April 9, 2021, 6:24 PM

TSM vs. 100 Thieves: The 20-second fight that turned the game

TSM vs. 100 Thieves: The 20-second fight that turned the game
Photo of TSM fans credit to @TSM on Twitter.
By Stephanie Roehler
Filed Under
The weekend of April 4 saw a riveting LoL tournament match-up between TSM and 100 Thieves. Out of their 4 games, TSM won 3, but the unique thing was that every one of TSM’s wins played out like an upset.
In their fourth and final game, TSM lost a trade near a devastating trade in front of the dragon pit. PowerOfEvil (Azir) was taken down by 100 Thieves and TSM had to back off, leaving Closer (Olaf) to take the drake.
It seemed 100 Thieves had this game in the bag (the casters were even going on a spree praising ry0ma), until TSM created a Baron trap that stole that “runaway” win right out from under them. So, let’s talk about the 4 most important moments in the 20-second fight that destroyed 100 Thieves.

The Set-Up

Around 22 minutes, the 4 living members of TSM moved to set-up baron and check for wards. However, you’ll note that instead of clearing 100 Thieves’ 3 wards, they chose to leave them there and hid in the various river bushes.
In retrospect, TSM was clearly making sure 100 Thieves saw them by baron, with Spica (Udyr) walking in and out of bushes, looking to bait a fight. And bait them they did.
Knowing Closer was busy with the dragon, Huni (Nocturne) activated his ult and jumped onto ry0ma (Oriana), forcing a 4v4 fight in raptor bush (a tricky, dangerous spot as is).

The Engagement

Let’s start with all the ways that TSM synergized to take complete control of the fight. Within the first few seconds, Huni’s ult made all the nearby 100 Thieves players nearsighted, which trapped Huhi (Sett) below raptors and disoriented FBI (Tristana) by Red Buff. Meanwhile, Ssumday (Sion) and ry0ma were stuck in the top jungle in the middle of Huni’s ult and Spica’s approach.
After that, SwordArt (Rakan) hits his ult to charm Ssumday, ry0ma, and FBI, forcing them into the fight instead of disengaging.
Lost (Xayah) also ult-ed from behind to add bonus damage and protect himself from an incoming Huhi (we’ll talk about that more in a sec).
Between all these charms and ults, almost every 100 Thieves member present was affected by some form CC for almost 5 full seconds, letting TSM down ry0ma before 100 Thieves have any chance to save him.
5 seconds in, and TSM has already turned the fight into a 4v3.

The Failed Reaction

100 Thieves didn’t take the beating lying down. Once Huhi stopped being nearsighted, he tried to refocus and join the center of the fight. However, he hesitated, and in a delayed response turned back towards Lost to try to zone him out. At the same time, Ssumday used his Q to try to knock up Spica, Huni, and SwordArt for a counterattack.
Unsynchronized, neither Ssumday nor Huhi accomplished much before Lost’s ult pulled back to him, rooting the two of them in place and ruining their attempts to turn the tide of the fight.
Instead, in that same time period, Nocturne took out FBI with a Q and a smite, weakening 100 Thieves’ position even more.
Huhi again tried to put pressure on TSM by ulting SwordArt and jumping over the wall, hoping to use the Show Stopper’s slam to land on Huni and Spica.
Not only did Huhi miss the other two with his ult and only do 231 damage to SwordArt, but also Huni feared Ssumday and, against all odds, was able to back off and survive with 100 health.
100 Thieves did try their best to use the players they had left to even out the trade, but as Huhi and Ssumday were unfocused and uncoordinated, they struggled to take any TSM player out, leaving them at a 4v2.

The Closer

At 23 minutes, there’s a new element to the fight: done with Dragon, Closer finally appears in mid-lane. However, at the same time, PowerOfEvil respawned and came in through the river bush behind Lost. This turned the fight from a 4v2 to a 5v3 (not but much better odds for 1000 Thieves).
The 3 surviving members of 100 Thieves knew that, though, and tried to disengage at this point.
TSM didn’t let them go that easily, though. PowerOfEvil entered the fight without hesitation, spearing in over a wall and immediately engaging. He and Lost poked Closer to death before he could escape with Olaf’s unstoppable Ragnarok. Then, PowerOfEvil followed it up by using his ult to force Sion to stay in the raptor bush and get picked apart by the entire TSM team.
Only a half-health Huhi survived the fight. At 23:08, the game is now a 5v1 with TSM heading off to nab a completely uncontested baron.

Conclusion

From 22:48-23:08, TSM deleted 4 of 100 Thieves’ members. Despite the other team’s lead and perceived control of the game, TSM played the fight like they were the dominant team.
After this game (and the other two TSM won the same way), it’s clear that there's a special sweet spot in between 20-25 minutes that, if you play your cards right, can turn almost any game in your favor.

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