The reigning Six Invitational champions opted to make a change after two stages of bad results as Brady "Chala" Davenport left the team on Jul. 27. Now, at the Gamers8 event in Saudi Arabia, the team will compete with “Snake” standing in.
With his debut game on the team now completed against MIBR, here’s what we’ve learnt about where Snake may fit into the roster and how the team dynamics looked to have changed since the end of Stage 2.
With a few exceptions, TSM’s roles have remained very steady over the last year, with Merc and Beaulo being the team’s reliable entry players and main fraggers. With an upcoming young gunner entering the team, this meant we were likely to see some dramatic changes, as Snake was unlikely to be placed directly into Chala’s position as a hard support player.
TSM’s game against MIBR has shown that Snake has slipped into Merc’s role as a primary fragger alongside Beaulo, while Merc takes over the hard breach and planter positions that Chala played in.
This is rather odd considering Merc’s history as a fragger and considering Geo was the team’s hard support during their victorious Six Invitational run. At SI 2022, Merc secured more kills than any other player in the tournament, a feat that becomes much harder if given these extra roles. However, Merc pulled that feat off while newly-minted as an IGL for the team, showing there is precedent of him adapting well to more responsibility.
Across the two maps on the attack, Merc secured six kills to eight deaths, while Snake ended with 11 kills to six deaths. Ensuring every player in the team, regardless of roles, can frag out and clutch like the best could be a key change.
While playing as the defenders, TSM’s changes are less drastic, as it clearly depends more on the map and site in question.
Chalet was a map that TSM only played once in Stage 2, when Gotcha stood in for Geo against DarkZero. While several other players opted to bring a wider range of operators than before, Snake played primarily on Smoke, the same operator Chala played against DZ.
On Theme Park, though Chala played Smoke once again previously, the operator was picked just once all map by Merc. Here, Snake went onto Lesion and Wamai in alternating rounds instead and mainly played off-site to get the most out of his utility.
This worked out well for him; TSM allowing Snake to slither around the map really suffocated MIBR and stopped them from gaining any ground in multiple rounds.
This was just a single game and Snake’s very first match against a tier-one or global opponent, so how Snake or the team generally performed is not too important.
Nevertheless, he did impress. The team won their games 7-4, 7-4, while Snake had kill-death figures of 12-6 and 10-6, totalling 22-12. This made Snake the team’s top fragger, ahead of Achieved on 22.
Whether Snake becomes a permanent member of the team or not, this showcases the role that TSM is looking to fill and how the team may operate come Stage 3. Considering his performance, it seems more likely than not that TSM has found their fifth.