As we lie in wait of the LCS Spring split next year, lazily scrolling through Reddit, looking for some eSports drama or a dank meme, the teams have been busy constructing new rosters. One of the biggest shake-ups comes from North American perennial favorite Team SoloMid, whose roster only contains one returning player, mid laner Bjergsen.
Dyrus, one of the most popular League players of all time, retired, probably to spend more time with his pillow, and we can’t see Lustboy anymore as he retired and returned to Korea. Santorin and his 6pack went back home to the EU while WildTurtle and the TSM franchise parted ways. I can imagine him sadly whispering “So troll” as he moved out of the gaming house. With all these departures, it looked like TSM may be in a bit of trouble when the LCS came around, but their hyperactive off-season says otherwise. Here’s a look at the huge talent TSM has already been able to acquire only a couple months after Worlds.
If the 2015 Fnatic summer split team is the 2007 New England Patriots, in that they went undefeated in the regular season and dropped their only game(s) in the finals (at least Fnatic still won), YellOwStaR was Tom Brady, minus all the deflation issues. In comparison to other player who played all 18 games of the season, he had the highest KDA at 16.3, highest number of assists with a massive 234, and also had the least amount of deaths, 15. He literally played more games then he died. YellOwStaR has amazing game sense, which is why he was the captain and main shotcaller for Fnatic during their perfect season. He can single-handedly win his team the game, and will be a huge asset to TSM, who has had problems with shotcalling in the past. The only thing bigger than the acquisition of the best support in the EU LCS was the signing of his new lane partner…
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AD Carry: Doublelift
…The best ADC in North America. In what was one of the most shocking turns in League of Legends history, Counter Logic Gaming decided to release Doublelift, leading him to sign with his old arch-nemesis. I’m hoping this means a lot more Travis Gafford in TSM: Legends, but I won’t hold my breath. CLG won the NA LCS Summer split for the first time this year, with the run being perfectly summed up by a fan-made poster stating, “Savage Memes Can’t Melt Playoff Dreams“. Behind Doubelift’s league leading 117 kills and staggering 206.7 average gold differential at 10 minutes, CLG ended up snagging a spot at the World Championships.
TSM’s bot lane looks godly on paper, but will it work in practice? Both Bjergsen and Doubelift demanded large amounts of resources to be funneled in so they can carry the game, averaging 27.2% and 28.8% of their team’s total gold earned respectively. One of these numbers is going to have to decrease next season, and whether it will be Bjergsen or Doublelift remains a mystery. Maybe the synergy between Bjergsen and TSM’s new jungler will be a deciding factor.
Svenskeren and SK Gaming had a split best described as forgettable last season. A sign to leave for greener pastures, Svenskeren packed up his bags and travelled across the sea to reunite with his fellow Dane and former Ninjas in Pyjamas teammate, Bjergsen on TSM. Although NiP ended up benching Svenskeren mid-split because of their lackluster record, I’m going out on a limb to say there’s at least some basic chemistry between them. He also plays very aggressively, which will be a big difference from Santorin’s slow, farm first mentality. I’m really looking forward to watching Sven and Bjergsen do some hyper aggressive 2-man invades of the enemy jungle, or roam as a unit towards top lane to relieve some pressure from their brand new top laner.
Hauntzer was the least hyped acquisition of the offseason by TSM, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t important. Because of LCS rules, 3 players on the team have to be American citizens, besides Bjergsen, who was “grandfathered” in when the rule was set last season and is considered to be from North America. With Doubelift at AD carry and two foreign players at jungle and support, they had to look to homegrown talent, which lead them to Hauntzer. In the summer split, he played for Gravity, who got 3:1’d by TSM in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. With him on the team, the entire TSM roster, minus YellOwStaR, were either 1st or 2nd in kills in their respective summer splits. TSM games will be a bloodbath, with everybody getting in on the action. Hauntzer was very consistent this season, and was against some insanely tough competition like Impact and ZionSpartan, so you can’t deny his skills. Side note, is his older brother’s name Genzgar? That’d be spooky.
Although we were probably all hoping we’d be able to see this roster in action at IEM Cologne this weekend, it’s not happening, so we’ll have to wait and see. With the preseason changes making the game a lot faster, TSM matches look like they’ll be the League of Legends equivalent of any Jason Statham movie… ever. In the meantime, we’ll just have to ponder life’s harder questions, like does HotshotGG throws spears at Doublelift in his dreams? How troll is too troll?