Team SoloMid (TSM) is in a state of rebuilding right now. After going 0-6 in the group stage of Worlds 2020, TSM is making moves to make sure they’ll do better next year. Being one of the top teams in the LCS, expectations are high for the North American team. Most recently, they’ve signed one of the most experienced supports in free agency and Worlds runner-up Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh.

With their star player Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng suddenly announcing his retirement, and their midlaner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg turning into the team’s head coach, these massive changes in TSM’s roster worries a lot of fans. Will SwordArt’s signing of SwordArt and Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage be enough to offset these departures? What will the potential signing of Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon mean for the team? We find out in this close look at TSM’s future.

Team SoloMid loses Bjergsen, Doublelift, and Broken Blade


The biggest change in TSM’s roster is obviously Bjergsen’s departure from the midlane. He was with TSM for seven years after all.

Bjergsen elevated the team to heights it has never seen before. In his first year, they finished 2nd on the LCS Spring Split, then nabbed 1st in Summer. They recorded their best performance in Worlds that year, reaching the playoffs. Had they not faced the champions in the first round, who knows what the team could have achieved that year?

Sadly, that would be TSM’s peak. While TSM still consistently won gold and silver for the next few years, they’d never perform as well as they did in 2014. Bjergsen’s presence in the midlane was the team’s anchor during these years until a new face arrived.

Doublelift joining the team at the tail end of 2015 rejuvenated TSM, leading to a couple more titles in the LCS. But even though the team was considerably strong at this time, they weren’t able to convert their dominance in NA at Worlds. They were strong, but not as strong as their foreign opponents.

Seeing greener pastures, Doublelift left the team in 2017 to join Team Liquid. He went on to show that he was the lifeblood of TSM when he was still with the team, as he helped Team Liquid win multiple championships in the LCS, while TSM played second fiddle during this time.

In 2019, Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik arrived to take over TSM’s top lane, and it helped return the team to its former glory. They finished second to Team Liquid in the Spring and Summer Splits of 2019. It wouldn’t be until Doublelift returning to the team in April 2020 where TSM will taste gold again. But even with Doublelift’s return, TSM failed spectacularly at Worlds.

Building around Spica

Doublelift, Broken Blade, and Bjergsen were all pillars of Team SoloMid during their time with the team. Losing them is a big blow to TSM, and the future may be looking stark for the team. With three of them leaving and SwordArt’s signing confirmed, it leaves Spica the sole member of the TSM 2020 Worlds roster to stay with the team.

Mingyi “Spica” Lu looks like he’s being groomed by TSM to be their new face. Elevated from TSM Academy in the middle of 2019, Spica was there when Doublelift returned and brought TSM back on top. His experience with Doublelift and Bjergsen will help him grow as TSM’s new face. Bjergsen remaining with the team as the new head coach will also help in grooming Spica.

However, Spica’s yet to prove himself as a powerful jungler. The good thing is Spica’s still young, and he still has a lot of room to grow. If TSM plays their cards right, Spica can become their new face for the years to come. The jungler role right now is very important in the current meta, and Spica’s going to have to step up to make a mark.

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SwordArt is great but overpriced

Riot Games

TSM signed SwordArt for $6 million to play with them for two years. SwordArt’s value skyrocketing is understandable after his second-place finish at Worlds. But it doesn’t feel like TSM is getting a very good deal out of this signing. They could have spent the money to get someone like Perkz to replace Bjergsen.

SwordArt is a very reliable support, but it never felt like he was the main reason for Suning’s success. Arguably, SwordArt is the best player that the LMS has ever produced since Taipei Assassins, but it’s a different story outside of his home region. The LCS is a very different league compared to the LMS, and SwordArt will have to play really, really well to justify his signing.

Doublelift’s desire to play with SwordArt may be the primary motivation for the acquisition. TSM’s star ADC said that he was contemplating retirement if he doesn’t get to play with “the best foreign support” out there. But with Doublelift announcing his abrupt retirement, SwordArt will have to play well with Doublelift’s replacement instead, whoever it may be. Fans will have to place a lot of faith in Doublelift’s judgment of SwordArt. The jungler’s important role in the current meta will test SwordArt and the new carry’s fit in the team, as they will surely be under a lot of pressure in the upcoming season.

PowerOfEvil is a safe pick

Meanwhile, PowerOfEvil is mostly a safe choice for the team. He was the ace in his previous team, FlyQuest, but he has never carried his team to win in the Spring or Summer Splits. While Bjergsen leaving TSM in the hands of a new support may have been a smart choice in the long run, but PowerOfEvil has very large shoes to fill.

PowerOfEvil is a very reliable midlaner, and he’s proven before that he can be on par with the best midlaners in the region. Acquiring him also denies Evil Geniuses, which is also in the market for a midlaner. With Team Liquid re-signing Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen for two more years, PowerOfEvil may have just been the only option TSM was left with.

If all else fails, TSM may still consider their academy midlaner, Jackson “Evolved” Dohan, to eventually take up the mantle of TSM’s midlaner. It does feel that way, that PowerOfEvil is here to warm the seat for a larger player sometime in the future. Whether or not that person is Evolved is another question.

The possibility of getting Huni

The last free agent rumored to be signing with Team SoloMid is Evil Geniuses’ top laner, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon. Huni, like SwordArt, is a runner-up at Worlds, having finished 2nd place in 2017 alongside Faker at T1. His experience is undeniable, but he’s no longer at his peak.

Huni’s performance with the teams he joined after T1 wasn’t that great, and it feels like TSM will be getting someone past his prime. If TSM is after Huni’s experience and game sense, then it’s still going to be a fine pick. Just like PowerOfEvil, Huni feels like a seat warmer, while TSM waits for their Academy top laner Niship “Dhokla” Doshi to mature for the role.

Three of the team’s pillars have just left, and it will definitely take some time before whatever new roster they build to glue together. Fans may have high expectations for the team, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be serious contenders immediately. Individually, the players TSM has are skilled, but whether or not they’ll be a great team together is a whole different matter. With just the ADC role left unfilled, it might become the deciding factor in Team SoloMid’s immediate future.