TSM announced on May 18th, 2016 that they had signed Vincent ‘Biofrost’ Wang as the new TSM support. Biofrost earned his way onto the team by participating in the team’s three week bootcamp, which took place in Korea.
TSM’s statement had this to say about the bootcamp process:
Prior to the bootcamp, there were a good number of players from Asia lined up for tryouts. However, we still wanted to take a support from North America who could scrim with us during times when those players were unavailable. Thus, we held a preliminary tryout in North America where supports who had the right qualifications would duo queue with Doublelift and the rest of the team. It was during this period of time that Biofrost caught the eye of Doublelift and ultimately ended with us taking him to Korea.
Over the last two weeks, we were extremely impressed by Biofrost’s performance, even in comparison to all the other candidates. He has made a lot of progress as a player during the short time we have known him, demonstrating to us that he’s a young player with the potential to the one of the best. He has excellent mechanics across multiple champions, and most importantly he synergizes quite well with Doublelift’s playstyle. To top it all off, he fits in with our goal of having a full English speaking roster.
Biofrost has never played in the LCS before, but has played for a number of amateur teams dating back to early 2015. His most played champion between his NA solo queue accounts ‘SKT Frost‘, and ‘Biofrost‘, is Thresh, with a total of 132 games played. His next most played is Alistar, with 35 games played.
Biofrost’s KR account, ‘TSM Sightstone‘, is currently Masters rank with 0LP. The account carries a 47-36 record, with a 57% win rate.
The End of the YellowStar Experiment
TSM is an organization that does everything in its power to attract the best free agent players. It’s how much power TSM has at their disposal that separates them from other teams.
Before the first official LCS game of 2016, TSM had completely rebuilt their roster around star mid laner Bjergsen. Dyrus, Santorin, WildTurtle, and Lustboy were all gone, replaced by Hauntzer, Svenskeren, Doublelift, and YellowStar. Each role had been filled by a highly sought after free agent, or a top player other teams didn’t even know was available.
From a team management perspective, TSM CEO Reginald had done everything in his power to ensure TSM’s success. He had assembled a roster of experienced veterans, creating a super team that looked very intimidating. It had appeared that TSM had won the off-season and would stomp the upcoming Spring split. Things didn’t quite go as planned.
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Mechanics are important, but they don’t trump team synergy. TSM was plagued with inconsistency as they stumbled their way to messy victories over bottom tier teams, while being outclassed severely in their defeats. The team looked out of sync for the majority of the split until they finally clicked.
TSM went on to face off against rivals CLG in the NA LCS Spring Split finals, but were ultimately defeated by CLG’s impressive team play. Not too long after it was announced YellowStar would leave TSM to rejoin his longtime EU LCS team, Fnatic. TSM would need to find a new support player for the 2016 NA LCS Summer Split.
The writing was on the wall for veteran YellowStar. The only player to play in every LCS final, YellowStar, just didn’t share the same laning philosophy as AD carry Doublelift. In “DRIVE: The Reginald Story”, TSM CEO Reginald admits that he strayed away from the TSM formula by pursuing experienced players like YellowStar, and the results were disappointing:
“I paid a premium for veteran players, because… I wanted them to be to run my team for me. I wanted them to be autonomous. I forgot about how TSM has been successful throughout the years. We’ve been the team known to pick up new talent, amateur and challenger players, and making them stars.“
TSM’s Summer Split: How Long Will It Take?
It must be comforting for TSM fans to hear that newly signed support Biofrost has already established chemistry with AD carry Doublelift. After a long and inconsistent Spring, the team will be looking to start Summer strong with Biofrost in the support role.
The team has learned a lot about themselves over the past split, and shouldn’t take quite so long to adapt to a single substitution. Check out Biofrost’s LCS debut on June 3rd when TSM opens their season against CLG.