bad that we can just run our strategy and they won't find a weakness in it. But here at worlds everyone's pretty good. I think we're leveling up, every day, getting better."
Doublelift's bot lane partner, Vincent "Biofrost" Wang agreed with the sentiment in a later interview with Garena, adding that TSM still haven't fixed the issues in their pick-ban phase enough yet, despite their wins over Samsung Galaxy and Splyce.
"I think some of our priorities were kind of wrong," Biofrost said. "In the sense that we pretty much opened ourselves to an Alistar pick that was really good against us.
"Going into Samsung, we were a lot more prepared for our picks and I think we prepared a lot better for them. And today even though we did win against Splye, it was definitely a lot more shaky than the game against Samsung Galaxy, so we still have a lot to work on and hopefully it turns out a lot better next time for groups."
Looking ahead, Biofrost and Doublelift agree on the teams it will be toughest for TSM to beat if they make it out of groups.
"Considering we lost to RNG, it's RNG," Biofrost said. "Mata is very good, he recognizes a lot of opportunities because he has a lot of experience under his belt. Him having that experience is pivotal to them taking a lot of wins."
Doublelift added the Flash Wolves, ROX Tigers and EDward Gaming to the list of teams he sees as threats to TSM in the near future, but added that the whole team's goal isn't necessarily to make it to the finals.
"Before we did our boot camp in Korea, we were all talking about our goals," Doublelift said. "I thought it would be cool to make the finals but everyone on the team, obviously, but they just want to make it out of groups, make top four, they all have different goals. Our dream is to win the World Championships. I think, this year, with a little luck, we can be in the finals."
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.