TSM's New Roster : A Fresh Start For The Team
Team SoloMid was always known as a one-dimensional team in the League of Legends Championship series. Frankly, the name of the organisation spoke for itself. A team that largely revolved around Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg lived and died by the solo middle. That’s why this new roster for the upcoming 2022 LCS season is not only groundbreaking for the organisation, but something that could be seen as exciting.
For years, Team SoloMid was seen as the same old same old, and the same old same old worked - it really did. An incomparable number of domestic titles, especially early on in the pro-League is just unheard of. Any team or organisation would want that for themselves at some point, screw the international glory.
In the last few years, League of Legends has begun to see them lean away from that, whether the team wanted to or not. It all began with the team beginning to fall off, breaking their streak of making the League of Legends World Championship several times in a row.
After that, many began to see Team SoloMid as more desperate in nature with specific pick ups. This all led to the 2020 roster that throughout the year were meandering around and somehow finished the summer split making North American playoffs history - a full lower bracket run after surprisingly being knocked into it by Golden Guardians. This culminated in one of the worst Worlds performances in not just the organisation’s history, but the region’s history as a whole. Not only that, it signified Bjergsen’s retirement.
Onto 2021 organisation decided to completely change things, only keeping jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu from that 2020 roster. This new Team SoloMid roster was a thing of its own - an attempt of getting away from the solo mid mentality - but it wasn’t quite like this new 2022 change. In many ways, the heart and soul for the organisation’s last seven to eight years was still there, it was just its head coach now.
The 2021 roster followed what was the pinnacle of the LCS, every region knew who Team SoloMid were. From the countless LCS titles to the countless fans, the essence was always the same. A titan in the region for years upon years, one that had countless “TSM, TSM, TSM!!” chants backing it up, is now long gone. It’s time for something new to arise and Bjergsen was gone.
On comes the new, keeping Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon and Spica once again meant that they were on the lookout for completely new members once again in the bottom half of the map. Mid-laner Zhu “Keaiduo” Xiong, ADC Edward “Tactical” Ra and support Wei “Shenyi” Zi-Jie, some of the most unlikely pairings in the LCS’ recent years.
You have a top laner who is no slouch himself, making Worlds finals with T1 and being a monster on both Fnatic and Immortals. A jungler who proved to be one of the better North American players in the league as well as in his role with his MVP in Spica. But then there’s unknowns in the form of Keaiduo, Shenyi and although Tactical has Worlds and LCS finals experience, he’s still young. This is unheard of from Team SoloMid, and could be seen as a shot in the dark. Not only that, the team has made some movement in the coaching department, seemingly putting more emphasis on it than ever before.
A head coach in Chawy, a Head of Player Development in Peter Zhang, a Strategic Coach and Head Scout in Kayys, some Data and Analytics in Haitham and lastly Academy coaching in Gunaso. Past Team SoloMid members wish they had something like this.
In the end, all of this is exciting, and a great new look. Only time will tell how it goes.